Friday, May 30, 2014

A birthday, some star gazing, and the first half-term

This week was my birthday, and my students and co-workers helped to make it a special day. Beth made me an ice cream cake, and I got to talk to some of my family. Several of the kids made me cards or gave me a note, and I had a particularly fun junior music class.

Last night after the half-term video I took my grade 6 and 7 boys out to do a bit of star gazing and to see some planets through the telescope. We looked at Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn as well as clearing up where the Southern Cross is the south...not the north! After one boy looked at Saturn, he said "Okay, now I'm going to stay here all night!" I also got a kick out of the way they freaked out at every little noise. Apparently I live in a terribly scary 'neighborhood'--the odd jackal and monitor lizard makes it intolerable! We'll see how the girls do when I take them out tonight...

This morning I got up early, made some hot chocolate, and took the kids out for early morning swim. Again, all the shrieking and screaming came from the boys! Here are the kids enjoying the fire in the chota.

Half-term is such a welcome break from routine--I'm looking forward to getting caught up on some marking and projects over half-term, as well as some sleep! The kids need a break from the classroom just as much as we do, and it's nice to get to interact with them in different ways as we play and relax a bit. Monday morning, on the other hand, will be a bit interesting!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week 4 already?

I really have very little to report about this week. It was a week!

1. It was rather busy
2. I did a lot of marking
3. I did a lot of teaching
4. I finally started to succumb to the nasty bug that has being going around the school ever since the kids came back. So far I just have a hint of a sore throat, though I was rather achey on the first day.
5. Some disappointing issues have come up among the senior students this week; we’re praying for wisdom in dealing with them.
6. It continues to get colder and colder as we move into dry season; handknit socks are a great asset this time of year!
7. I have a few more sprouts in my garden, but I forgot to take any pictures of them. So far I have peas, pumpkins, tomatoes, and I think some eggplant sprouting. No sign of the carrots yet…

Something really encouraging that happened this week was a less than 24 hour visit by Ken and Allan from CMML. They were in the country for Chitokiloki’s 100th anniversary, and they took the time to come up to Sakeji to talk to Janette and I, the only two American missionaries currently on station. I was so blessed by getting to visit with these guys, and to have them take time to seek me out and get to know me! I’ve never had a friend or family member come visit me out here, and that vast majority of our visitors are Canadians who at least half the staff knows in some capacity, so having people come to see me was such an encouragement. And, while I’m not super patriotic, it was good to have a shared nationality as a common denominator for a little while!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Shopping, garden, and the moon

It’s been another busy week here at Sakeji Mission School; I’ve had some great lessons and not had as much sleep as I would like, but so it goes. Last Saturday I took Sharese into Ikelenge with me because I needed to pick up some groceries. What can one buy in Ikelenge one might ask? Well, if you want flour, oil, Blue Band (a margarine-like substance), long life milk, and Chinese cabbage, you’re in luck! Buy the way, Chinese cabbage makes an acceptable spinach substitute.

My little garden is starting to show some signs of life—I’m so excited! The peas and pumpkin have sprouted so far, and I’m getting some extra tomatoes plants from the garden today. I look forward to enjoying some fresh veggies next term break!

Last night I set up the telescope for the kids so they could get a good look at the just past full moon. Later, I experimented with taking pictures through the eye piece, and got some nice results. I’ve had so much fun playing with that telescope—it’s amazing what lies just out of our sight in the sky!

Friday, May 9, 2014


My 6th grade students delighted me with a whole new take on 'fish and chips' last weekend!

Hazel shameless basking in some loving--she misses the kids so much when they're gone!

My new garden tucked in the bush beside my house. I can't wait till things start to sprout!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Term 2, 2014 is officially started!

It’s been rather busy around here over the last few days! Most of the kids arrived on Tuesday, and classes started on Wednesday. No matter how long the holiday, there is always a big push to get everything ready! This week has gone pretty well in the grade 6 & 7 classroom. I’ve had a blast researching for the astronomy unit we’re doing this term—every time I teach it I come away in awe of God’s handiwork.

This year the weather has been very odd, and the end(?) of rainy season is no exception. We thought the rains had finally ended about three weeks ago, but over the last week it’s clouded over a lot and we’ve had a few rains. Last night I woke up to rain, but it’s nice and sunny again this morning.

Not much else to report just now—I’m on duty this weekend, so I’ll be busy. To close off, here is a picture of the finished front of the dorm. The roofing and finishing are projects that are going to be started soon.

Also, thought it’s a small thing, I was thrilled to be able to find a pair of sneakers that fit while I was in town this holiday. It’s much easier to walk on the airstrip with proper shoes!