Monday, June 27, 2011

Junior Field Trip

It wasn’t until this morning that I finally clued in that the month of June is nearly over! This term has just been flying by; I am SO far behind in everything, especially marking and report cards are coming up just around the corner! Ahh!

On a positive note I was finally able to take my class on a field trip to the farm. At the end of last term and the beginning of this one we were studying community helpers and ‘farmers’ were the last on the list. I had hoped to do a trip to the farm to find out “what farmers do” way back at the beginning of term, but plans kept falling through. However on Thursday morning I was informed that we were able to go if we went that afternoon! Despite the short notice I figured “it’s now or never” so the trip was put in motion. The 3 & 4 class joined as well as Mrs. Towse and her 2 preschool aged children. So in all we had 39 kids and 4 adults.

When we arrived Mr. Pete Fisher showed the children how they process grain (mostly corn) to make food pellets for the animals and meale-meal (cornmeal) for selling. They kids even got to try some of the pellets which some of them actually enjoyed! (yuck!) After this his son, Mr. Chris took us around to see the various animals. We got to see some cows being milked; many of the students were shocked to discover that this is where the milk comes from that we drink every day and put on our cereal. :) From there we went to visit the pigs. The boar stood nearly as tall as some of my grade ones! The kids preferred watching the new piglets, the youngest ones were only a week old and were still quite cute. We also got to see the ‘porkers’ (as Chris referred to them) which are the pigs who are raised simply for meat. On our way we saw the ‘sheep infirmary’, the pen where any sick sheep or those needing extra care (pregnant etc). I have to say that this was one day I was thankful for my cold as my sense of smell was pretty much nil so I wasn’t able to enjoy any of the wonderful odours!
From the ‘porkers we walked up to see the young and old bulls. On our way we passed a very lonely looking old horse; they only have one left now. There were some rather interesting questions about the bulls brought up by some of the students but I think they were all answered rather tactfully.

Over all we had a great trip. The kids had fun and actually learned some stuff at the same time. :) mission accomplished! (I’ve posted some pics on facebook

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

update on the Sakeji Copperbelt 'Tour'

I tried to write this post on my laptop in the car on the way home from Chingola as it was all still fresh in my mind. after about 10 minutes, however, I realized it was just too frustrating as i couldn't read the screen properly and the bounces were making my usually bad typing even worse! So i've finally found some time to sit down and write about our little trip.

We, the grade 7-9 students, Phil Towse, Janette Young and myself, left Sakeji shortly after breakfast on Saturday morning. It was quite an excited crowd both in the vehicles and waving goodbye as this type of trip hasn't been done at Sakeji before. Janette and I had a truck full of very excited pre-teen/teenage girls who sang or chattered like magpies for the first hour or so. Then the car became nice and quiet as they got bored and decided to nap. The drive to Chingola was pretty uneventful; we stopped once for a bag lunch and a few times for a bush 'pit stop' and once at NoNo's for some soft serve icecream. Once we arrived in Chingola our time was planned out fairly well. We had plenty to keep up busy, but not so busy that it wore us out. The first evening we relaxed, the kids swam in our host’s pool and we had a bbq supper. We finished off our day with a video. It was quite a long day and we stayed up quite late so we were all happy when it was time to trundle off to bed. We were all looking forward to sleeping in the next day!

What we weren’t expecting was to wake up bright and early to the sound of traffic! Not something we hear at Sakeji. The sun streaming through the windows was another annoyance for those of us who wanted to sleep in past 6am! Despite all that our day started off nicely and leisurely as we didn’t have to be at the Sunday service until 10am.
The girls enjoyed a breakfast of hot toast and a selection of cereals. (HOT toast is special treat in itself!) We spent much of our day at Amano Christian School. First for the morning service, and then lunch and ‘siesta’. The kids had a netball practice to get them warmed up and used to the court as it is twice the size of ours. After which the girls took themselves off to the dorm to find their new-found friends to ‘hang’ with. The boys were challenged to a football (soccer) match by the Amano boys. As we only had 3 boys and male staff members the teams were mixed up a bit to even it out. Running around in the sun for an hour or so is quite sweaty work, so we took the students back to their host houses for a swim (not enough time for everyone to shower) to try and reduce the smell before supper!

Monday morning the girls were quite nervous about the ‘tournament’ that was taking place that afternoon. We started our day with a tour of Amano, after which the students joined a PE class to play floor hockey. While this was going on Janette and I headed back into town to do a rather hurried grocery shopping. We met up with some old friends, the Campbells, for tea and a quick catch up then booted it back for lunch at Amano. The tournament began around 1:30 once the other team had arrived. There were only 3 schools involved but both Amano and Nchanga had 2 teams worth plus lots of subs to our one team with one sub. Despite that our girls played very well and didn’t lose a match! We tied one game though (although we disagree as they didn’t count 2 of our baskets!). They even beat the Amano mixed team which had some highschool kids on it! We’re quite proud of them. :)

After the tournament we went out for some more ice cream to celebrate and then back to our host’s house for a pizza party. It was a great way to end the weekend. By this point I was beginning to feel pretty exhausted and I’m sure the kids were running on adrenaline!

