Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

I haven't downloaded my pictures (what few there are!) onto my computer recently, so no pictures this time, but I wanted people to know that I'm still alive, still enjoying my holiday, that I had a lovely Christmas, and that I'm looking forward to the new year.

On Christmas Eve we had a big dinner with everyone on station. There was lots of good good, some carol singing, and lots of laughter. Christmas day the single ladies had our now traditional progressive breakfast which took 8 hours, but was a very relaxing, special way to spend the day.

Tonight we're going to have a bonfire and some fireworks to see the new year in--several hours before midnight of course! I think Beth and I might be the only ones staying up... I'm looking forward to what 2013 brings, and hope all of you have a blessed year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kitwe and Fruitcake.

I guess as a way to start trying to blog about the madness that was the Kitwe trip, I’m going to do a bullet list, and then expand on some topics. Here goes!

*Two dentist visits

*Lots of shopping

*Kitwe has a new Pick ‘n Pay—so much nicer than Shoprite!

*Lots of visiting the same two bookstores (this is what you get for being both a booklover and a teacher who works at a remote school).

*Lots of hole-in-the-walls with a surprising range of merchandise

*Some visits to Barcello’s complete with lattes—yes, this is part of why I go to town!

*Lots of good Sri Lankan food at our good friend the Fernandos. After a term of kid geared dining hall food, such a treat!

*Lots of fun visiting the Frenandos.

*Lots of texting various people about all sorts of errands from tie rod ends for a land cruiser to books.

*Lots of driving in the meat grinder that is town—no accidents praise the Lord!

*Being interviewed for a sport on ZedMBC—I was on TV today!

Dentist: I got the first half of a root canal, and then after some probing, sticking some scary pins in the offending tooth and x-raying, it was decided that the crown idea wasn’t going to work. So, out it came. The soreness is mostly gone, but I still have to be careful how I chew and use the nasty mouthwash tablets.

Being on TV: I got roped into doing an interview of ‘Today’s Women’ which was both the most hilarious and ridiculous thing in my life. If I had known that I was going to be interviewed for TV that day, I would have worn something a little different, and I would have had MY knitting with me. I ended up working on Beth’s while we pretended that she didn’t know what I was doing. Now my kids are going to come back and be all like, “You were on TV!!!”

In holiday news, today was fruitcake day! They look pretty edible, so I look forward to sharing and enjoying them with my station family.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It’s Christmas Time!

Well, I just tried something new—candied pineapple for the fruit cake I’m going to make later this month. I remember my grandmother telling me that it takes a lot of sugar, but I wasn’t sure how it would work starting with fresh. After 45 minutes of cooking down on the stove, I’m pretty happy with the results.

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It’s Christmas in the bush, and I’ve been getting my halls decked despite the heat. The last weekend of term I put up my tree, and once again I’m brought back to my childhood and the simple pleasure of waking up and walking into a living room lit only by the tree lights.

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without an Advent wreath, so mine was retrieved from its storage place and carefully set up. The ritual of lighting another candle each week is another one that makes it Christmas for me. While I’m far away from my family, there is something comforting in carrying on a tradition that I know my family is doing back home.

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As a parting shot and a promise that I’ll write about my town trip, here’s a picture of a funeral that we passed just outside Solwezi. There’s always room for one more in Zambia!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Not dead--just very busy!

Well, thanksgiving is now past, and it's full speed ahead to Christmas and end of term! We had a pie social here the night before thanksgiving which was a very special time--especially for the Americans! I ended up being up to my eyeballs with pumpkin pie, but there are far worse things to be overwhelmed with! This past weekend was my last one on, so now I just have to worry about giving and marking exams as well as writing report cards. I have some pretty tough ones to write, so I'll be praying a lot wisdom. Christmas decorations are starting to crop up in classrooms and the dorm--I always get excited to see the kids reactions! It's started raining here after almost a week without. The river is very low, and crops are not going to turn out well unless we have a return to our normal weather patterns. Nothing like the sound of a gentle rain on the roof!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shopping the 'Hardcore' Way

This past Monday and Tuesday were our last half-term of the year, and Beth and I used it to make a quick trip down to Solwezi to drop her cousin off at the airport, and then to do some serious shopping. Solwezi is our provincial capital, and is about 5 ½ to 6 hours away (depending on the roads and traffic). We left Sakeji at about 1pm, and arrived in Solwezi at about 6:30. We were quick tired from the morning activities that we had supervised and the long drive, so we were not a lively bunch at supper and crashed at (for us) a rather granny hour. The next morning we enjoyed a nice breakfast, and then set out to find the airport following the rather sketchy directions provided by the lady at the front desk. Luckily Solwezi isn’t that big, and we were able to find it on the first try.

After saying goodbye, Beth and I headed into town to do battle with Shoprite. We had about 8 lists that we were trying to fill, and ended up with two full sized carts, and two of those little ones that hold two shopping baskets. Checking out was a speedy half hour, and the whole experience was made more surreal and interesting by the stifling heat of the store as opposed to the Christmas carols playing on the radio, and the Christmas decorations up in the back. Once we finished that, we had a few more errands to run including finding the vet and getting some rabies vaccine, paying a bill for someone, mailing the school’s letters, and getting some lunch. We left around 1:30, and arrived back on station just a little after dark.

After that it was time for some sorting and delivering of the groceries to various places around station before we made some mac n’ cheese and collapsed into bed at an even more granny hour than the night before. There were definitely some nice things about being in town—cheese, peach iced tea, and being away from the kids for a bit, but I don’t think I’ll make a habit of these lighting trips!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ancient and Modern Tourism

At our birthday parties, we always have a theme, and the staff dress up for the kids enjoyment. Here's a picture of Jill and me at the "Wonders of the World" birthday party this term. I decided to go with what I already had on the brain--Ancient Greece--and be an ancient Greek tourist ticking off the seven wonders of the world. Jill was a tour guide for a German castle. We also had a two person pyramid, some terracotta soldiers, and two Mount Everests. Nothing like an excuse to dress up!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Little Things

It’s a lot of fun to take the grade 7’s outside for math while my TA works with the grade 6’s inside. It makes me feel almost like I’m homeschooling!

Absentee voting is a trying process, but at least I have a fellow American who cares enough to go through it with me.

Here are a few more snapshots of Independence Day—enjoy! I might never be this on-the-ball with pictures again!

Big Ben and little Ben playing during the swim races.

