Thursday, December 30, 2010

In Ireland

Well, I've done it. I finally managed (with my mom's help) to get packed at to the airport. With only a few baggage handling problems things went rather smoothly. THe flight was rather bumpy but i had nice seat mates and made some new friends, so over all not so bad. I arrived in London and was able to pick up my bags and get through customs with no problems. i was hoping to be able to have a meal and a shower before catching my next flight, but they decided to bump me on to an earlier flight to Dublin giving me only enough time to store my extra bags and grab a coffee and biscuit before getting on the next plane. Unfortunatly due to the fog and other bad weather, we sat on the plane for 30 mins waiting for our turn to take off. Other then that the 2nd flight was ok and for the 2nd time I was able to get my luggage and through customs with no trouble. This time i bought a tea and a croissant and enjoyed them well waiting for the bus. The bus ride was a bit rough as I had to force myself to stay awake so as not to miss my stop. The driver was nice enough to make sure I got off at the right stop though. My friends picked me up and took me out for lunch then home for an amazing bath, and relaxing in front of a movie. I went to bed around 9:30 as i just couldn't keep my eyes open a second more and had a wonderful 12 hours of sleep. Today we're off to the movies to see the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (most likly my last one in theatre for the next 2 years!).

Monday, December 27, 2010

All my bags are packed... well not quite yet

I can't believe I leave Canada tomorrow! December has gone by SO quickly but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with my family! It was so awesome to have the WHOLE family together for Christmas. Yesterday was sad, saying goodbye to my little nephews and sister, tomorrow will be just as sad as I say goodbye to the rest of my family; but at the same time I'm pretty excited!

Today I have to re-pack my suitcases. I attempted to pack them on my own yesterday, but missed half of the important stuff so my mom (the ultimate packer) is helping out today. :)

Please pray that my flights through Heathrow will all be ontime and not cancelled due to bad weather! My first flight is 6:30pm tomorrow from Toronto. If I can get to an internet cafe in Heathrow then I'll send out a quick "got here" message before I continue on. Otherwise the next message will be from Ireland (Lord willing).

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm sitting here inside listening to Christmas music, while the snow glints off the fresh layer of snow outside, yup starting to look like Christmas to me!
I only have a few more days of work (finished on Friday) and then I'm on holidays! Wahoo! I'm quite excited to be finished my job but a little sad that time is flying by so quickly! Next week I'll be packing up my bags and then travelling around saying good-bye to my friends in variousl city/towns. The week leading up to Christmas I'll be at my parent's house in Sudbury enjoying time with family. I can't wait for CHristmas Day, not just for the presents, but because my WHOLE family will be in one house at the SAME time! This only happens about once a year and as I'll be gone for the next 2 years, who know when it'll happen again.

I probably won't be on here again before I leave, SO I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope everyone is able to spend some time with their friends and/or loved ones remembering the true Reason for the season, please don't forget Christ this Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010

life continues on...

My mom told me I'm past due for an update, to which I replied, "about what?" Things have been pretty "normal" for the past few weeks, just doing the usual day-to-day stuff of work etc. I have purchased my plane tickets now, so there's no backing out now! I've been asked several times "when are you leaving?" it's beginning to make me wonder why people seem so eager to have me go! ANyhow, to answer the question: I fly from Toronto on Dec 28th, 2010. I will be visiting friends in Ireland for about a week and then continue on to Zambia on Jan 5th. Originally I wasn't going to be able to get to Sakeji until Jan 8th, b/c of the internal flight bookings. However, I am happy (and very thankful) that I will now be arriving at Sakeji the same day I arrive in Lusaka (Jan 6th) This gives me about 6 days to get my classroom and house in order before school begins.

I have just recently been put in touch with a part timer (Rachel Buckley) who will be working at Sakeji for 2 terms (if all works out). Rachel and I are going to be on the same flights into Zambia and Sakeji so it will be nice to have someone to talk to on the planes. This is Rachel's first time to Zambia, so I'm sure she'd appreciate your prayers! They are still working to get her a work permit so she can stay the full 2 terms.

This past weekend I started going through more of my "stuff". I am still in awe as to how much junk I've accumulated in my life! I'm starting to pack up my "summer" (aka Africa) clothes as it seems I won't be needing them here anymore. (I'm really looking forward to warm weather again!)It's hard to decide now much I'll need. Although the clothes are no longer "washed" on the rocks at the river; it seems they still wear out a lot faster then here in Canada (I'm not sure why this is). Do I pack everything now or have my parents send some out in April on the next container so it'll be like getting a whole new wardrobe then? Hmm... these the the "big" descisions i'm making these days. :P Not quite as "life changing" as some of the other descisions I've made in the past 4 months, but sadly just as annoying.

Oh, the other thing people have been asking me about is funding for my trip. I'll try and explain. My trip is what some would consider "volunteer" although I am teaching full time I am not getting paid, in fact I actually have to pay room and board to be there (this keeps tuition costs down, making it the schooling available to more children). My church is commending me and has agreed to pay a portion of my costs, so some of my funds will come from them. Where does the rest come from? Donors. I don't do "fundraising". I am associated with MSC Canada ( What does this mean? Basically, if someone wants to make a donation to me for my missions trip they can send it to MSC who will directly deposit it into my bank account (if you tell them it's designated for me). As they are a registered Canadian charity, they can then send you a tax receipt for your donation. Check out their site for a full explanation. Donations can be made by cash/check/money order or they now have a online (PayPal) option. All that being said, I don't want anyone to think this is a plea for money, just trying to answer questions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Boxes are gone!

Yay! the boxes are all out of the house and in the warehouse in Toronto. My grandma is happy to have her livingroom back and I'm glad it's all over! I guess that's not entirely true, I have a few more items to be shipped at a later date, but I don't have to worry about that as I'll be in Zambia by then :). All i have to do is clearly label the stuff and hope my parents can follow directions ;).

I had a great extra-long weekend (Fri - Mon) with my sister and her family. I'm trying to spend as much time with my family as I can, storing up memories for while I'm away. It will be hard being away from them for so long (especially my nephews!) but I'm hoping they can come out to visit me at Sakeji.

Not much else to report on for right now. For those who know my brother CHris, I'd like to ask you to pray for him and his wife Laura, as they are "in limbo" waiting for his American work visa to come through. Please pray this will come through quickly and things (finding an apartment/moving) will proceed smoothly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

green to go!

So it is official now. I've got my green light to go, I'm in the 2011 Missionary Handbook and I'm working on getting my plane tickets! The Lord is good! :) also thanks to all who prayed and send encouraging notes etc.

I am still working on packing up the final things to send on the container, but that's nearly done. Friday I take it all down to Toronto and send it on it's merry way (hopefully I'll see it all again in 6 mths!). Once that is done I think I'll breathe a big sigh of relief. Thankfully I only have to do a big shipment like this once, it really does a number on my nerves and bank account!

Friday, October 8, 2010

the latest update

Well, we survived the 'purge and pack' stage, my Grandma's livingroom is now piled high in boxes, waiting to be shipped down to the ACCTS container next week. Although not everything is done, we got through the sorting of all my 'stuff' (who knew you could accumulate so much in 30 years!)which was the hardest part of the process.
For those who read my blog and are looking for things to pray about I have two items. The first is a bit hard to write as I can't give you all the details, but basically it boils down to, things aren't fully "official" afterall as far as my returning to Sakeji goes. I just found out there are a few more things that need to be said/done first. So your prayers that all the kinks get worked out soon would be great as I don't want to ship all my stuff and then find out I'm not going.
Secondly, I'm not sure if i've mentioned this in my blogs before, but Sakeji has a rather large, ongoing project going on in the building of a new diningroom. They have set the project in stages for financial reasons, building as they are financially able. I would ask for your prayers that these financial needs would be met and our new dining room would be build in a timely fashion.

THanks again for following this and to all you Canadians across the globe, have a Happy THanksgiving!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


So i can now tell the world (or the small group of people that read my blog) that (Lord willing of course) I will be returning to Sakeji School in January! My church has decided to re-commend me to serving the Lord in Zambia for 2 more years. I will (as far as I know)be doing pretty much the same as I was before; teaching grade 1&2 and filling in where needed on the many other tasks and supervision duties that happen at a boarding school. So my next step... getting all the paperwork filled out. :( i'm not a fan of paperwork, but i guess its a nescessary evil. Thankfully I already have my work permit, which will be good for most of the 2 years, and is much easier to renew than it is to obtain in the first place! Now i have to focuss on things like health coverage (OHIP), and what the Canadian government expects from me.

of course on top of that i now have to sort through all the stuff i've gathered in throughout my life and decide if its nescessary to keep it in storage, send it to zambia or just toss it. being the grand daughter of an infamous packrat, i know i have tendencies to be one myself, so this could get messy! this week coming up i'll be taking some time off work to do this in order to get the boxes for zambia packed up in time to catch the next container. to answer your question (i know you're thinking it) if i'm leaving in january, why am i sending boxes now? well, the boxes will leave ontario in late oct/early nov. but they won't actually get to Sakeji school until late Jan/early Feb (if i'm lucky). my parents have graciously agreed to come and help with undertaking this task for which i'm very thankful especially as they've been through this purge'n'pack process themselves.

well, must be off, heading down to the dungeon (basement) to begin the sorting...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nervous tension is starting to get to me

I'm not sure if anyone is following this now that i'm back home, but I tho't i'd put up a quick post (i'm kinda bored at work).

