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.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Two cute sisters

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A very cute Levi!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

King of the plank

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Raincoats are COOL!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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-

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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...