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Two cute sisters

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A very cute Levi!

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King of the plank

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Raincoats are COOL!

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Independence Day 2012

October 24th is Zambian Independence Day, and we celebrate with swim races and a bonfire. Here are a few pics of the last two days.

One sign that it's almost Independence, is this monster arriving on the playground-

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On the 24th we spend the day down at the pool, and enjoy a variety of serious and fun races. I got a kick out of some of the creative uses of face paint in evidence...

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Hazel enjoyed her self and mostly behaved--I can't believe how big she is!

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It stormed on the evening of the 24th, so we had our bonfire yesterday. That big pile of wood became this...

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No one drowned or fell in the fire, and lot of fun was had by all. Huzzah for holidays!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The end is in sight...

The spots are fading away, and life is returning to normal here in the bush. Hopefully that last wave was the worst of the epidemic—there aren’t that many people left who could catch it! It sure has made some things interesting, but I guess that as with so many other normal parts of childhood, being at a boarding school makes them a much bigger deal!

It’s Independence Day today, which means a day off school, swim races, and a bonfire. While it will be nice to not teach on one of my craziest days, it’s a bit hard to loose a school day in the middle of the week. The national grade 7 exams are coming up next week, and things will be a little wild then as well. I worked some more on the end of term songs with the juniors yesterday—I can’t believe that we are half-way there already!

The rains are definitely here to stay, and things are really greening up. I love this time of year when the scarlet of the Flamboyant trees contrasts with the vivid green of the plants exploding into life. This is when the tall grass shoots up, and when the sun shines between rain storms, it can be almost too bright to bear. That is one of the reasons that I’m so thankful for living in the bush—Lusaka has almost no green to it at all. Not to mention the crazy traffic and loud noises!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chicken Pox Epidemic

So, we are well into a large-scale chicken pox outbreak up here, and there are several kids sporting startling patches of white or pink anti-itch cream. I'm glad (mostly!) that my kids have mostly had chicken pox already, and that I don't have anyone out of class. Most of the kids have had mild to middling cases, but a few are feeling really under the weather. Again, we are hoping and praying that baby Levi manages to pass on this round until he's a bit older and better able to fight off the disease.

Half term went well, and no one was injured, lost, or eaten by lions, so we're thankful! I got a bit of rest as well as having a chance to catch up on some work, so it was good. There were some huge storms during half term as well, but no bad damage was done.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This little grade 1 boy was so cute--he stayed up in that tree for over half an hour. It was his airplane, his car, and then his bed. And no, you can't have him!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Internet is BACK!

I am SO thankful to have our internet back—after our provider went bankrupt in classical Zambian style (no problem collecting money, a big problem with money ‘walking away.’), we were left with no internet till Monday of this week. While the enforced internet fast did not disrupt my life to much, it did make teaching a little trickier some days, and while it’s one thing to have the option communicate and choose not to, not being able to communicate is a whole other kettle of fish!

Our second round of chicken pox was just three kids—they are recovering fast, and another week’s incubation period is just about up. I have had chicken pox as have all the other staff members, so at least that isn’t a concern. It was kind of interesting to see what chicken pox looked like on darker skin—I didn’t notice my one student had it till he came to class slathered in white anti-itch cream! No one has had a sever case yet, so we continue to pray and keep a close eye on our charges.

We had a huge storm today with some pea sized hail. It’s getting to that time of year where you have to be very careful what windows you leave open, and what things you leave plugged in. The more frequent storms mean more frequent power outages—later this month we should be getting the generator that will be solely for the kitchen. Even from my house on the other side of the station I can hear the rumble of the generator and I know that I need to be careful with how much power I use. I don’t ever remember giving it a second thought back home—the only time I ever thought about electricity was at Christmas when I made sure I didn’t plug too many light strands together, and distributed the strands over two power bars (we put A LOT of light on our tree!). Here, it’s a pretty daily concern. Yup--living in a third world country can be pretty different!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Prayer request

Well, the 5th grader that came to school with chicken pox was apparently contagious, so we have at least three other cases at the moment, and we're just waiting to see how many kids end up with it. A concern is baby Levi who is not even 6 months old yet; Gwen is keeping him mostly at home to try and keep him from getting it.

It seems that the lion has moved on, so that is a relief. I didn't think it would be that interested in the school with a whole game farm to eat from, but you never know! At the very least it was a vivid reminder that yes, I am in Africa!

We've had a lot of rain this weekend--such a blessing! The river is rising, which means that our hydro power situation is improving. As much fun as candlelight is, not having power makes some aspects of teaching and staying in touch with the folks back home rather difficult. I also got to break in my new raincoat--I've always wanted one, and now I get strut my stuff in a bright yellow coat with "Security" on the back. It's the little things in life...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lions and children and ants oh my!

On Thursday we were informed that a lion had escaped from a game park in Congo, and was prowling around the game farm...which is right next to the school. The owner of the game farm is tracking it, but it has caused quite a bit of stir in our little corner of the world. One of our laundry men saw it, and a few workers didn't turn up for work yesterday. There is no indication that it has been near the school, but it has given us a reminder that we ARE in Africa! It should be interesting to see how it all ends. There have been a lot of Zo-zos--the large, stinky ants around the school lately. One of my kids purposely squished one during class the other day, which filled the area with the unmistakable sulfurous smell. Not only do they stink in death, but they give a nasty bite in life, and can release their fumes when irritated. I guess they help keep me from missing Fire ants back home! The middle of this week was really stressful, but things have been better these last few days. I'm on this weekend, but there will be some much needed times of rest. Next week is birthday party already, and then the week after that it the first half term! Time is rushing by way to fast...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hard things and things to praise the Lord for

There are many things about being a missionary that are hard, and some of them are things that you can’t prepare for or do much about. When people you love back home are hurting and going through hard times, there isn’t much you can do other than pray fervently and call or send e-mails. Sometimes I would love nothing more than to take someone out for coffee and listen and pray for them, but for now it’s physically impossible. When you are seven hours ahead of home updates can be longer in coming, and power outages can make checking e-mail difficult. I’m so thankful that there are people here that I trust enough to share those really personal prayer requests, and that they are there to listen so I can talk. We are a community and a family through our Savior, and when we are honest with each other and brave enough to admit our struggles and pain there is so much love and grace available to us. While it isn’t always easy to trust the Lord with my life, it can sometimes be harder to trust Him with the lives of the people I care for and miss back home. It’s an interesting side lesson to go with trust in my own life, and one that can be hard to do. Yet, “I know whate’re befalleth, Jesus doeth all things well,” and my heart will choose to praise Him even when the dread question “Why?” whirls round my brain.