I've now fully adjusted (i think) to being back in Canada, but it's still hard to come to grips with. i still have the feeling that any day now i should be heading back to Zambia.

Tomorrow I'll be giving my first ever 'missionary report' to my church which has my stomach all in knots just thinking about it. I'm not a public speaker at all and get extremely nervous beign up in front of people, so despite at the 'helpful hints' people have been giving me, I can't wait for it to be all over! That being said, if you want to come and listen and see the pics etc it's at Arkell Road Bible Chapel at 7:30pm tomorrow (Tues Sept 14th). For those in the 'north'. I'll be heading up to Sudbury this coming weekend and will be giving a report to the Ladies Missionary Group at Sudbury Bible Fellowship on Tues. Sept 21st. Sorry guys, only ladies welcome at that one. ;)

After my report tomorrow I'll be speaking with my elders about my possibly return to Sakeji School next year. Your prayers would be appreciated for this as well. I will let you all know the final outcome as soon as I can.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back 'home'

I've been back in Canada for a few days now and am beginning to re-adjust. being with my family again is great, i'm especially loving getting to know my little nephews! the flight home was really long, simply because i was anxious to see my sister and nephews. i nearly had a bit of trouble at customs and they almost did a bag search (which would have taken forever as i had 3 large bags and a carry on!) but praise the Lord the guy just asked me a lot of questions and sent me on my way. after a quick meal in Toronto (yay for McDonalds!) we got in the car and headed up to Sudbury. It was a very long trip as we made some stops on the way and also because i was pretty jet-lagged! we arrived at my parents place at about midnight, but didn't get to bed till well after 1:30am!

since then i've been trying to get my body back into the right time zone, catching up on laundry and babysitting my nephews. sadly i go back to work on monday so the 'vacation' is over. :(

Monday, August 9, 2010

Finally going home

I was too busy having fun in Ireland to write but tonight is my last night in the UK so i thought I'd type up a quick note. As I say in most of my blogs, i can't believe how quickly time is flying by! Tomorrow at noon i get on a plane to go back to Canada. Where did the last 7.5 months go??? That being said i'm SO excited about going home. i've really missed my family and friends and can't wait to see my little nephews at the airport tomorrow!

my time here in the UK and Ireland has been an amazing time of fun and relaxation which was greatly needed after the last stressful month of school. My time in Ireland was far too short and i found it hard to leave my 'lovely Irish family' as i am going to call the Boyne family from now on. It was great getting re-acquinted with them all, having fun with the girls and helping them get ready for the kids clubs and other summer events that the church is putting on. it was so nice to be able to fellowship with their church again and talk to old friends. i hope it will not be another 4 years before i see them again!

well, i should get to bed as i have an early morning and a very long day tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


just a quick one as i only have 5 mins left!

had a great time in england with my 'cousins' steve, emma and their kids. it was nice to just relax, read, watch tv as well as the touring stuff.

this morning we got up early as their family was heading on vacation and i had a flight to dublin to catch. we were a little late in leaving but should have still been able to get to the airport on time for me to catch my flight. however, the traffic fates took control and there were several accidents backing up the 'motorway'. grr. so long story short i missed my flight. in fact i made it to the check-in pretty much right at the time the flight took off. sigh... thankfully we emma realized this was goign to happen and graciously gave me the cash to book myself on the next flight. the next flight was over crowded and was nearly 1/2 hr late getting of the ground but we eventually landed safely in dublin. now i'm here at the internet cafe waiting for the next buss... times up!
more later!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All good things must come to an end...

My time here in Zambia has sadly come to an end. I fly out tomorrow at 7am heading for England, Ireland for a short time, and then on to Canada. It has been an amazing time and i honestly don't fully comprehend that i'm leaving yet. It feels more like i'm just going on a short vacation. I'm sure it will all hit me when i arrive back in canada rather then back in Zambia. I'm not sure what all to write about today.

The reports cards got finished and printed out on time (no staying up till all hours of the night this time!), i passed off the duties of co-directing the program and the children did quite well in their last practice. I am thinking of them know as they will be doing their final preformance in an hour or so's time. I'm sure they will all do marvelously and their parents will think they are wonderful. Tuesday was quite uneventful for me as the other staff watched my students so i was able to finish up the last minute cleaning of the classroom and packing etc. Then after lunch i was in the cessna and on my way to Lusaka. The flight seemed really long, mainly because i had stupidly packed my book and sweater in my bag and was bored and freezing cold the whole time! Once arriving in Lusaka, Michelle (another short termer who is flying out tomorrow) and I did a bit of shopping, had a scrumptious chicken and chips dinner and then headed to the flight house for a movie and munchies. Quite a great night. Didn't sleep so great as the dogs in this area feel it is their duty to bark from the time the sun goes down til the sun comes up at which time the roosters take over. sigh... hopefully i'll get more sleep tonight. We 'slept in' this morning to about 8:30 then got up and had breakfast. Our taxi came at 9:30 to take us out for more shopping. THe shopping we did today was in the market (similar to the old blue dukas of Nairobi) and the cultural village where we were able to look at and bargain for souvenirs and gifts. The stuff is all quite amazing, but the sellers are rather pushy so you don't really get time to take it all in. i enjoyed myself though and was able to limit myself to a few items. (i'm learning to say 'no thank you' firmly enough that they understand i mean it!).
so now i'm back at the flight house and exausted from a day of shopping. i think i'll find a good book and curl up for a few hours of reading. oh the life of luxury :D

Thursday, July 15, 2010

taking a short break...

This week is really flying by! I can't believe it's Thursday night already! Thankfully things are somehow managing to get done (are there such things are teacher's elves?) I've got the marks into the report cards now and am currently taking a short break in writing the comments. I suppose it's a bit ironic that the comments I'm taking a break from were something about 'being mindful not to let themselves get distracted from their work' and yet here I am doing that very thing. :S the other comment that comes up rather frequently is '(s)he needs to apply themselves a little more' which I think I learned from reading my report cards however many years ago!
so tomorrow is technically my 'afternoon off' but i'm sure i will spend it either infront of this computer finishing the report cards i'm currently neglecting or cutting out sheep ears for the end of term program (or packing). The end of term program is actually coming along pretty well. We had a whole school practice today to run through the whole thing and the kids did fairly well, although there were some lines/solos forgotten. We've been riding them hard this week so we've decided to give them (and ourselves) a break this weekend and then resume with the practices Monday and Tuesday (which will be dress rehearsels). I've appointed one of the senior boys as a 'Student Director' which he has taken quite seriously and is really getting into. Today he came up to me with some 'suggestions' for some of the actors and stage props etc. and they were basically along the lines of what i was thinking,so i'm quite impressed with him. Miss Fuller is technically taking my place as director as i won't be here for the final presentation, but i think i'll let Maiinga direct it on Monday and see how things go.

well, i think i've wasted enough time. back to work. :(

"5 sleeps!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Biting nails and crunching numbers... it's report card time!

AHHH! it's that time again! Up at the crack of dawn this morning (literally) Lina and i made our way back to Sakeji from the Garden Get-a-way at Kelene. It was a nice relatively quite (except the revelers after the local soccer game saturday night)relaxing weekend off station, i come back fully rejuvenated but not prepared for this week! I spent some time on my little 'holiday' crunching numbers so i have a vague idea of what the kids grades will be. now i have to do some further crunching to get the correct numbers for the correct spaces. our report cards (which i may have mentioned last term) are a bit too thourough. for example the math grade is broken down into 11 marks, that's just math. then there's all the other subjects as well. so it takes FOREVER to finish. My goal is to have the numbers into the computer by tonight (tomorrow aft. at the latest) so i can start on the comments, which takes just as long to enter. unfortunately i have to be creative enough to think of differnt comments for each subject for each child. oh, and they have to be 'nice'.

also, in just over a week we have to pull together the end of term program, which at this point doesn't seem all that possible! however, we have a lot of practice time between now and wednesday night! i have finally found someone willing (after a bit of arm twisting) to take over my spot as drama director so that Lina doesn't pull her hair out trying to play the piano, and direct both the music and the drama! so that's one less thing to worry about. i now have some vague ideas for costumes and will be working on them (like crazy!) this week.

thankfully teaching this week can be a little more relaxed so although we're still learning, we're gonna be doing a lot more fun activities this week! the students of course are pretty pumped about this! :)

i have seriously considered hiring someone to pack my bags for me, but then i'd still have to sort what was going where, so there's really no point in that. i'm sure i'll be up all night packing next monday! who needs sleep right? :S

well, i gotta keep this short as i have to run off and prepare for art class. anyone got any brilliant ideas???

7.5 days till lift off. (from sakeji)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sports Day

First of all i'd like to say a huge overdue thankyou to Mr. Paton and all the teachers and parents who organized and ran the many track and field days at Crestwicke while i was there! Until yesterday i had no idea how much work and energy it actually took!!

