Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stand and Sing of Zambia Proud and Free

Sorry for not posting last week, but the week itself was pretty hairy managing the national grade 7 exams and the special service on my weekend on that it just didn’t happen! Suffice it to say that a) I survived the week, b) God is very good, and c) I’m very glad it’s over!

The big event this week was the 50th anniversary celebrations of Zambian Independence. The special service we had on Sunday remembered the road to human freedom as well as being set truly free by the Son of God. On Thursday we had a whole school tea—students, staff and Zambian staff—to say thank you for all the work our staff does for us, and then yesterday, Independence day, was a holiday from school and packed full of activities.

We started out with breakfast, a flag raising and devotional, and then we took some special pictures of the kids dressed up in the colors of the Zambian flag. The school was decorated to make it extra nice with bunting and as many Zambian colored things as we could scrounge up on short notice.

Around 10am we started our Independence Swimming Gala, and I spent 2 hours tramping up and down the side of the pool getting kids to their races on time. I was starting to envy them the still rather cool water! Lunch was at the river, there was a brief break, and the it was back to the pool to finish off the races and to have some silly competitions. When King of the Plank was finished we brought the kids up to school, gave them some tea, and then started on a star orienteering activity. I had never done it before, and I had 6 juniors and a short termer to ‘help’ me find 7 points and collect letters, but I had a good time. I got pretty scratched up while bushwhacking to our first post behind the Ronald’s house (it’s a jungle out there!), but I enjoyed the challenge. The kids and I actually made a pretty good team—I was good at reading the Google Earth map and getting us to the location, and they were good at spotting the posts. No, I didn’t get any pictures as I was to busy scrambling through the bush and keeping some flagging children going! After that it was time for the bonfire. The men had assembled it the day before complete with lots of bamboo. Before it was lit it was this big,

And this is how high the flames got!

I think it gets a little bigger every year… We had a few fireworks as well—when one of the tubes fell over and shot fireworks at the girl’s dorm there was some real excitement as kids scattered out of the way, but no one was hurt thankfully. At the end of the day there was a school full of tired, but happy kids, and some very tired adults. The weather was beautiful (though very hot!), and a good time was had by all.

Parting shot: The flames of the bonfire were reflecting in the windows of the main sitting room—I just wish the picture did it more justice!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wow...there isn't anything big to report this week!

I can hardly believe it--it's been a fairly 'normal' week around here!

The kids came back from the Copper Belt very tired, but having had a great time and played well.

I had to break the news that the grade 7 exams start on Monday; no one paniced!

I marked a lot.

I taught a lot.

We had several days where it rained.

This amazing flower randomly came up in my garden-

Right now I'm enjoying a much needed weekend off; even though nothing 'big' happened, the weeks do take their toll! Prayers for me and for my grade 7's next week would be appreciated; the exams are not hard, just rather poorly written. Sometimes there isn't a right answer given! They cover material that is not in the Zambian curriculum, and contain questions like these:

"Which of these lines can be drawn as boarder lines?" They show a fine dashed line, a zig-zag line, a larger dashed line, and a solid line. Um...all of them?

"Which of the following is not part of the solar system?" A. The asteroids, B. The comets, C. the stars, D, The sun. ?!?!

And these are some put these sentences in the right order questions-

"One day Musonda decided to go and catch fish. When he arrived at the river, he was hit by a crocodile and died. His body was found by fishermen." --How is one hit by a crocodile I'd like to know?

Oh well, I have no worries about our kids passing, and while making up answer keys can be rather frustrating, it is good for a laugh. May next week be as 'boring!'

Friday, October 3, 2014

A birthday party, new chairs, and another broken arm

Well, the craziness that is this term continues! Today is the first day of our first half-term; the grade 7-9’s are down on the Copper Belt competing against some other private schools down there, and everyone else is enjoying the time out of the classroom and down at the river. I found out this morning that the national grade 7 exams start October 13, two weeks before I thought they would based on previous years scheduling, so when my kids come back they are going to have to be ready to dive right in and get to it! Then at tea time, one of the main kitchen staff wiped out on his motorcycle and broke his arm as well as banging himself up pretty good. So, he had to be taken to Kalene, and we’re working through adjusting. We are sure getting a battering this term, but God continues to be good. We are being driving to a place of greater need of Him than ever before, but is that such a bad thing?

On a more positive note, we had our Dr. Seuss birthday party last week—while I was struggling with recovering from a cold and a nasty, lingering stomach bug, the kids had a good time. There were Truffula trees and Seuss characters decorating our pillars,

And as usual the kids had a great time!

Also, the main sitting room was officially used for the first time this week—just in time for half term! Here are a few pictures of the finished product:

There are some odds and ends to finish off, a piano to move, and a few other details, but it’s so nice to have the space back! The new chairs are also a huge improvement—comfortable and affordable furniture is rather hard to come by out here.

Well, that’s all for now. Who knows what adventures next week will bring?