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!