Yesterday was Sports Day at Sakeji, a.k.a track and field day. I was quite willing to help the kids practice the events leading up to the day and i signed up to do various duties throughout the day and i was quite content with that. Then Sunday night Mrs. Ronald approached me and asked if I would be willing to oversee Sports Day as Mr. Ronald was back in bed sick. Sigh. My first respose was to shout "no!" but instead i just hummed and hawed a bit before relenting. I was able to talk Michelle into helping me. We looked at the schedules from the previous years and threw together a rough schedule of events the rest was done by 'winging' it.

The students were so wound up i was worried we'd never get through the day! they couldn't wait to get the day started! the students are split up into 4 teams and every ribbon they win is put towards points for their team. this encourages the kids to cheer on the rest of their team mates. They are surprisingly good at encouraging those who don't place as well. it's kinda cool to see them pull together as a team.

the day started with a long distance endurance race. we made it a little shorter then it has been in past years as they didn't have as much training this year. once the first ribbons were given out the excitement was over the top! they couldn't wait to get to the next event to prove themselves! we quite literally raced through the races. i was shocked things went so smoothly but the kids knew what to do and were often ready at the starting line before they were even called.

Over all the day seemed to go fairly well, with very few injuries. I managed to get a sunburn on my face and scratch my back on a rusty fence (thankfully i've had my tetnis shots) but made it through the day in one piece. There were the usual cuts and scrapes but the most serious injury we had was a boy who jumped the high jump and missed the mat, landing quite hard on the ground. THe ironic thing is that this is the first year they've had a high jump mat to land on. normally they land in a sand pit and this is the first year (that anyone can remember) that we had an injury. We were a little concerned that he might have a concussion as he hit his head quite hard, but he seems to have made it through ok.

We were very short staffed as not only was Mr. Ronald sick, but a few others staff members were as well. Thankfully there were lots of 'volunteers' around (people from the farm, and Kalene) so we made good use of them! we pulled together and got it all done. :)

By the end of the day i was exhausted! I felt like i'd been competing in the events as well! thankfully i didn't have any duties after supper and was able to go home and crash. i slept quite well last night for the first time in a few weeks!

today, although still feeling the effects of the sunburn i'm surprisingly well rested and ready to take on the rest of the week!

only 10 more days of classes!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Oops! Falling behind in my updates, sorry about that. The closer we get to end of term the less time i have. Yesterday I finally got caught up in some of my marking but there is still SO much to do! where does it all come from??? It got rather piled up this week because i was busy with other things instead. Tuesday night we had a long staff meeting, Wednesday I was in the dorm, and Thurday we had a staff/board meeting. Having the board memebers on station was nice (they had 2 days of meetings) but it always gets the kids riled up to have 'visitors' and having so many at one time is crazy! It was nice to meet some of the board members, some of whom I haven't seen for 15 years.
Also this week I have 'opened Pandora's box' by starting a reading competition in my classroom. The children must read to a staff member or senior student and have them sign a paper stating that the book was read to them. I'm trying to encourage them to read more. The girls have gone gung-ho with this and are pestering the staff every spare minute they have "can i read to you!" It's hard to say no when they're so excited about reading. The senior girls have been very patient with them and many of them will listen to the younger girls read. It's great to see the different ages interacting in a positive way.
The end of term program is slowly beginning to fall into place. Lina and i are worried that we're not going to get it all together in time! There are so many solos to co-ordinate as well as costumes to figure out and make, backdrops, etc. Hopefully we can pull in some more staff support on this otherwise i think we're in for nervous breakdowns! only 4 practice days left before dress rehearsle. yikes!
Well, i should get off the computer and get my classroom set up for craft time. Today we're taking the 'one stroke' painting techniques we have been practicing for 3 weeks and applying them to wood. No redos now! this could be an interesting class :S

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekend Getaway

What a weekend! Friday morning i was ready for a breakdown, my students were not behaving or listening or obeying and i was ready to send them all to the headmasters office! Thankfully i had friday afternoon off, and i baked and baked to get rid of my frustration. We now have a house full of baked goods. :P God obviously knew i needed a break because friday at noon Margie Young (grade 3&4 teacher) asked if i wanted to join herself and 2 other staff members on a weekend getaway. of course i grabbed at the offer! Bruce and Marilyn Poidevin (Bruce is a CMML pilot at Kalene) have just opened an awesome getaway for missionaries (or whoever can wants to pay to stay there). It's very reasonably priced and is completley private. 4 of us jumped in the truck Saturday after lunch (we still had to teach morning classes on Saturday) and headed out for a day and 1/2 of relaxation and QUIET! It was exactly what we needed. We spent our time soaking up the sun, reading, shopping at the local market, hiking in search of the 'slave caves', swimming in the chlorinated pool (a treat for us), playing games, watching movies and overall just relaxing. We left early (5:30am) Monday morning in order to make it back to school in time for breakfast. Although I was a little tired from the late night and early morning, i felt renewed and ready to take on the world... or at least the students at Sakeji! Yesterday and today is our 1/2 term, so although it's two days of no classes, we still have to organize events to keep the students occupied. but the teachers still get a break as we're not all needed all the time, we take turns supervising different activities. right now the kids are bike riding or in hte computer lab (depending on their age) but in about 20 minutes i'm going to get a soccer game going. the kids know how much i love soccer, so they get me every time, begging me to get a game going. I managed to resist yesterday, but i gave in today. it should be quite fun as long as the students play by the rules, they have 'sakeji rules' here which makes the game a 'free-for-all' which i can't stand! so today the rules will be, 'i'm the ref and what i say goes.' if they whine, they'll be doing laps. ya, i'm that mean. :)

tomorrow we go back to the regular school day routine (or at least we try!). we now have 5 weeks left of the term. i can't believe that's it! yesterday i was working on sorting out my flights sorted out, still trying to iron out the details. but if all works out as planned i should be landing in canada on August 10th. to those of you in GB reading this, i'll be arriving in London on July 22nd. other then that, no firm plans yet. well, i must go get the field set up. more later...

Friday, June 11, 2010

birthday party

(written Thurs. June 10/10)

Well i managed to survive yesterday. I think it was my longest day yet! I started 'on duty' at the usual 7am but wasn't 'off duty' until 11:30pm. This morning i must confess i'm struggling to stay awake so this blog may not be comprehensible. i'm quite happy that the birthday party is over and seemed to go well. Lina and i had about an hour and 1/2 to get the dining room ready with the artwork the children had made, the backdrop and last minute touches on our costumes. We only had time to read through our scripts once, so things weren't as smooth as they should have been but it wasn't any worse then other years/terms. If anyone has ever seen a VeggieTales movie, we planned out the 'show' to follow along in the same mannor as the movies. starting with the theme song at the beginning,then the 'letter', story, silly songs, Quirty the computer and even the ending song that Bob hates so much. After birthday party Lina and I still had no time to rest as we are now in charge of the girl's dorms on wednesday nights so we had to make sure 32 girls had brushed their teeth, washed their faces, changed into pj's and were tucked into bed with hugs, kisses and a song. the dorm mom had the night off and went visiting some friends so we had to stay in the dorm until she returned. we popped in a video and 'vegged' on the couch till she got home. another long day today, but not nearly as long as yesterday, i was originally going to begin the end of term program practices today, but i think they can wait one more week!

by the way, my solution to the costume party was using a large piece of red cloth pinned onto a mosquito net ring. it wasn't perfect but it sufficed.

the 'veggie tales' counter back drop (we put the canisters on too high so they appear to be floating)

my Quirty the computer cake (someone else added the 'mouse')

Bob and Larry (not the best pic, but the only good one i have on my camera)

Room one 'asleep' (grades 1/2 girls)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

help i need ideas!

Birthday party is just around the corner and i'm not ready yet! I just spent the last 45 minutes making a "Quirty the computer" cake. actually the 'veggie' cakes all look pretty great. i'll have to take some pictures of them tomorrow... if i find the time. Lina and i previewed some rather... interesting skits today. some of them had the right idea but they were too long, others had no idea of what they were doing... it should be interesting tomorrow to see how they end up. the thing that has me most worried is a costume. i'm supposed to play 'Bob the tomato' but i'm not exactly sure how to make that costume. i've had some scattered ideas and even attempted to die a mosquito net red last night, it turned a very nice shade of pink... hmmm. now what? any ideas? i have about 26 hours to come up with something. :S if you get some brilliant ideas let me know!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the mend...

So my cold seems to be finally coming to an end. My voice has been located again (for the most part) and life continues on.

I was just writing out a 'to do' list for myself and i suddenly realized i might have bitten off more then i can chew! i have volunteered myself (and lina) to be the MC's at this terms birthday party which means we have to plan and organize pretty much the whole thing, this includes, songs, skits, games etc. basically an hour or so of entertainment. The theme this term is VeggieTales so we've got TONS of ideas and stuff it's just getting it all organized. Lina will be Larry and I'm Bob. This is not because of our personalities (or it would probably be the other way around) but more because she's tall and i'm short. We suddenly realized this weekend, that birthday party is scheduled for June 9th... that gives us just 8 more days. THis wouldn't be so bad except that we are also both incharge of directing the end of school program, Lina will be doing the music and i'm in charge of the acting end of a musical called "We Like Sheep". I think it will be pretty cute. Lina's already got the kids learning the songs and we've auditioned and chosen the kids for the speaking/acting parts. now i just have to find the time to get the kids organized and start learning lines etc. this is definatly going to be a busy term! but it's bound to be a lot of fun. my only regret is that i won't be here the final night when the preformance will be going on as i'll be in lusaka waiting for my flight to London. :(

Thursday, May 27, 2010

who stole my voice?

so, the stuffy nose has progressed into a congested chest. lovely. this means that my asthma has been acting up as well. of top of that word around here is that 'a monster ate my voice and left me with his' which is kind of what it sounds like. well, it did until this morning. today i have a sqeaky, whispery type voice; not at all condusive to teaching grade 1 and 2 children! praise the Lord tomorrow is Friday and i only have 1/2 a day! now to make it through today.