I’m enjoying my first weekend off of the term, and doing such important things as taking naps, getting caught up on some marking, and playing with yarn and Easter egg dye.

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I’m very grateful for having a helper in handwork this term—15 grade 3 and 4 girls are quite a handful! We’re making up some felt bag kits that a dear lady back in Longview sent over for me. When we’re done I’ll post a picture of my kids with their creations. I’m getting a good idea of what my mother must have put up with from me when I was their age, and while teaching them real sewing and knitting skills are probably giving me gray hairs, I’m also thankful for a chance to pass on what I have been taught, and to give them something they can take and use for the rest of their lives. I think handwork should be part of every elementary and middle school curriculum—yes, it can be a real challenge, but the benefits make it totally worth it. Anything that teaches fine motor skills, patience, perseverance, and quality of execution is a good thing!

Here is my newly planted flower bed--my strawberries are on the wall above waiting for me to finally decide where to put them. I love the color of this time of year!

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Friday, September 14, 2012

First Week of School

I was thinking the other day that while the folks in North America are embarking on their new school term even as we are, they are starting off the year, while we are entering the race to the finish. I have to say that I rather enjoy having three terms instead of two semesters--things seem so much more manageable in little bits!

All of our kids got here safely, and even though one boy got to watch the plane take off without him after being 3 hours late, other parents picked him up and brought him to school. It's neat to see the parents helping each other out like that--it gives you hope for the future of humanity. The kids are quickly getting back into routine, and so far I've had great teaching days. Hope it lasts!

Today all the kids who haven't been already are getting their measles vaccination--there is a national campaign and the vaccinations are mandatory. Imagine trying that back in the States... It was interesting to see who put up the biggest wasn't the youngest kids!

Last weekend I moved my new-to-me fridge into my kitchen, and suddenly quadrupled my freezer space. It as a big hassle, and the fact that there is only one shelf in the whole unit makes life a bit interesting, but I'm so tickled to actually have room to keep things in the freezer at my house! I also have to admit a certain pride in the fact that we three girls were able to not only man-handle the behemoth, but move and re-install the cupboard over the top of the fridge with no help from the guys. It's the little things in life...

A prayer request from me is the tooth I broke a chunk off the first day of school--not even sure what I broke it on, or if it started as a filling that fell out. It's not hear as bad as the other one was, and as of yet it isn't hurting at all, but I'm just really praying that it will last until December when I could make a dental trip to the Copper Belt. I was hoping to stay on station this term break... I really don't want to go through that amount of pain and trouble again, but I also rest in knowing that God helped me through that situation, and maybe this time I can manage with a little more grace.

The idea of dentures is starting to gain appeal...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Still alive!

A brief update on what's going on out here in the bush *Teacher's meeting yesterday, and staff meeting today. Lots of things to work through and talk over, so many details to get ready before the kids come on Tuesday! *I have a new-to-me fridge; Beth donated her old one and with much effort we got it wrestled into my kitchen yesterday. Pictures to follow. *I am over my bronchitis, and working on building my endurance back up. I hate when it's hard to tell if the reason you are gasping is because you were sick, or because you are so very out of shape. *Container boxes arrived safely, and I had a lot of fun unpacking things I packed up to go at Christmas last year. *My new passport continues to rest at the US embassy in Lusaka because a helpful fellow missionary took the bag of things for Janette up to Sakeji, unknowingly bringing my passport back up here and making it impossible for it to be canceled yesterday when Janette was in Lusaka. At least I have a few months on the old one... *THE STUDENTS ARE COMING AWAKE, AWAKE!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Still in Lusaka

As of now, we are hoping to load up and start our journey up country on Tuesday. Yesterday was a whirl of shopping--I have a lot of the basics, so it was picking up the odds and ends that I don't have and a few treats for the holidays. I found a few new shirts which was exciting--it's amazing how quickly your cloths either get destroyed, or you just wish you had SOMETHING else to wear. Tomorrow we're going to be getting our perishable stuff; stuff to put in the freezer so it will survive the trip. It looks like there will be a stop for some dental work (not mine PTL!) in Kitwe, and then home. While it's fun to be in Lusaka, eat out, shop, and be off station, I will be deeply grateful to be in my bed again.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Zambian Roadtrip

Traveling in Zambia is very different from traveling at home for several reasons. First, there is a lot more dust, and way more pot holes than we would consider acceptable. Secondly, unlike our highways which are littered with fast food places and clean bathrooms, Zambia has very little of both. Also, there while most of the drive is grass and tress, there are some amusing roadside things to see. Sorry, there was only one or two guys with rats so I didn't get a picture of those! And yes, the rats are live.

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Charcoal. After Kitwe you see lots and lots of these bags by the side of the highway. Sometimes you see guys with four or more of these loaded up on his bike--I'm not sure what would happen if he fell over! Outside Lusaka there is an area where there are a whole lot of charcoal merchants, and the ground all around them is black. No wonder they have deforestation issues...

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This bright purple church makes me smile every time we pass it--it's faded a bit in the sun, and with all the dust it's not quite it's glorious hue, but it's still not quite the color we might choose for our buildings!

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Right now the lovely jacaranda trees are in full swing--they remind me a bit of the glory of wisteria in the spring! In the midst of all the red dust, they are a welcome splash of color.

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On the way down from Kitwe, there is this dead tree surrounded by a fence that we've always wondered about, so this time Beth and I investigated. They claim it was planted two and a half years ago by Banda, but obviously this isn't the case! Gotta love Zambian heritage sites!

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A random bit of home just outside Lusaka--love the windmill!

When Beth gets back, I'll get the other roadside wares pictures from her to share. I had good success at the embassy yesterday, so it's just shopping and relaxing on the list now! School is coming up way too fast...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It only took me 2 years to get this!

Yesterday, at long last, with a minimum of hassle, I was given this-

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A tiny little rectangle of plastic that says that I can drive in this country till 2017, and that I was born 20 days earlier than I actually was. Praise the Lord for His goodness! Objective one of Lusaka trip--done!

This morning I put Beth and her cousin June on a bus to Livingstone, and then enjoyed a nice morning and afternoon of shopping and relaxing. I did some price checking, and found a few fun items including a cup to match the ones I already have! Originally I had bought 4, but one broke in transit, so I was thrilled to finally find one to re-complete my set!

