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!!!