Happy Birthday Lina!! i'll try and keep my germs to myself today! ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

toes are useful for many things...

Most of the craziness has passed and things are finally settling into a regular routine. of course because i dared to take a breather i ended up with a throat infection. But i dutifully dosed up on Oil of Oregano and ibuprofen and this morning woke up with only a stuffy nose, which i'm pretty much used to now.

After a couple of paddles and many marches last week, most of the children seem to be remembering the rules and are beginning to buckle down and get their work done. I was beginning to wonder if what would ever happen! There have definatly been some good moments though. I'll share a cute little story that took place this morning in math class. We begin each math class with a "Mad Minute" this means the children are given a sheet of paper with 16 (as they're only in grade 1 and 2) addition questions on it. they have just one minute to answer as many as they can but the most important thing is accuracy. so this morning i looked over and see my youngest grade 1 with his shoe off and his foot on his desk. this is not too unusual for him as he is quite the wiggler and is often sitting in strange positions. however i asked, "what are you doing" to which he innocently replied. "counting!" the question he was stuck on was 9+9 and he had run out of fingers! :) although i had joked with past students about doing this before, i have to admit that this is the first time i've actually seen a student count with their fingers AND toes. :) never a dull moment!

well, the mound of marking is still hanging around so i better get out the red pen and get on it!

just want to add a quick thank you to those who faithfully email me. i AM endeavering to get caught up with replies, i think i finished most of the ones from the first week of MAy. i WILL get to you i promise!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

a little bit of whining...

Wow, only a week has past and yet it seems like longer! usually i feel like time is going too quickly but this week definatly dragged on! with michelle away i was quite literally teaching two classes at the same time. although i have done this before, the students never have so they were quite distracted and distracting! the first day back was the only day in which they behaved. sigh.
michelle is supposed to be coming back tonight, which means that i can hand her classes off back to her... maybe we'll get some work done in class this week! today has been especially long as the only break i have had away from the children was from 1-1:30 (rest hour). after supper i stepped into the role of 'girl's dorm mom' as it's the dorm mom's day off and the person who usually takes over was covering for the boys dorm parents as there was a medical emergency (someone from the village) and the dorm mom is also the nurse. thankfully it all sorted itself out while the children were watching their wednesday night video, so i don't have to tuck them all in tonight. i just had to make sure they were clean and changed ready for bed. now i've got some "me" time. and i'm gonna completely ignore the very large mound of marking sitting beside me! i think tonight calls for a large cup of tea and a good book!
good nite all!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ready or not...

The first day back went surprisingly well, despite the fact that i didn't really plan a lot of stuff to do. We spent most of our morning going over all the new changes in the room and to our schedule as well as remembering the rules, which of course are the same but seem to be forgotten rather quickly. I somehow managed to be the "lucky one" to have the kids down at the river for 2 hours this afternoon but this time i managed to do it without losing anyone! :D

The rest of this week should be interesting as the other grade 1/2 teacher will be away until next wednesday, which means i will have to somehow manage on my own or plan it all for a substitute either way it looks like i won't be getting my afternoon off, thankfully i get this first weekend off. i'll probably really need it!

well, i have lots of planning and schedule re-arranging to do so i must be off...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Game Drive

We didn't think we were going to be able to go on one, but in the end it all worked out and Crystal's last afternoon in Zambia (Saturday) we went on a game drive at

at first we didn't see much, the animals were shy and hiding in among the trees but eventually our trip paid off. we saw a variety of deer including sable, impala, dik-diks hardibeast (and many i can't remember the names of) we saw one wart hog (which was too fast for me to get a pic of) and just after we were told that we probably wouldn't see any zebra, out they came. they stood nicely and waited to be photographed and even let us get pretty close. we also got pretty close to a huge herd of Sable, they are so majestic looking! we saw one snake, a yellow and black puff adder which slithered away from the ditch beside the pathway. all in all it was a great time! i wish i could put up all my pictures, but i can't, i'll try and get them up on facebook soon, but no promises as facebook has been acting weird lately.

The Last 2 Weeks

The last two weeks have flown by! I've had a great time showing my friend Crstal around and just hanging out with her. We visited the market near Kalene Hospital but unfortunately didn't get to climb Kalene Hill. Crystal has been a great help getting my classroom set up and gave me some great ideas for bulletin boards. I think the best part so far though was our trip to Solwezi. For those of you who know Zambia, Solwezi is not exactly as "tourist trap" infact its quite a dirty little town. Originally we were hoping to go to Livingstone and see Victoria Falls etc. but in the end we realized we had waited to long to make that spontaneous descision, and Lina and I would have to be back at Sakeji before we'd had enough time to really look around. In the end we decided to go to Solwezi because some missionaries from the Congo were heading down that way and we could hitch a ride. The roads are still really bad, worse in fact in some places, however it has now dried out a lot as the rains have pretty much stopped. here are now new 'roads' going around the worst parts of the road. overall it wasn't a bad trip down and Crystal was able to see some of the Zambian countryside. The first day (Monday) we only drove down as far as Mwinilunga. We stopped and checked out a large (and pretty stinky) market where Lina and Crystal bought some yitenge. We were able to find a "guest house" fairly quickly, it was pretty cheap and clean so we decided to stay there for the night. The other missionaries were heading back to Nyongombe for the night. The 3 of us girls amused ourselves playing Dutch Blitz on the front lawn until we realized it was time for supper. We figured it wasn't too far to walk, so we saved ourselves some cab money and walked back to the market where we had seen a fairly new looking restaurant. I have to admit i wasn't at all impressed with the food, but that's probably more because i'm a picky eater then anything else. It was great to be able to drink real pop though :) After walking/stumbling back in the dark to our house (we did have flashlights but it was really dark!) we played a few more card games and called it a night. we had to get up early to catch the bus for Solwezi. The next morning we awoke to find there was no power and no hot water so we dressed and packed by the light of our flashlights. our hostess had called us a cab who came in a not-so-roadworthy car but we managed to make it to the bus stop on time in one piece. the bus was very crowded, some even had to stand in the isle for awhile until people got off. we weren't sure how long it would take to get there we had been told about 4 hours but our driver must have been training for the Indy or something because we made it in just over 3 hours and that was with stops! it didn't take too long to find a cab who once we got to Solwezi, infact we were practically shoved into one. unfortunately this was the worst cab experience i have had here to date. he got us to our hotel, but not without stops, police bribes and detours first; we weren't too impressed. however, once we got to the Royal Solwezi Hotel we didn't let it bother us. The room was really nice, 2 queen sized beds, air conditioning and the most amazing shower! we spent the rest of Tuesday and wednesday shopping, swimming, eating at the hotel restaurant and playing card games etc. basically we had a pretty sweet time relaxing and enjoying each others company. lots of good memories!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

There wasn't much to blog about on Saturday. I spent most of my day at the Flight House fooling around, killing time. The Baileys took me out for a fancy restaurant called "Raphsodys". The food was pretty good and decently prices (in Canadian terms). After lunch I had them drop me off at a different shopping centre to try and get the rest of the things on my shopping list. I caught another taxi home, this time i was able to direct him how to get there. (i was so proud of myself ;) ).

Sunday morning came and i had a bit of a problem. I had forgotten when i was packing that i'd be there for a SUnday. i was so excited at the prospect of wearing pants in Lusaka that i forgot to pack any skirts! This was a problem. I also didn't have my Bible (as it was too heavy) which meant no headcovering and no letter of commendation. I was saved however, by another missionary who provided everything i had forgotten except the letter, which wasn't a problem. I went to the first english church service i have been to in a very long time!I was kind of disappointed tho' b/c although i loved that the singing was in english, they also sang like the english speakers... which quite frankly is kind of sad. However it was a nice service none the less. After church we went to Arcades (the nice shopping centre) grabbed some lunch at Zamchic (like KFC) and then went out to enjoy the Sunday market. It was awesome! there were vendors from all over selling their arts and crafts! I can't even remember everything that was there. the best part was i got to barter for it! i didn't barter too much because everything was quite cheap (in canadian funds) already and they were having a bad selling day b/c the weather wasn't so great. I spent way more then i intended to but loved every minute of it! When i was laden down with bags i found a taxi and went back to the flight house.
some very cool stuff that i wanted to get, but decided was a little too big

some beautiful handmade cars - again i sadly didn't get any

I was invited out for supper with 2 girls who had been working at Kalene Hospital for the past 3 months. I had only met them a few time before and didn't know them that well but went with them anyways. We had so much fun, a girls night out of laughing and joking. After a fabulous supper (again at Rapsody's) we went for a walk to walk off all the food. we found the grocery store was open so we wandered around it for awhile before buying some junk food and drinks. we went back to our taxi (he waited the whole time for us) and drove back to the flight house where we hung out a little more. It was great meeting and making new friends! I'm kinda sad though because they've both gone back to their home countries now (canada and new zealand) and who knows if we'll see each other again but it was fun while it lasted. :)

Lydia and her seafood platter

Jo eating "death by chocolate"

the bill

Monday i woke up early to catch a ride to the airport to pick up Crystal. i wasn't even sure if she had caught her flights, but i prayed that she'd be there... and she was! it was so exciting to see her! the poor girl was totally exhausted but we took her back to the flight house and see revived a bit after a shower and some breakfast. after killing a bit of time at the flight house and the airport we finally got on the bigger of the 2 cesnas and were on our way. We made a shop in Zambezi to pick up 2 other Sakeji staff members and made it back home by 5ish. The flight wasn't so bad (for me) Crystal didn't enjoy it quite so much as she wasn't feeling too well. Now i'm safe and sound back at Sakeji. i'm just waiting for Crystal and Lina to get up so we can plan our day. yes, for once i'm the first one up! it's quite shocking really!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Another long day...