Yesterday we went out to Sandy's Creations--a garden center, gift shop, and tea place just outside Lusaka. I'm going to be going back to get some plants, but yesterday we just enjoyed a cup of coffee and the plants. There were vegetable seedlings, trees and bushes, but not much in the way of flowers which was a bit disappointing. Sandy's has a lot of lovely fountains like this one

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in addition to other cool garden things. Outside Ndola there is a nice plant place, so I think we'll stop there as well.

I hope to do a 'So you want to take a road trip in Zambia?' post soon--I tried to get as many of the roadside wares as I could, but there was only one or two guys with rats tied to a stick, and only a few packed baskets of chickens. Maybe on the way back up!

Tomorrow I head to the US embassy to get my passport renewed--praying for things to go smoothly there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Here area few snapshots of my life from the last few months.

My wet puppy experiencing her first Sakeji rain. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Enjoying a visit to the cottage. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

For those of you who are wondering, this is what's left of the actual building- Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm almost completely over my bronchitis--praise the Lord! I'm going to be heading down to Lusaka on Saturday, so prayers for a safe trip would be appreciated. I'm looking forward to doing some shopping and relaxing as well as the business that makes it necessary for me to be down there. I'm hoping it will be a little cooler down there as well as it's been quite warm after our surprise rainy day. The break is going too fast!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Water, water everywhere...

Life continues to be interesting even with the children gone! I'm continuing to slowly regain strength and energy--these last few days I've felt like doing things and actually been able to accomplish them! I still have to have my 'hack up a lung' ceremony every time I arrive somewhere after walking farther than a few feet, but I am SO, SO much better than I was a week ago!

Two days ago it was Beth and Pam's birthday, so we had a lovely cookout to celebrate these two most excellent ladies. It was so nice to just sit with my fellow missionaries, enjoy a delicious barbecue, and just feel back in the land of the living! As much as I DON'T miss the Texas heat right now, there are some parts of the summer that I wish I could beam back for!

The big excitement of the barbecue day was the great flooding of the girl's dorm. Our washing machines have been on the fritz, and since I wanted to wash some fabric for a sewing project, I texted Beth to find out which was the best washer. I went up, put the cloth in, and returned home to work on other things while the washer cycled. Three hours later I returned and in the famous words of Madeline, I began to feel that "Something was not right!" Clue 1--the sound of running water. Clue 2--the squish of the carpet as I approached the washer. Clue 3--my fabric swimming in the overflowing washer which continued to gush water onto the floor. *sigh*

I located a jug and started to bail the washer into the laundry sink while scanning for the shut off valve. Luckily I knew what it looked like, but it took a few cycles of bailing and looking before I located it and shut it off. Now that the water was no longer pouring across the floor, I took stock of the situation. There was quite a bit in the storeroom, the back corner of the sitting room was submerged, and at some point there had been enough water that it had gone into the bathroom and found the drain there. After a hurried search I found a mop in the boys dorm, and a mop bucket with a wringer in Janette's closet, so I headed down to do battle. Feeling responsible for the mess, I intended to clean it up myself, but after the first tussle with the wringer in which I had a massive coughing fit and could barely get the thing closed, I realized that I was going to need help.

Even though it was her birthday, Beth cheerfully agreed to come help me, and between the two of us we we managed to get it all cleaned up in about an hour. Seven buckets of water later, we left the rest to air dry, and left the furniture of the sitting room scattered about in various dry spots. Good thing the floor is cement under the tiles! While that was NOT how I wanted to spend that afternoon, we managed to have fun mopping up, and laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Other than that, I've been enjoying quiet days of reading, sewing, and today I started some cleaning. As long as I don't do anything too strenuous I don't cough too much, and the house badly needs it's thrice annual overhaul! I'm still planning on going down to Lusaka later this month, so I'm trying to get better before the trip. The roads will be dusty this time of year, and I really would rather not cough all the way to Lusaka!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slowly being able to breath

After several days spent in bed, hobbling to do a small task slowly, and lots of pills and water, I'm finally seem to be over the 'hump,' and while I'm still only at about 70% efficiency, I'm so thankful after being closer to 40% for the last few days! I continue to be looked after by my fellow missionaries, and while this is SO not how I was anticipating spending the term break, I think in a way it was a good thing that I've had time to rest and just relax. I'm appreciating my increasing ability to do things before collapsing back in bed, and I'm also amazed at how the Lord has made it possible for me to make a completely different set of plans for getting my passport renewed. Even in the midst of bronchitis, God is good!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Plan B...

Due to my cold becoming bronchitis, I've decided (well, actually been told by several people!) that there is no way I'll be able to make the long drive down to the capital this weekend, so I'm working on organizing another trip a bit later. The Lord has been very good though--there were some visitors up here who were able to take Hannah down with them, and she was even able to find a ride down to Lusaka!

So, while my plans didn't work out, obviously God is still in control, and this is all for the best. I'm resting, drinking lots of fluids, and getting a few things done around the house as I feel able. I'm so thankful that I live on a station with lots of caring and concerned people--while getting sick always makes me miss my mother, I'm being well looked after. This is also giving me a great chance to indulge in all that reading I've been putting off because I was too busy. So, it's not all bad!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Term is OVER!

Just a quick post as I'm still not feeling well, but term ended successfully, God gave me the strengths to get through the end of term program without excessive coughing or collapsing, and I've been hanging out in bed trying to kick this nasty bug. I'm just so thankful that I can rest before heading down to town on Sunday, Lord willing. I need to go renew my passport and pick my my drivers license as well as giving two young ladies up here a lift down. I'm just so thankful for these weeks of rest when I can hopefully get caught up with my letters, things around the house, and prepare for next term. God is so good!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finals Week!

Well, today is the first day of our finals week, and the day when I plan to start on my report cards. I already have two final grades done, and after giving the literature exam today I hope to add that as well. Our report cards have undergone a streamlining process that has helped a lot with writing them, but it is still an undertaking that means several extra hours of work. I'm starting to think about and plan for my trip down to Lusaka at the end of term to get my passport renewed. I have until February, but because I need to get my new work permit before it runs out mid-January, and for that I need the new passport. Oh, the joys of keeping all your documents in two countries current! I've never been down to the embassy--should be interesting!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fires and Sports Day

I was realizing the other day that while the ‘greater burning of Zambia’ is something that I have lived with for the last three years, it’s actually a pretty foreign concept to most people back home, so it might do well to explain it a bit more.

