Monday, February 25, 2013

Little Things

*There were two vipers down by the admin in the last few days--thankfully no one was bitten! This did a prove a good chance to review snake procedure though... These kids like to run *to* snakes!

*My dog is bouncing again, so she's had a very quick recovery! The whole getting pills down her has been a little interesting, but I've found something she likes that I can hide them in now. She is on 'porch rest' for a week, so we've had some nice evening walks.

*We've been getting some good soaking rains--PtL! Hopefully this will be enough to fill up the river and the wells. A drought would be so devastating.

*I had a lovely talk with my dad last night--I'm getting so excited about seeing my family again!

Parting Shot: Isn't he a cutie? He looks just like his big brother...

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Birthday Party and Poor Puppy

Wednesday was our birthday party, and the theme was “The Wild West.” I got to have this cake on my table:

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Made by a fellow Texan at Kalene! See the yellow rose?

It was my poor puppies turn to be fixed today, so she’s currently being uncharacteristically still in her crate while the anesthetic wears off. I always feel so guilty those first few days after their ordeal, but I know it’s for the best. As much fun as puppies or kittens would have been, I just don’t have the time to deal with them! Plus, the vet is only here for a few weeks every few years!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sleep, blessed sleep!

My number one priority for this weekend was to SLEEP and SLEEP, and maybe just for some variety, SLEEP. I’ve been so tired these last few days, and as the week doesn’t lend itself to naps, I figured this was my chance to seize the day! Now, having slept I’m feeling a lot better about the world in general, and I have a regained sense of perspective.

Friday was the board meeting, so Sakeji was teaming with visitors from all over Zambia. The evening of board meeting is usually a devotional/recap of the meeting, and this time there was an amazing time of singing that spontaneously started. There is something so powerful about singing words you all know and believe in with a group of people from all over the world. Truly the body of Christ is an amazing thing!

My kids had their midterms this week, and I’m slowly marking my way through them. The 6th graders have a lot of learn about performing under pressure, but I keep telling myself that if the 7th graders can be where they are today—than I can bring even this class up to par!

Parting shot—three siblings and some seriously big hair! Depending on the girl, kids go anywhere from a day to a few weeks before they begin the exciting occupation of picking out their carefully braided hair and having their friends and older students give them a new ‘do.’

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Monday, February 11, 2013


One of my favorite parts of teaching is reading the often hilarious sentence errors that my students produce. Here is a vocabulary quiz sentence from a 7th grader in all its glory:

“As farmer brown brandished a calf I felt like I was brandished to.”

I’m not sure which is more alarming—the thought of a farmer brandishing a calf, knowing that if he was that strong he could brandish me too, or feeling so sympathetic to the calf that I joined in on the experience emotionally!

This weekend was much better than my last weekend on—no carrying kicking and screaming first graders bodily away from their parents, and it didn’t rain while I was on river duty! I actually got some knitting done at the river, and we made it up for prayers in good time. I also gave a first sock knitting lesson—yet another person successfully hooked! Beth has pegged me as a knitting missionary, and while I don’t carry yarn and needles around just in case I might make a convert, I have given more than my share of knitting lessons and tips!

We had some good rain the other day, but are still praying for more. With all the green around it’s hard to believe that we are way behind on our rainfall. The people here do not plan more than a day or two ahead, so if their crops failed or the wells ran dry, it would be devastating to this area. How easy it is to take something so vital for granted!

Parting shot—we have double trouble in grade two this year, and no, I can’t tell them apart yet!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

February Update

Dear Friends and Family, Term 1 of 2013 is well and truly started, and time is already flying! The first term of our school year is always a bit of a challenge—getting kids settled into a new grade, training our new students in our rules and expectations, and dealing with the inevitable crop of new challenges. Things have been going well this term, and while life is never boring, God has been very good! This week is our first half-term, so we have all been enjoying the more relaxed schedule. It is so important to have these times of rest and recreation with the kids—when you are a teacher/parent, these fun times are when you can really bond with the kids and help build good memories with your students. Activities over half-term included tubing down the very low river, swimming in our pool, early morning swim, a staff v. students soccer game, and lots of free time outside and at the river playground. Special meals and Bar One candy bars help make the holiday mood last all day. Staff also use half-term as a chance to get a bit of extra rest, and to catch up on marking and the other projects that tend to pile up during term.

It has been so encouraging to hear of several more children making a profession of faith since coming back to school. Now we pray that these young lives will go on and make a stand for Christ wherever they end up. It’s amazing to hear what passing comments or simple things sparked the thoughts that lead to accepting Christ, and is a good reminder that when you are being faithful to do His will, amazing things can happen! I am really working with my students in scripture class to focus on discipling and equipping them for the challenges they will face when they leave here. I have seen to many young people without a firm foundation in Christ drifting and living away from Him.

As I continue to make plans and prepare for my furlough, God has been doing some mighty works on my behalf. In provision beyond my needs, the opening of doors, and working out details, He is proving Himself faithful and overwhelmingly good. One thing that I am still praying about is for the Lord to raise someone up to help cover my duties while I’m away. God has never left us with too few people to make it through a term, and we are confidently waiting on Him. This year will be a bit challenging with many staff members going home for different parts of the year, but we look to Him to provide as He always has in the past.

A second small, but important prayer request is for the rains to keep coming until the water table has a chance to get back to normal. This rainy season we have not had as much rain as normal, and there is some concern for the local people who are mostly subsistence farmers eking out a living with their vegetable gardens and pineapple fields. Last year the rains stopped early, and we are praying that the Lord will keep sending enough water to make the wells fill up again and the much needed crops grow. We are not in serious trouble yet, but are concerned for the wellbeing of the villages in the area.

Thanks you all for your faithful prayers on my behalf and for this school—I treasure them more than you can know. Thank you for all your gifts and notes of encouragement, and may the Lord bless you all richly this year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Half -term

This Monday and Tuesday is Half-term at Sakeji school, and it's been really nice so far. Yesterday I took the seniors tubing down the river with Beth, and we managed to have a pretty good time even though the river is very low right now. My shoulders are sore today, but the bits where you could just relax and float instead of scraping yourself down the river on an inner tube were lovely. My crazy dog Hazel came tubing with us--she swam when it was too deep for her, and charged all over in the shallow bits. Whenever somebody screamed because of the cold water or a spider, she dashed over to make sure that they were alright. Silly dog! She even walked over the dam with the kids--I'm impressed!

Today it's raining, so the kids are enjoying quieter pursuits. I'm in my classroom working on some marking too bulky to take home with me. We have had a rather dry year so far, so rain is a much appreciated blessing. Later this afternoon I want to do some cleaning at the house, and I might even go wild and start a puzzle! I can't believe it's already February--the half-way point of the term is rushing up. Where does the time go?