For some strange reason my body decided that 4:30am was a perfectly acceptable time to wake up... what??! Then my brain kicked into high gear and all chances of returning to sleep went out the window. I hate mornings that start like this! At least I did have a reason for getting up early today. My flight to Lusaka was coming in at 7am. The 3.5 hr. flight was thankfully uneventful, i wasn't sure how it would be as it's been a very long time since i've been in a cessna and never one this small before but thankfully i had no problems with air sickness or anything.

Mr. Bruce Poidevin (the pilot)was nice enough to drop me off at the Immigration office but couldn't stick around as he had other errands to run. Of course, wouldn't you know it, the office was closed for lunch and being Zambia they were closed from 12:30 to 2:30 (nice lunch break eh?!!). I looked around and realized that standing around in the little back alley was pretty much asking for trouble so i decided to head next door to the 5-star hotel. I had very little for breakfast and no lunch at this point so i tho't i'd check out their restaurant. When i walked in i realized i might be a little over my price range but it was too late to back out, they had spotted me! I thought to myself, "well, i haven't had a restaurant meal in at least 3 months, surely i can splurge a little". i asked how much the buffet was and was told K129,000 (US$28)....hmmm, not going for the buffet. I checked out the menu and found things weren't so badly priced. my biggest problem now was choosing what to order! Eventually i got the leek and muchroom quiche and a side of fries. What an amazing choice! The quiche was 3 little tarts, instead of regular pastry it was more like a yorkshire pudding. YUM!! served with it was this amazing little salad made of sliced and diced tomatoes, green peppers, onions and egg topped with a italian-like dressing. the fries were also amazing (partly cuz i haven't had my fav. food forever!). i was so stuffed i couldn't finish it all, but felt the place was a little to fancy to ask for a 'doggy bag'. i finished it all off with a cappuccino, which was kind of funny b/c i actually asked for 'a cup of tea', however the coffee was a nice treat. :) the whole thing ended up being a little more then i had tho't (they had weird 'taxes' added on) but for under $17 i thought it was an amazing meal!
by the time i was finished it was nearly time for the immigration place to be open again, so i waddled back over. after signing in i waited for 30 mins while the immigration 'officer' shuffled random files around on his desk. when he was finally ready to do some work there were 10 others in line with me. he slowly found everyones file except mine! he looked several times and then sent me out to the registration desk to look at 'the book'. i won't even try and describe that process as it beyond words!! finally i was able to find what i thought might be my name it said 'sheck allsa' and the file numbers was S0083 (i was told mine was S0085). i went back to the man and asked him to find that file. he did without a problem and it was me. they had issued the permit to "Ailsa Jean Sheach" completely missing my first name (thanks Mom and Dad for giving me too many names :P ). I was getting ready to freak out at them for screwing it up but he said 'oh, that's ok, no problem" grabbed my permit and added and "E." AFTER the Ailsa Jean.... whatever i give up. i took the permit, got my passport stamped and not officially allowed to work in Zambia until Feb 2012. it only took 4 months and then 2 hours today, but now i'm legally in the country :P

after this very trying experience i then had to catch a taxi and make my way around town to do some shopping. the Lord is good and found me an honest cabby (imagine!!) who took me to the shopping centre, waited 2 hrs for me to shop and then took me back to the flight house and only charged me K100,000 (about US$20). although i've heard that you can get it cheaper, i've also heard of others paying way more. so i'm quite thankful.

one day down, 2 1/2 to go!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Presidential Promises

So today was an interesting and very LOOOOOONG day! The President of Zambia (whose name i have completely forgotten) was expected to arrive in Ikelenge today at 11:15am. The whole place was in a dither, people travelled from quite a ways a way to come here him speak. the reason he was coming is because Chief Ikelenge went all the way to Lusaka to complain about the roads (among other things). We arrived in Ikelenge around 10:30 as we had a load of chairs (for the important people in his entourage). then we sat and waited and waited and waited. it was a VERY hot day! at 12:45 we headed back to the car as we were about to pass out from heat exhaustion and our legs were tired of standing in the same place. they had a few forms of entertainment but there were so many people crowding in that we couldn't see most of it. around 1:10 we finally heard a helicopter and hurried back to get a spot in the crowd. we were disappointed to find out it was simply soldiers who had come to secure the area. the president finally made an appearance sometime after 2pm, way beyond the time we might call 'fashionably late'. by that time i was just plain annoyed! i was hot, tired and hungry! (not a good combination). we stayed for most of his speech, but soon got tired of it and went in search of something cold to drink. however, we did hear him say that he is going to send graters to 'fix' the roads (he OBVIOUSLY hasn't SEEN the condition of the roads or he'd know it was WAY past the point of grating) anyhow, he also declared Ikelenge a 'Boma' which basically means that they'll be (eventually) getting more money from the government, as well as "better schools, better nursing, bigger police station, more military presence" etc. we're a little scepticle as to when this is all going to take place, but at least he's acknowledging the North West Province now. :)

for those of you who know Pete Fisher you may be as shocked as i was to hear that his wardrobe does contain something other then khaki shirts and short shorts! we heard that Pete was to give a speech and we sort of had a bet going about what he was going to wear. i have to admit i lost. i tho't he'd be in his usual garb, however he was wearing a a shirt like a Zambian flag and ..... LONG pants! unfortunatly i didn't get a picture of this as proof, however i do have a pic of him in his shirt.

so, after standing in the sun for about 5 hours, we returned home to wonder... was it all worth it?

Monday, April 19, 2010

bumpity bump bump

Yesterday was a good day. The Ronalds, Lina and myself went out to an assembly i haven't been to yet in a little village which i think is called Sachibandu (or something like that). when we arrived there i realized i had been to this little church with my parents when we were out here before. although it is a small group their singing is truly amazing! with the exception of the hard wooden benches and lack of leg room (even for my short legs, poor lina!) i really enjoyed my time there. after the service we bumped and bounced our way back home over the 'amazing' roads. after a delicious but hurried lunch at the Ronalds we packed ourselves back into the land cruiser and headed out again. this time we were headed to Kalene for the joint prayer meeting. Kalene is in the same direction as the village we had been in that morning, so we saw some of the same people along the roadway as we bounced on by. we haven't been able to get out to Kalene this term because the roads were so bad. they have dried up alot but were still quite slick in spots. i'm glad i wasn't driving! we arrived a little late but so had others so really we were just in time. it was nice to meet all the Kalene folk as they are all new to me with the exception of Alice Turner. we actually didn't go into kalene mission station but rather were at the CMML Flight Services, where the Poidevins and Loudons live. This is also new since i was here last, and quite impressive! they have built a guest resort out behind their houses which is truly amazing! Lina and i decided we might have to stay there some weekend as a getaway once the term starts up again. :) the prayer meeting was nice with lots of people to share and sing with. it's so nice to be able to sing the hymns in english once in awhile. :) our trip home took a little longer as Mr. Ronald had to navigate the horrible potholes and crevesis in the dark but we made it back safely even if we had a bit of whiplash ;) lina and i finished out the day by watching the old "around the world in 80 days" movie. i used to love that movie as a kid, this time i found it dragged a little and was un-nessecarily long! however it was still enjoyable. earlier this week we went into a time warp and watched an old vhs (which i believe my grandma taped for my family 13 yrs ago) of Seaquest dsv. it was truly funny to watch as i haven't seen or heard anything about it since i was here last. my parents, chris and i used to watch it every sunday night after the disney movie. for those who have never heard of it, it was a star treck-like show only it took place under water in a ship called 'seaquest'. lina did a little research after we watched it and found out it was supposed to take place in 2018 (i think) which is quite funny now, as that's not too far off. if you want to check it out, i think you can download some episodes off the internet or at least see some clips on you-tube.