About a month or two into the dry season, the Zambians start to set fire to the now rather dry bush and burn off vast swaths of land. There are several purposes for this. First of all, most of our bush is covered in a tough grass that can grow to be over 6 feet tall. As this dries it becomes a fire hazard itself, but to clear it would very time consuming. The fires are a way to clear the grass and make room for the next years growth. Before they burn, the Zambians harvest what grass they want for thatching, and then they start their (mostly!) controlled fires. A second reason for the fires is the ash makes cheap fertilizer for their garden plots and for the bush in general.

Thirdly, though most people are pretty careful with fire during the dry season, it would not be hard to end up with a pretty devastating wild fire. So people burn fire breaks around their property and along the roads to create a safety zone. Our fire break was finished up last week, but there is still plenty of burning going on around us.

Little bits of black ash are all over and in the air right now—at night you can often see the pink glow on the horizon of another fire. Though you might not see them, there is normally someone keeping some sort of tabs on the fire; it’s very rare to hear of one getting out of control and causing a lot of damage. One of our short termers was a volunteer fire-fighter, and took her awhile to get used to the crackling sound of bush burning!

Tuesday was our sports day, and Mr. T. kept us busy all day. I was the scorer again, so I had my little tent to set up with my laptop in. I also was the one passing out ribbons which sparked an interesting controversy over whether red of blue was supposed to be for first place. Apparently it depends on if you are American or Canadian… Fisher didn’t win this year, but the kids did a good job. I wore my new yellow shirt to support my team, but I must say that there is a reason that I’ve never had a yellow shirt all these years! Not the best color on me... Now that the last of the big events is over, life goes back to normal now-whatever that is!

Only three more weeks…

Bonus picture of my fast growing puppy! Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, June 25, 2012

More snippets.

*My puppy got her ear caught in my screen door when she tried to crash through it the other night--maybe that will teach her to have more manners! The yelping she let out made it sounds like she was being devoured by a lion or something. I guess you really can't blame her, but STILL! *I had a nice long, newsy chat with my mom last night. It was good to hear about what's going on in our homeschooling friends lives, and just to hear her voice. E-mail is a huge blessing, but nothing can compare to the sound of a loved voice. I also got to talk to my dad who is in Germany this weekend; technology is so crazy! He could call from a computer in Europe to my cell in the bush! *We had joint prayer meeting with Kalene over here yesterday, and there were THREE babies present! Ha--no lack of aunties who were quite happy to take them off their mother's hands for a while... *Those of us who were off this weekend went to Ikelenge for church--I hadn't been to 'town' for awhile, and was interested to see the continued improvement work going on there. Since we are a boma (official market town), we are getting more government officials and some effort is being put into upgrading the roads and some buildings. We are the African equivalent of Siberia for government officials--we are so far out in the bush that the people we get out here tend to be 'exiled' rather than called. We are praying that all these new people and all the changes going on in our community will be for the best, and that the local Christians will stand out in their honor of the Lord. *The fire break around the school is pretty much finished now, but there are still fires all around. The other night the ridge across the valley was on fire, and it looked so beautiful. The little bits are black ash are all over, and there is a constant undersmell of smoke. That's how you know you're home when you step off the plane here--it always smells like smoke!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Still alive...just very tired

Just a quick note to say that

A. I am alive!

B. I had a fairly nice half-term--I didn't get as much as I wanted to accomplish done, but it was a nice break from the classroom.

C. My puppy is growing very fast--she might be a bigger dog than anticipated!

D. It is very dry here. So dry, that I have had to resort to Vaseline for the first time to heal a big crack under one of my toes. Nasty stuff, but it gets the job done... I don't intend to go whole hog and start smearing it in my part though...

E. The end of term is racing up like a tidal wave--I'm trying to get all the way up on my board before it comes crashing down.

F. The kingfishers outside the hall make me happy.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Please Pray

This weekend has been tough as we deal with a tragedy in our missionary community. Saturday the Chitokoloki plane went down into the Zambezi river and the young pilot and his wife were killed. It sounds like the plane was having trouble--witnesses say they saw it swerving as the pilot was following the Zambezi from Chavuma to Chit. Apparently they went under a cable that is across the river for the pontoon ferry, and the tail of the plane got caught, flipping the plane backwards and smack into the river. The Zambezi is very deep there, and as it was about 4:30pm it was shortly before sunset so there wasn't much that could be done yesterday. Today they have been shooting into the river to keep the crocs away while they dive to recover the bodies--by late afternoon they had both J and K's bodies. They were in pretty good shape, so it doesn't look like they suffered. They are leaving behind two little girls aged 3 and 1. The funneral is on Tuesday, and they will be buried here in Zambia; arrangements are being made for the two girls. I did not know them personally--I just saw Jay in passing for the first time on Friday when he stopped over on his way to Lusaka with another missionary from Chit. The couple were out here short term, and they had been out since February. There are several people here who met Jay and have a connection with the people who are dealing with the tragedy right now--it's very sobering to be reminded that no one knows the time when they will be called to glory. It must be really hard for Gordon Hanna at Chit in particular as he is overseeing the recovery operations and no doubt feels somewhat responsible. It doesn't look likely that the plane will be salvageable. Thanks for your prayers--I'm sure the families back in North America also really appreciate them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I have to say that I’ve felt so blessed these last two days. While it’s a little hard getting back into the routine of school and figuring out how to juggle a very energetic puppy into my life, but it’s been good. Last term was so hard and so discouraging that I was almost afraid to start this term. However, I’ve had a great time with the kids so far, and my classroom is settling into its new routine with only minor issues, and I am just so thankful for these good days.

Hazel has made a lot of friends among the children—while they were sorry to hear about my other dog, Ceili, they have quickly taken that little ball of energy into their hearts and I think she’ll become a much loved part of station life. If only she would move out of the biting faze…

The mornings and evenings are growing cooler, and I’m starting to enjoy my collection of hand knit socks again. The blaze of a brushfire has lit the ridge behind us already, and those pesky little brown bits that fill the grass during dry season are starting to cover the unwary child, teacher, and dog! I love this time of year—I love the smell of burning, wrapping up in my wooly creations, and the clear blue skies.