before i close this off, i have a prayer request to add. i'm sure many of you have now heard of the volcano that is erupting on Iceland, this is causing all flights to be grounded/cancelled which is affecting a lot of people including me. although i am not flying to or from Europe i was planning on flying to Lusaka on wednesday, however the person who is paying for the majority of the flight is supposed to be flying in from canada tomorrow. at the present time his flight has been cancelled, which means that my flight to lusaka has also been cancelled, unless i charter the plane. At US$1200 i told them i had to pass on that. however, it might come down to that as i need to be in lusaka by friday to pick up my work permit. please pray that things sort themselves out soon! also my friend Crystal is supposed to be flying in from Canada to meet me on Monday. i'm not sure if her flights have been cancelled yet as they're not saying that far in advance, but things don't look good at the moment. :(

Friday, April 16, 2010

just a quick one...

just a quick note.
if you are interested in another perspective of life here, my housemate's blog is

also to amend a previous post: Lina has driven stick more often then i indicated, i was mistaken on what i heard her say.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

monday monday

yesterday was definatley a monday!

the day started off in the usual way, me trying to sleep in and the workmen determined that i won't by driving the noisy deisel 'tipper' back and forth by my window and dumping loads of bricks. when i finally decided that i wasn't sleeping anyways and i should get up i found Lina scrubbing the floors and dishes, trying to get rid of the damp stinky smell that has taken over our house since it was flooded. she did a good job though, the smell is no longer there. :) i went down to my classroom and worked a little more, rearranging furniture etc only to find a 'nest' of 'whiteants' (aka termites)...oh goody. it was a good thing i moved the bookcases b/c they were just starting to build and so were fairly easy to get rid of once i obtained some pif paf. after lunch Lina and i decided to take a little break and drive into "town" and get some cokes. being 'good' missionaries we went around the station asking anyone if they needed anything and so we were given a list of errands to run as well. after a quick trip to the orphanage we were on our way. i was a little leary of Lina driving as this was her first time driving right-hand drive and only her 2nd time driving stick shift, add to that the 'amazing' zambian roads and i figured we were in for an adventure ;). lina did a very good job though, with the exception of forgetting to take the hand break off a few times, things ran smoothly. we were disappointed to find there was no coke to be found in Ikelenge. there was also no mail at the post office, two big let downs. we were able to do all our other errands though. on our way back home we stopped at the clinic and picked up a lady and her baby who wanted a ride back to the farm (which was on our way). Lina was getting a little more confident with her driving and was driving a little faster then on the way in. all of the sudden she hit a rather large pot hole which jarred the truck and put us into the ditch! it happened so quickly there wasn't much time to recover the truck and keep it on the road. i should mention that at this particular part of the road it is really just like a narrow laneway with ditches on either side of it. when i jumped out and inspected the problem i realized it wasn't that bad. the two left tires were off the road, but that was it. we asked the lady to get out of the back (just in case) and then lina got back into to drive while i tried to push. we were able to move the truck but the middle of the road was a huge hump that the right tires couldn't seem to get over, which would get us out of the ditch. a few times i thought the truck was going to topple into the ditch on top of me, but thankfully that didn't happen. just as we were about to give up and call back to the school for help and man happened along on his bicycle. he stopped, checked out the situation, looked at us and said "we push, then chechiwahi (it is well)". he turned to the small crowd of people that had gathered around (non of whom had offered to help) and told them to come and assist us. with about 5 or 6 of us pushing we were able to get the truck out of the ditch in no time. after thanking everyone (which takes some time with all the 'mwani mwani's') we were ready to be on our way. much to our surprise the lady with the baby jumped back into the truck and a young teenager also jumped in. man. they must have been desperate to get to the farm! anyhow, the rest of our little drive was pretty uneventful. but when we got home we found they had had some trouble of their own. Mr. Poidevin, who has been taking down several unsafe gum trees in the area was taking down just one more before he left. As usual they dug up the roots, attached a cable to the top of the tree and to his truck. then he started to reverse his truck and the tree started to fall exactly where he had planned it to go. however, there was a smaller tree in its path, which he had assumed would just get knocked over, this is not what happened. instead the large gum tree hit the smaller tree, bounced off and landed in the middle of the library! well, not quite in hte middle. it took out a huge corner of the library walls and roof. thankfully no one was hurt! there were no books destroyed, but a lot have some repairs needed or are covered in dust. i couldn't believe it that the tree somehow missed the large window yet smashed the couch located underneath the window! it missed the tv/vcr/dvd player and really there was no damage that can't be replaced. Unfortunately this caused another building project to be needed. It seems like just when we get ahead of things, something else falls apart. The cottage will have to remain how it is until we get the library built up again. hopefully this will be done soon or the next big rain we have will ruin all the books! what a day! as i said, it must have been a monday!
today has gone much better! i was actually able to sleep in because all the workmen were at the library cleaning up the mess! :) then Helen from the orphanage brought 5 of the older children (4 & 5 yr olds) to come and visit us. they are SO cute! we gave them all juice and cookies to which they said, "thank you mama!" with the biggest grins! they entertained us for awhile just horsing around and playing with the dog. just before they left they sang "jesus loves me" it was so adorable. i got some of it on video and will try and see if i can get it onto the blog. if not, then i'll try and put it on facebook tomorrow. 5 of our staff leave tomorrow, leaving all the bandwidth to be split between just 4 of us :D yay! so i'll probably be on facebook a lot more for those who are interested.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The rains came down and the floods went up...

Last night we had a small flood of our own in 'Valley View'. Last night after visiting with some of the other staff, Lina and i ran home through the rain, not knowing how bad of a storm we were actually having. This morning we awoke to find the kitchen and bathroom flooded as well as some puddles in the hall and livingroom. Apparently we got 3 inches of rain last night!the water must have come down the roadway like a river, judging by the debris left behind. it took a side course down our walkway and pooled on our front step. this is the what usually happens and there is always a puddle at our front door after a rain. however this time the water was such that it went under our door and into our kitchen. it filled our "sewer" which backed up the toilet and resulted in a flooded bathroom. not very nice to wake up to. i also woke up to an upset stomach, again. so today has not been a very good day. the Ronalds got a call this morning to tell them that the 'Cottage' was floating away. They went out to investigate and sure enough the river had risen so much that the outer walls of the cottage had indeed floated away. all that is left is the inner walls and miraculously, the roof. we are turning into a chota (hut with no walls) of sorts until it can be rebuilt or replaced. the cottage has been there for a long time (i was told nearly 40 years) so it is a sad day. as lina and i were whining as we mopped up the kitchen i suddenly thought of my friends in the villages. i hope they were able to escape most of the flooding. unlike our houses, their houses are not built to last a long time. where we are able to fortify ours with cement, theirs are made with bricks made out of clay (as was the cottage). to put things further into perspective, i decided to study Genesis 6-9. so even though the thunderclouds are rolling over head, and we're sure to have another huge storm tonight, i know that "this too shall pass". At least i HAD a house to mop out this morning! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And so ends the term....

part one: (written Apr 6th)
The days the children have been counting down to have finally arrived. End of term is here! Yesterday was the last official day of school. Today the first 2 groups of children left by plane at 7am as the rest of us were sitting down for breakfast. Thankfully the weather was nice and clear and everyone arrived at their destinations safely. the second wave of students left this afternoon and the planes are just arriving back after safe flights. Praise the Lord. Tomorrow morning the remaining students (except 2) will be flying out either at 7am, 8am or noon. The last flights will be on Thursday morning. We are praying for good weather for flying as well as safe flights for all. I seriously can't believe that my time here is nearly 1/2 done! How did that happen? It's hard to believe but now that the report cards are all printed out and the children are leaving it's starting to sink in.
this past week i've been fighting off a bug, which finally caught up with me yesterday. After spending all afternoon and evening in bed and having nothing to eat all day i awoke quite famished at 3am. i was a little afraid to eat as i hadn't been able to keep anything down yesterday, but the medicine seems to have worked as i was able to handle lunch and afternoon tea. so i guess i'm on the mend. :) I'm still feeling a little light headed and weak but i'm sure i'll be much better tomorrow after a good supper and a full nights sleep!
i am really looking forward to the next month. time to relax, visit with friends ( i even have a friend coming from Canada to visit me!), get caught up on sleep and plan for the next term. Yes, i know this term just ended, but i'm hoping to have next term somewhat planned out before i fully relax and take a vacation. the rest of this week and next i'll be spending time re-arranging my classroom, doing bulletin boards etc. of course i'll also be sleeping in and swimming in the afternoon, can't work TOO much ;) to those of you whom i owe a letter/email, i plan to get onto that this week as well, starting tonight.
to end on a happy note, my work permit has been found! funny thing is i didn't know it was lost. we thought i just hadn't been processed yet. a friend of the school went into the immigration office in Lusaka to find out why mine was taking so long and found out that it has been finished since February only they forgot to record that it was done in the book! (TIA!!) so when i go in they will ask me if it's been writen in the book, to which i have to reply "yes" even though it's still not there, because if i say 'no' they won't even bother to look for it. can you tell this is a government operation??
well, that is it for now, the supper bell is about to ring and i don't want to miss another meal!

pt 2: (written Apr 7)

So this morning was not as beautiful and sunny as yesterday. in fact it was quite the opposite, gloomy, overcast and raining. this caused the flights with the students to be delayed several hours. in fact at one point we weren't sure if they were going to get any flights out at all today. however, the technology is an amazing thing and after watching the weather radars for a bit the pilots determined that if they could get past the rain clouds hovering over Sakeji, there were clear skies the rest of the way. so out they went and they brought the nice clear, sunny weather back with them! :) all 4 flights have now left (the last one not that long ago) so we have a handful of students left waiting for their morning flights. the Lord is so good! I am feeling 99% better which is great! fully restored and ready for a break :) at the teacher's meeting this morning it became apparent that this next term is going to be a tiring one! we're losing 3 teachers and only getting 1 coming in. this makes it much harder for scheduling, getting times off etc. as i worked on my schedule today i realized i may lose my afternoon off entirely. :( such a sad thought. this is not set in stone yet so i'm not going to mourn the loss just now. i'm still praying for a miracle! those afternoons off can sometimes be the difference between a good or bad week. when you work at a boarding school it really is a "full" time job!
well, i must go make sure my casserole is ready for the potluck supper tonight. tootles!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Fun

I'm not sure why but somehow i managed to escape most of the practical jokes this morning.For those who don't live or work with children you may not have remembered it was April Fools Day, but somehow the children always seem to remember. Maybe this is because it's the one day a year they're allowed to "misbehave" and sort of get away with it! Many of the teachers ended up with toads, lizards, caterpillers and all kinds of other creepy crawlies in their desks, given to them as gifts or actually put right ont them. thankfully, being the grade one/two teacher my students have not yet learned these wonderful "jokes". :) the Zambian men in the kitchen also have a sense of humour we discovered this morning when we went into the dining room. the headmaster's chair had been replaced with a stool, many of the utensils were mixed up and they hid the tea and coffee and put milk and juice in it's place (that almost started a riot. ;) !) once we found the tea and coffee and checked to make sure it was indeed tea and coffee things settled down a little. the best joke however was on the students. one of my students finished her water and asked if she could go up for more so i let her. when she got up to the front she asked the cook to help her as she couldn't reach the water jug. the cook said "would you like some juice instead" of course that was greated with a "yes please!". really quickly the other students noticed that someone was getting juice and soon all were gulping down the water and asking permission to go for juice. we all had a great laugh when they got back to their seats, took big mouthfuls and discovered it wasn't juice at all! but rather water with food colouring in it! their expressions were priceless! it was made all the better because some of the greedier ones had taken a full glass and they had to finish it all before they were allowed to be excused.
lina and i decided to play a joke on our students by switching classes. her students were with another teacher for first period so she was able to sneak down to my classroom and hide in the back room (we have a backdoor). after the first period was done i had the grade twos line up as they were heading to their next class which was to be taught by another teacher (as usual) as they were leaving i declared. "i'm tired of teaching today! i'm leaving!" and i walked out the door and off towards lina's class. my poor grade ones didn't know what to do! i heard them saying things like "what do we do, the teacher is gone?" then i heard them all scream as lina came bursting in through the back door. she told me later that she just acted like everything was normal and began to teach the class. the kids still not sure what to do, went along with it. :) when i came back for the next period they said, "don't worry Miss Sheach, Miss Burkin taught us math today." i had to laugh! while lina took my class i went up and sat in her classroom waiting for the grade 5/6's to come back from spelling. they slowly meandered in some of their reactions were quite comical as they showed their surprise to see me there. they had to do a math exam so they were hoping to get out of it b/c their teacher wasn't there. i was quite strict with them (partly b/c it was an exam) which they didn't appreciate at all. they asked if Miss Burklin was sick to which i replied, "I think she's sick of you guys." (aren't i nice). By the time Lina and I switched back they were quite grateful that SHE was their teacher and not me. Maybe they'll behave a little better for her from now on ;) Hopefully that's all the practical joking that will go on today. As the saying goes, "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." i find practical joking can often get this way, it always gets taken a little tooo far and someone gets hurt. so if you are planning on playing a joke on someone today, please remember to keep it light and all in good fun. :)

5 more days till the kids start flying out! (no joke!) :D

ps. not as much rain lately. took a walk on the airstrip 2 nights ago and it was dried out pretty well. Praise the Lord. we hope this holds until the flights are all done!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Surrounded by water...

Well it's finally happened we are unofficially cut off from the outside world. Yesterday when one of the short termers was leaving he was supposed to fly out but our airstrip is now under water (for the most part) which does not make for safe landings and is difficult for take off. he was driven to Kalene airstrip which is thankfully still usable. the road to Kalene is pretty bad though so very few are even attempting to drive it. According to Pete Fisher (expat who runs the farm and gave reserve who has a helicopter)some of the roads look like rivers from the air. we've had LOTS of rain everyday and night this week. Yesterday when we went down to the swimming pool the water (which comes into it from the river) was overflowing the pool. Mr. ROnald showed us the waterline from where the river had overflowed its banks in the night. by afternoon it had receeded at least a metre and 1/2 but was still higher then normal and going MUCH faster. it would have been PERFECT for tubing, but the tubes were all put away.

I'm not sure if i've mentioned this before (i don't read my own blog :P) but due to the bad road conditions the food and supply trucks haven't been able to get supplies here for the local people. because there is so much rain they are unable to dry their casava (staple food, which is dried and used like a flour) so many are getting desparate. the maize (corn) and other crops are rotting in the fields. the people are getting so desparate for food that they are practically rioting when Pete Fisher brings Meili-meal (corn meal) by in his trucks heading to sell it in various places. He now has to take bring a police officer along to ensure peace is kept. It makes me feel so guilty b/c I've been whining that the container couldn't reach us. at least we aren't starving! we still get 3 very filling meals a day, plus 2 tea breaks. really makes one stop and think before whining! I have SO much to be thankful for here! Lina and felt particularily bad b/c we just bought a large bag of meali-meal to make meals for our dog... lucky dog! we're trying to think of ways of helping out the people without showing favourtism or starting riots and such. so far we're not sure what to do. please pray for the village people and that we'll be able to find a way of sharing our bounty with those who have nothing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Here!

Finally the long awaited for Canadian container has arrived at Sakeji! it arrived in Zambia awhile ago but we just got our boxes this morning... at 4am! The men packed up 2 trailers hitched to tractors and 3 landrovers and headed out from Mwinilunga at 4pm. The landrovers got through without too many problems but the tractors got bogged down in the mud. ironic isn't it that they had to get the landcruisers to go back and pull out the tractors! anyhow, they eventually got here. i feel sorry for the men driving the tractors on these roads for more then 12 hours! that couldn't have been too comfortable!
i was so excited i unpacked my boxes during rest hour, only to find out 2 hrs later that i was supposed to weigh them first. :( wish they had told me that when they dropped off the boxes! now i have to pack the boxes back up and weigh them. what a hassle! for those packing boxes in the future. if you could possibly weigh them and write the weight (pounds or kilos doesn't matter) on the side or top that would be awesome! saves a lot on this end.
well i'm gonna keep this one short. got lots of repacking/unpacking to do!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Field trip for the teachers.

I have talked about how bad the roads have gotten here, but i didn't even know the extent of it until Mr. Fisher from the farm invited us to come and look at the "sakeji canyon". so after church yesterday we took a detour to check out the Sakeji Road. this is the worst the road has ever been. we are essentially being cut off by land from the main cities. this will be a problem when the parents try to come up at the end of the term. most of them drive small cars and won't even make it up as far as the "canyon" as there are several extremely muddy spots on the way where even the tractors are getting stuck. this is also a problem as we were expecting to get our Canadian container shipment this week and at present there is no way for the "lorrie" (transport truck) to get around the canyon or through the mud on the other road. the Lord knows our needs and so we're bringing them to Him as He has a plan which we don't yet know about. Your prayers would also be appreciated for this. On our way back from our little field trip to the canyon we drove through the farm, which is also a game park. we don't usually see the animals that close to the road, but we were able to spot a few zebra, sable and another deer that i have forgotten the name of. i will post a few pictures with this blog of the road to see more pictures of the road and the animals you'll have to check out my facebook album.