Well, I have some planning to do this evening—we’re about to embark on ancient Egypt in history. That is a topic I’ve never been particularly enamored of, but I have to admit it’s growing on me… It’s fascinating to me that God used that country so many times to save His people. Hope the kids think so too!

Isn't Hazel a cutie?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family, I have been putting off the writing of this newsletter because there were several ongoing things in my life this year, and I was waiting to see what the outcome was so that I wouldn’t leave you with a cliff-hanger! While these past few months have been very difficult in many ways, I’ve had a chance to see God’s hand so vividly in my life—I’m both encouraged in my faith and rebuked for my worry and stressing over details. Just in the last week the Lord has solved three major worries in my life, once again proving that He cares for every area of my life. I’m looking forward to a new term of working with the children and sharing some of my renewed joy.

As some of you may know, one of the big challenges facing me this year was the tooth I broke within a week of returning to Zambia. A seemingly innocent sandwich has cost me three months of pain and two trips to town—odd how such a small thing can have such a big impact! Because the tooth was so badly broken, when I finally got to the dentist in early April she was horrified and put a dressing on it to see if the tooth could heal once the exposed nerve was covered up. Two weeks later I came down to the Copper Belt again and found out that my tooth had indeed healed, so I was able to just have a massive filling instead of a root canal and crown. Being freed from the pain and stress of trying to decide what to do with the tooth is such an answer to prayer—God is very good!

Another area where God showed His mighty hand was when I re-embarked on the project of getting my Zambian drivers license. While down in Lusaka in early April I spent several hours moving through the different offices at RTSA, and emerged with a temporary permit and a booking to take a road test the next morning. Thought initially chastised for ‘climbing the wheel’ I realized that I had a good chance of passing once my instructor bought a newspaper from a street vendor and proceeded to read for the rest of my test! On my second town trip this holiday Beth and I braved the bus down to Lusaka to see if my pass certificate was ready, and after some hassle because of a document I forgot back in Kitwe I walked out of the RTSA office the proud possessor of a Zambian license! This is another huge load off my mind—God is very good!

The third big problem was with my dog Ceili. Shortly after returning from my first town trip I noticed that she had a hugely swollen face. I got some antibiotics from a nurse friend which seemed to help, but when the swelling came down she developed a massive abscess under her jaw. I unfortunately had to leave for my second dental appointment in town, and while I was in Kitwe I got a call saying that the start of the trouble was definitely a snake bite, and my only two options were costly (and almost impossible to get) reconstructive surgery, or putting her down to end her agony. A local game farm owner was able to take care of it for me, and while I’m going to really miss that dog, I had a chance to adopt another puppy, Hazel, in Kitwe to help with station security and as a companion for me—God is very good!

In station news our dorm has a brand new roof of bright, shiny tin that the Canadian team put up for us in the last month. We’re so thankful for not only a better environment for the children, but also for the fellowship and encouragement the team provided for us. Getting to make new friends and renew old friendships is such a blessing to us; we love to share our station and our ministry with visitors!

Thanks again for all your loving prayers and support—as I was so vividly reminded this past month I can’t do anything on my own. Knowing that the saints back home are remembering me is such a blessing. May He find us faithful wherever He has called us to be,

Monday, April 30, 2012

Five happy things and one sad one

Thing 1--Soft ice cream in Chingola yesterday. Such a treat!

Things 2--Staying with a good friend who happens to be a fantastic Indian cook.

Thing 3--At my dentist visit today I found out that I DON'T have to have a root canal, and my tooth was able to be filled.

Thing 4--Beth and I found a place that made a great cup of coffee, and had cheap but delicious chicken burgers.

Things 5--I found a whole bunch of Agatha Christie novels and the Zambian social studies book I needed at a bookshop in Kitwe. I may have walked out of the store with a whole lot of them... My mystery kick continues with a vengeance!

Thing 6--My dog's swollen face that developed into a huge hole which three of us managed to fill full of powder and paint with tar (yes, the tar went everywhere!) turns out to have definitely have been a snake bite. My options were costly reconstructive surgery (which would be impossible to get), or putting her down. I chose to end her suffering. I'm gonna really miss that puppy!

God is good--all the time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life continues to be interesting...

The past week and a half since I came back from Lusaka have had some wonderful times of rest, but have also been very stressful for various things that are beyond my control and not to my liking! First of all, I'm trying to make some decisions about final treatment for my broken tooth. It looks like I'll have to spend a week on the Copper Belt again, and I'm trying to figure out details and how much trouble I'm willing to go to for this tooth. Secondly, my dog Ceili was apparently bitten by a snake, and her face has swollen up in a very alarming fashion--for awhile her head was about twice its normal size! As there isn't really a vet out here, I got some advice from an experienced nurse who has treated her own dogs, and this morning she is looking a little better. Yesterday she was obviously very uncomfortable and was pacing the backyard, whining, and rubbing her head on everything. How I wished I could explain to her that I'm doing all I can! There is hardly anyone on station right now--five of us single ladies and a family. It's been so nice to have some time to work on projects like card making, knitting, cleaning my house, and reading ahead for next term. It's also been a lot of fun planning our supper get-togethers. I very much enjoy having a chance to cook and bake and play with new recipes during the term break. Being a cook in the bush means that you have to be really creative with ingredients, and take the ever present altitude into account! Last night we had pizza, and I'm thinking there will be some enchiladas in the future... Dry season is starting to arrive--my favorite time of the year! Finally I have a good reason for being a knitter--my work is no longer just a hobby, but protects me from the cold! Mornings and evenings are all times when a shawl and pair of socks are beginning to be appreciated; the really cold months are June and July. I love the deep blue skies, the winds that keep the mornings fresh, and amazing cloud formations that continue to roll across the sky (but don't mean rain!). Soon the burning process will start, and that air will always have a tinge of smoke in it, and little bits of black ash will be everywhere. God is so wonderful--knowing that patterns and rhythms are dear to our human hearts, He set up several distinct rhythms of nature for us to enjoy depending on what part of the world we're in!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So... Plan E...

Well, there is some good news, and some bad news.

The good news is that I passed my drivers test!

The bad news is that because of their burocracy, I had to come back down to Lusaka after going up to Kitwe for a dentist appointment, and tomorrow I'm praying that I'll be able to finish the process. I'm so ready to be home--we were supposed to reach Sakeji tonight, but it's looking like it won't be till Saturday now. I think God is teaching me some patience through the Zed factor...