this weekend was a great relaxing weekend over all b/c our second 1/2 term happened to fall on the friday/saturday and it was my weekend off! so i took the seniors tubing again on friday; this time we had gorgeous sunny weather and a stronger current (more water) so it was a lot more enjoyable! i lost one of my flip flops at the beginning but a few of the boys were able to "rescue" it when we got to the dam. after our thrilling ride down the river we went swimming for awhile and i got a nice sunburn (which is now turning into a lovely tan! :) ). i thought i would try the "flying fox", a cable that runs from the top of the ant hill to the far end of the pool. it has a handle bar that you hold on to as you zip down and which you must let go of to drop into the pool before you reach the end. i climbed to the top of the anthill, grabbed onto the handle bars looked down at the pool.... and chickened out. :S it was a combo of the height as well as being afraid of letting go too soon and landing on the cement and not in the water that did me in. maybe next term i'll have more courage to do it... we'll see. after swimming we enjoyed hamburgers and salads down by the river for lunch, washing our dishes in the river afterwards. after this i went back to the house to do a bit of baking and have a nap. I had been invited to the village for supper with a friend of the family (the same one who is trying hard to teach me Lunda). I borrowed a bike from the school, not really sure what i was getting myself into or where i was going. it was pretty easy to find his house, i only had to ask directions once. the biggest problem that i has was the bike. i should have taken it out for a test run first! the brakes were starting to go and the seat was designed for a child sized bottom, not at all comfortable! most of the ride was pretty easy as it was mostly downhill, it got a little scary going down the largest hill as i wasn't sure if the brakes were going to hold out. i was sort of dreading the supper as i'm not at all a fan of nshima, the local staple food. steward knew this however and let his wife know. so they made me a special supper with no nshima involved! :) i'm so spoiled! i forgot that they would be preparing a whole me just for me, she cooked a whole chicken, a bowl full of cooked cabbage and tomatoes, a huge bowl full of fried potatoes, and for dessert a whole pinapple cut up with guava. i told them there was no way that i could eat it all myself and that they had to help me. even with 3 of them "helping" me eat it, there was still some left over and i left very stuffed! that was when i realized that i now had to bike back... uphill!! needless to say i was quite tired and somewhat sore by the time i got back and i slept very well that night! thankfully i was able to sleep in on saturday! :) Lina and i spent the majority of time on saturday cutting out the chitanges we had bought and sewing them into skirts. we were quite impressed with outselves and the results. Jill Avery (the dorm mom) also had the weekend off so we sewed in her living room on my mom's old sewing machine. Jill is also the art teacher and was working on various crafts while Lina and i worked on our skirts. it was nice to have some "adult" time with no children calling our names or demanding our attention. as they spent hte whole day down at the river it was quite peaceful really!

now half term and the weekend are both over and we are back to the regular school days. the children had yesterday to recover from their "half term break" so they are surprisingly well behaved today. And as i was able to relax and refill on my patience stores, the day and week are off to a good start! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So i ran into my first live snake yesterday. well, i didn't actually get that close to it! i was supervising the junior students down at the river when the boys started shouting "snake, snake!" and running towards it. i know that boys have this strange facination with creepy crawlies, but honestly with the high percentage of deadly snakes in this area, you'd think they'd proceed with caution. however 'caution' and 'boys' is rarely seen together. i was down near the river and the snake was up near the changing hut, (basically the opposite side of the play area) so i quickly and CAUTIOUSLY moved towards the area where the boys were congregating the whole time praying as i wasn't sure what else to do! there was no way i was getting close enough to kill it! thankfully the snake was heading away from where we were but i still had to yet at the boys who were following it. thankfully Mr. Poidevin heard the shouts as he was teaching senior swimming at the pool. he came running with a VERY long bamboo pole and after locating the snake beat it to death. after mr. P. checked to make sure it wasn't going to slither away or attack someone, i allowed the children to get a closer look. this is what we saw...

i'm not sure what type of snake it is, if someone knows please feel free to share with us. i also don't know if it was poisonous or not, but around here we don't take any chances. we beat them first and ask questions later! that was my excitement for the day! earlier, when i was teaching swimming lessons to the "no seals" (those who don't swim at all) i had a pretty good lesson. it was a gorgeous day so the cool water felt nice, which is good because often my students think it's "too cold!" also because Mr. & Mrs. Poidevin Sr. are visiting from Canada i had help with my class and was only working with 8 students instead of the usual 16. i've been trying to teach them to do front and back floats. about 1/2 my students are just getting over a fear of water, so this is rather difficult. i usually "help" them by holding them up so they can get the feel of floating. i will always tell them before i let go, so they don't lose their trust in me. one little boy was so cute, we were practicing the back float, which is always a little more scary and he looked at me with these great big brown eyes and said with a very serious voice "can you not let go of me, because my breath gets frightened away." i had a hard time not laughing, just because he was too cute! but i promised him i wouldn't let go and he was fine. he even tried it on his own afterwards, and then told me "my breath is ok now". :) these are the moments when i remember why i love children! how can you not smile when you see a face like this.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Shopping in "town"

As i still don't have my work permit, i am in this country on a visitor's visa. the visa is only good for 30 days but can be renewed twice. as you know i've now been here for 2 and a bit months. so i've had to renew my visa already. i was supposed to renew my visa again on the first of March, but the immigration official has been away. everytime that we call he is not there, so i am (sort of) illegally in the country. i am still waiting for my work permit to be finished so i can pick it up. unfortunately this means that i have to fly down to Lusaka as no one else is allowed to pick it up for me. please pray that my permit will be completed soon as i have a flight booked to Lusaka for March 24th. Although it is MUCH cheaper to drive, the roads (as i've said before) are absolutely horrible right now and pretty near impassible. plus, i don't have a zambian driver's liscence and even if i did, i'd get lost before i left ikelenge! so i will be flying on the small plane (not my favourite thing to do) and staying in Lusaka for a few days until my permit is sorted out and i can get a flight back. this will leave the staff here a bit stretched as i will need someone to cover my classes for 2.5 days. so again, prayer for this whole situation would be greatly appreciated!
yesterday i went into ikelenge (the "booming metropolis") to again try to get my visa updated but as he wasn't there Lina, Miss Margie Young and I decided to do some shopping! :) of course, this is fun even if you're not intended to by anything. the "main drag" consists of a row of small shops lining either side of the 'road'. these shops are about the size of the average bathroom back home. inside is often very dark even if they have electricity they don't often turn it on. the walls are floor to ceiling shells covered in whatever the latest trucks were able to bring in. the amusing thing is that most shops carry the exact same stuff for the exact same prices. we did a bit of grocery shopping picking up items such as bread (which i normally make at home but have run out of flour), oil, matches, cokes and rice. then we went "clothes" shopping. although you can now actually buy clothes and shoes in the shops, we were really just looking at the chitanges. chitanges are large pieces of fabric about 1.5 metres in length. they have all sorts of paterns and colours, there are never any "plain" ones. these are used for all sorts of purposes. you can use them simply as material to cut out and make into clothes etc, most women wear them as a wrap around skirt. they are also used to tie children onto their back in a sling-like fashion. these are the main uses but they can be used for whatever you can imagine and things you would never imagine. quite versitile really! I have picked up a few already to wear as wraps. yesterday we had fun shopping in the different shops and picking out several patterns/colours we liked. we gathered a small crowd who followed us from shop to shop looking in the window and shouting "enga chachiwahi!" (yes, it is well/good) or "hichachiwahi" (it is not well) depending on wether or not they thought we should get a particular one. it was quite fun. :) some of the paterns were quite pretty, some not so much and others just made us laugh and say "only in africa". i was going to attempt to explain this to those who have never been here, but i think it's quite impossible. there are somethings that are so uniquely "african" or "zambian" that unless you been here and seen or experienced them it's quite impossible to understand. anyhow, after our little shopping trip we realized we had to leave in a hurry as Lina and i were supposed to be supervising free swim back at the school. we had quite the bumpy ride back as Margie was trying to rush to get us back in time! As it was we didn't have time to change into our swim suits as we normally would join the kids for a swim. we weren't too sure if we should even take the children down to the pool/river as the sky was looking rather ominously black! however, there was no thunder or lightning so down we went. by the time we got down there it had started to rain, just as the children were getting into the water it began to pour! still there was no thunder and lightening and we could still see the children through the rain, so we continued to let them swim. within 10 minutes Lina and i were looking rather like drowned rats, the children of course were having a ball! i began to sing "I'm singing in the rain" and as Lina (the music teacher) had just taught hte children this a few weeks ago they all joined in. it was quite fun really. i nearly jumped in the water to spash around with the kids, but i figured i just might drown from the weight of my already soaking wet denim skirt! after free swim was over Lina and i climbed back up the hill, slipping and sliding in the mucky clay and singing at the top of our lungs "if all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops..." we certainly got a workout as we were both wearing soaking wet denim skirts and it's a steep hill on a regular day! afeter nice hot showers we sat down with tea and goodies from the package that had just arrived for Lina to watch a video. what a wonderful saturday afternoon!:)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Proud 2 B Canadian!!

Everyday since the Olympics started 2 weeks ago i have faithfully checked out the medal standings (using up precious bandwidth) to keep my class informed. as Zambia was not in the Olympics and all my students are Zambians, each one got to choose a country to cheer on. Although only one of them was allowed to choose Canada (there was a small fight over that) they all cheered with me when Canada got their first gold. of course they didn't understand the significance of it, but they were happy none the less. i have been shocked to see Canada hold it's own in the top 5 the whole time! I know that doesn't sound very patriotic, but it's the way it usually goes. we usually seems to start off well, win a few medals and then step aside and let the rest of the world take it's share. but i must say that when i booted up my computer today and read the stats i was not only shocked and thrilled but extremely proud to be Canadian! we finished 3rd in the medal ranking, but i quite literally danced with glee to see WE GOT THE MOST GOLD MEDALS!!! so while canada is still rejoicing at home (it's 1am in ontario, and knowing my fellow canadians there is still much parting to be had!) please know that my class will be having a small canada party here in zambia! i wish i had been there to watch canada beat the US (sorry to my american friends, but i know you would feel the same had it been the other way around) so if anyone taped the 2 games (both the women's and mens) please send me a copy! if you need my address let me know. well, i must come back to earth and prepare for class, the kiddos will be here in 10 mins.
from one proud Canadian to the world "HA! TOO BAD YOU CAN'T ALL BE CANADIAN!EH?" ;)