My dental appointment today was, shall we say, interesting. My broken tooth was bad--really bad, and when I saw the damage in the mirror my heart quailed a little. Then proceeded an x-ray, and an excruciatingly painful cleaning it out enough to dress so we can see how bad the damage is. My nerve was exposed (figured it must be!), and since she didn't numb me at first so she could see the extent of the damage, I was gripping the arm of the chair pretty hard. The worst part was that I have been so stressed over the last few days, that when I started crying over the pain, I couldn't stop! The dentist was very nice to me and once the aesthetic took over I was fine. Now I'm faced with the choice of saving the tooth at great personal inconvenience and cost, or just having it yanked out. Sometimes living so far out in the bush is a real hassle!

Well, tomorrow I face RTSA again to try and finish my license--it's a good thing that I serve a God of miracles!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Some of you may be familiar with the acronym, 'TIA,' or 'This is Africa.' There are so many things that fall under that category--people selling puppies while weaving hazardously through traffic, people crossing the road at any and all times, watching women in business suits and heels carrying their children on their back with a chetengi--all these things are TIA. The other day I experienced an ultimate in TIA while at the new Levy mall in Lusaka.

First of all, Levy is a TIA itself--it's in a rougher part of town than the other two malls, and when we first went there we went past the Indian fabric store and past the really sketchy looking bus station before arriving at the shinning white Levy center. Slum to posh in just a few meters! We were price checking at Pick n' Pay and a few other shops, and eventually I needed a bathroom break. After using the facilities I was in the process of exiting, when I was flagged over by the cleaning lady. "Ah, madame, you have not flushed!" she said. "Um, yes I did..." I replied in some surprise. "Ah, but no!" she countered, nothing daunted, and proceeded to point into a stall that I had not used. Deciding that arguing with the cleaning lady was not a terribly dignified occupation, I went in, looked, said, "This is definitely not mine, but I'll flush it anyway," and proceeded to do just that. Now, can you imagine being harassed by a cleaning lady in North America? Maybe it would be a good thing--people would be a little less likely to make annoying messes, but seriously? How long does it take to flush a toilet?

These last few days have been a whirl of shopping, and I'm beginning to think that today was two days since it sure feels like it! Tomorrow we are going to Emigration, possibly Road Traffic, maybe the American Embassy, possibly to see a lady about a kitten for Beth, and to pick up our perishables and bulky things (like dog and cat food). I'm getting to the point where I'm getting ready to be home and relaxing; since we left early the day after term ended, I haven't really stopped going yet. Oh well, at least I don't have marking to do!

After sorting through today's purchases I'm putting my feet up for a bit before crashing into bed. Tomorrow should be interesting--it's been a 5 day weekend and I have a feeling things could be a little hairy!

P.S. If you want to see some pictures of the dorm roof project, check out's Tim's blog at timmaryadventure

Friday, April 6, 2012


After the usual two days of very interesting road trip, we're safely in Lusaka with no major hassles. We planned to leave around 5, and we even got all 5 people from Sakeji all loaded up and the lady we were giving a ride in the car shortly after 5, but then we got stuck at the gates at the farm. We first went the shorter way and honked for the guy to come open the gate, but we couldn't rouse him and so we turned around and went to the Ikelenge gate. We had a key that fit the lock, but didn't turn, so we had to just sit there and watch the sunrise while waiting for 6am when it was supposed to be opened. One our workers coming through went and got the key for us, so finally, around 6:15 we were on our way again! We dropped the lady off in Solwezi, and then I attempted for the third time to get my Zambian drivers license.

We had to wait till 2pm since they have a 2 hour lunch break, and when the offices finally opened up again, I went down to the room where I knew the forms were, snagged one, filled it out, and then stood in line in the payment room. After more than an hour there, I reached the window I was told impatiently to go down to the room where I snagged the form from. I dutifully trooped down there, and after 15 minutes or so got my head in the door of that room. I was then send impatiently to wait outside the door of the manager, and after another 5-10 minutes I got in. Well, the long and the short of it is that they guy wasn't interested in giving me any breaks because I'm already a licensed driver, and if I had wanted to get my license there I would have had to spend at least a week coming in every day and jumping through all the hoops. *sigh* I think I'll try again here in Lusaka--it's personal now, and all my stubborn German genes are in fighting mode!

Today we 'slept in' to the grand hour of 7:15, and then started the second leg of our trip down. We had a late lunch here in Lusaka, and then came to the Flight House and unloaded and rested a bit before grabbing some supper. Most things were closed today, so tomorrow is going to be a big shopping day. It's a little frustrating being here on a holiday weekend since so many things will be closed, but since we are taking Beth's dad to the airport on Monday we kind of had no choice. Also, we were hoping to get license in Solwezi, so we had to leave early on Thursday. The upside is that the craft market is going over the long weekend, so we have more time to browse and enjoy.

Well, it's been a long day, and I'm in desperate need of a shower--the roads are already starting to get dusty even though the rains are just stopping. Happy Easter--He is risen indeed!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


So, apparently I need to post to prove that I'm a) still alive and b) still well. This term has been incredibly busy and challenging, and I've just not had the energy at the end the day to try and think of interesting things to share. However, here goes.

*Birthday part was last week with a "Nursery Rhymes" theme. I went as one of the three men in the tub--the candlestick maker as I happen to have some nice brass candlesticks. I enjoyed the hamburgers and watching the kids enjoy the cakes and the shows afterwards.

*I have been enjoying playing some badminton with Beth in the evenings--it's nice to move about a bit and see my skills improving. Yesterday her dad joined us as well (he's out here to help with the dorm roof) and we had a great time together.

*I have been furiously knitting socks--I have a pair that are a late Christmas gift nearing completion, and a pair I cast aside the first year I was here after the third re-knit of the cuff is half done and I'm eager to work on the second sock. I'm trying to stave off the sweater I feel wanting to happen...

*An unfortunate side effect of regrouping our grades, is that the kids are all under the misapprehension that they haven't left their old grade. When your class and teacher don't change, I can see how it would be harder to realize you are at the next level, but it does wear on a certain teacher's nerves just a bit. ; )

*We have some really great short termers this year who I am really enjoying getting to know. The fact that one is an American homeschooler is also pretty cool!

*We have been getting A LOT of rain. The kids are being pushed, grumbling, into the sun at every available opportunity as they might not get another chance for awhile!

Well, it's only a few more minutes till a staff meetings so I had better go. I'll try and post a little more frequently!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You can't make this stuff up...

Yesterday I was teaching junior music, and it wasn't going particularly well, when one of those things they don't prepare your for in teacher school occurred. A little kingfisher flew in the window and started wildly circling the hall much to the kids delight. As I tried (vainly) to regain some control of the situation, the bird in a frantic burst of energy flew into a wall and either killed itself or knocked itself out. One little first grade boy promptly ran over, picked it up, and brought it to me surrounded by a knot of chattering first and second graders. I grabbed his wrist, escorted him to the window, and firmly informed him that we do NOT pick up dead birds as I had him release it. Never a dull moment...

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I took a very long nap today, and I'm feeling much better. I've been so tired this week, and I think it's partially because I'm adjusting back to the high altitude, and partially because I'm a teacher.

The new students are doing better now at following school rules and behaving, but I'm finding the change from the end of the year to the beginning quite big. That's one reason why I left myself sleep so long today; I need all the energy I can get to teach right now.

It's been so rainy recently, and everything seems damp. I have a leak in my roof that I kind of knew about, but when I saw the mushroom growing in the corner of the ceiling I knew it was time to put it on the maintenance list!

I'm working on teaching the 3rd and 4th grade girls how to do spool knitting, and I can't wait till they all get their knitting out the bottom of their spools so it will be more secure. I spent a lot of time putting the knitting back on the pegs and pulling it it out and making them start again after tangles beyond the realm of reasonable rescue were made. I like working with that age group, but 15 little high needs girls can be quite the challenge sometimes. Good thing the 4th graders are pretty competent already!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 2012 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

As I start my third year at Sakeji Mission School, I’m amazed at how fast the time has gone and how much I’ve experienced and learned since I arrived in Zambia on January 2, 2010. It seems like just yesterday that I faced my very first classroom full of kids and was trying to learn all the names of our students. This year I’m teaching the same children I had last year, but different grades—I’m the 6th and 7th homeroom teacher now. There are more than a dozen new student to get to know, and two new short term staff members who have joined our team. There are lots of changes in many areas going on around the school, but the comforting constant in all this change is our risen Savior who is the reason that we are laboring and praying over these children.

Since the children started arriving on Tuesday morning, we have been enjoying the process of reconnecting with our returning students, and working through the challenges of getting to know our new pupils. This year the language barrier is not as pronounced as it was last year, but discipline has been an issue. Routines that run smoothly at the end of the year are complicated by young children who have never been asked to eat with silverware, finish their food, follow playground rules, and sit still for more than five minutes. I am reminded how important my interactions with the children outside the classroom are—I am becoming a parent to these little ones and helping them learn the skills that they will need in their adult lives. While asking a squirmy first grader for the twentieth time to take another bite makes me glad to ‘escape’ to the maturity of my upper school classroom, I’m thankful that I can be a part of the process that made my students into the people that they are today. Watching the older children pitch in and help the new ones learn the ropes is also encouraging—what I am teaching a first grader today will be passed on in a few years time. I never cease to marvel at the importance of my job, and that parents entrust their precious children to my care.

Our new dining hall is now in full use, and the kids have been enjoying the new space as well as quickly picking the new routines. The next major project that we will begin tackling later this term is re-roofing our dorm. The leaks have been bad for years, and it is not uncommon for kids to wake up and find mini lakes in their rooms. There are dozens of buckets dotting the rafters under known drips, but more keep starting every rainy season. Patching the roof is also a dubious process—walking on the roof to get to leaks often causes more! The Lord has provided the sheet metal for the roof, and a team from Canada that will be heading out around March to give a hand with the work. Once again God is proving to us that He can do the impossible!

This December I had the chance to go home for Christmas and reconnect with friends and family. It was a lovely time, but all too short as I tried to buy things for my classroom, replace clothes that have worn out (Africa is very hard on clothes!), and spend time with the many people who are an important part of my life. Highlights of my visit included Christmas with my immediate family and grandparents, going to my cousin’s wedding in Greenville, and getting to see relatives I hadn’t seen in several years. Many of my friends took the time to drop in for a visit, and of course I had a nice time being at my home assembly.
While it was lovely to be home, I’m excited to be back home in Zambia and facing a new year of serving at Sakeji Mission School. Thank you so much for all your prayers, gifts, and the time you gave me while I was in Texas. God is continually blessing me through the people He has brought into my life—you! May He find us faithful wherever we are,


Monday, January 9, 2012

The kids arrive tomorrow...

Today I:

*Got all my bulletin boards up and ready--I'm SO glad I brought some new boarder with me.

*Took care of some 'administrivia', picked out work books for different subjects, and organized most of the disaster that was my desk after last term.

*Broke off some more of the tooth that I broke while eating a sandwich on Sunday--it wasn't even toasted! The good news is that it doesn't hurt much at all; hopefully I can get it taken care of in April when I have to go to town for my work permit.

I'm looking forward to this new term with the kids, and getting to know our two new short termers. Prayers for good integration, wisdom for the teachers, and help with the many projects on station are appreciated. Prayers for the missionaries as they work through the new Zambian emigration laws would also be appreciated.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Random thoughts and impressions of an overseas trip

*Saying goodbye is really hard to do; saying goodbye to half your family and your 'core' family in the same day is even harder.

*My cousins married some great people--I just wish I had more time to get to know them!

*I managed to quell the temptation to vindictively kick the back of the relining guy's chair when he finally saw fit to return to it after a few hours of personles reclining on my knees. THINK people!

*London is really cool to fly over--I could recognize several landmarks including the Gherkin!

*Westminster Abbey was jam packed full of people which made it a less than ideal sight seeing trip, but SO worth it all the same.

*The sight of several hundred people all holding an audio guide to their ear and whipping around trying to see what's being described is rather amusing. Also, hearing arrogant Americans loudly explaining British history incorrectly is also amusing.

*I still love riding the Tube! Even though I almost fell asleep several times on the return journey...

*The flight from London to Jo-burg is REALLY LONG.

*Why do you panic and feel sure you'll forget what your luggage looks like when you're standing in front of a baggage carousel? Or maybe I'm the only person this happens to EVERY SINGLE TIME.

*I officially take back half of the stuff I said about my luggage being ghetto--Zambian luggage is even more disreputable than mine!

*Lusaka airport looks like it's in the middle of nowhere compared to London, Jo-burg and Atlanta.

*I'm so very glad to be home.

*I can't wait till it's late enough for me to go to bed and not have bad jet-lag issues.