The next morning we had to get up early and pack up the car to go. We discovered once again that once you open a suitcase there’s no way to get everything back in! we had 8 girls, 2 staff and all our gear + groceries stuff in and on top of the Patrol as we made our way over to the boys house. Thankfully we were able to offload some of the stuff into their vehicle (as well as a few passengers) which made it a much more comfortable drive! The girls were much more subdued for a good portion of the trip but then they started to get silly. I was really feeling the affects of the cold I’ve been battling and finally gave in and had a snooze most of the way home. We arrived back at Sakeji around 4:30 pm, interrupting the staff vs student soccer game by singing “when the saints go marching in” at the top of our lungs while tooting the horn. We had to make a ‘grand’ entrance :) the juniors came running with smiles, giving hugs and shouting ‘we missed you SO much’! you’d think we were gone a month, not just 4 days!
All said, it was a good time. Now if only I can catch up on some sleep and get rid of this horrible cold!!

There were 5 teams competing in the tournament but only 2 schools as both Nchanga and Amano had 2 teams and lots of subs. Our girls, despite being nervous about competing for the first time, did VERY well. We’re not sure of the exact scores as the score keepers had different numbers but basically our girls were undefeated. At the very end they faced an Amano team that was made up of both elementary and highschool students and they beat them! We’re SO proud of them. While the games were taking place 2 of our boys got to go golfing with Phil’s brother, Jonathon and they had a blast doing so. After it was all over we loaded up into the cars and drove back for some well deserved icecream.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

thousands of words....

they say a picture paints a thousand words so (if this works)i'm gonna 'talk your ear off'.
i FINALLY took some pics of the work site and a few others just for fun.the first one is an interesting snack i discovered the students eating at tea time. apparently it's among the favs here at Sakeji. any guesses as to what it might be?
down the left hand side are pictures of the work site. the first is a side shot showing part of the new dining room with the old/current one behind it.
the second shot is from the 'front' of the new building. getting the trusses (i think they're called) into place. Praise the Lord this went smoothly without anyone being seriously injured!
the third shot i took b/c i find it very interesting that at every construction site there seems to be more workers standing around then doing work... apparently it's the same world-wide. :)

the pics of the kids i threw in b/c, well, they're cute. :) all the students received these very vibrant shirts from one of the members of the Brass Tacks team. They're uni shirts from Teeside Uni which i believe is somewhere in England. (sorry for my ignorance on the location). The kids were all super excited (orange is a fav colour here, although some shirts were white with orange writing) and wanted to wear them as soon as possible! They had to wait until the following morning, after breakfast, to put them on so we could take a school shot (which i'm sure will show up on our new calender or in a bush talk for those who receive it).
2 blogs in one day! wow, i really need to stop procrastinating and get some work done! K, i'm done talking. enjoy the pics!
Ok, this blog is gonna need some feedback. I know people have been reading it (i looked at the stats) so this time when you give a look just add a quick comment as well (here's why).
All (or rather most) of the houses on station have a name; Rosebank, Valley View, Corner House etc. My house, however remains nameless. Since I arrived I've been pondering a name off and on. Today as I was looking up/studying something completely unrelated I was distracted and ended up with a list of 'house' names. :) For those of you who might not know, Beth means 'house' in Hebrew. I found some interesting Biblical 'house'names. So I'll post the list and would love to hear what YOU think would be a great name for my abode. I now KNOW there are people reading my blog as I looked on the stats so no excuses!
The list is in no particular order:

1) Beth-emek = house of the valley (i live at the bottom of a hill)
2) Bether = separation (this one's for you Snooze!)
3) Beth-lebaoth = house of the lionesses :)
4) Beth-meon = house of habitation (as long as my worker has been there to clean it is!)
5) Beth-nimrah = house of leopardess
6) Beth-Palet/Phelet = house of escape (it is on my afternoons/wknds off!)
7) Beth-Shemesh = house of the sun (it does get lots of it)
8) Bethuel = dweller of God
9) Beth-zur = house of rock (technically it's brick)

ok. i know i should have a nice even number like 10, but you'll have to deal with it cuz i don't. :) I tho't of doing "Beth-Sheach" as in "house of Sheach" but that seemed a LITTLE much. :) please let me know which one you think is best and why. or if you have different/better one feel free to suggest. :D

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the station is becoming overrun with men and i'm off on another trip!

the first of the brass tacks team arrived just after Lina and i headed off to Lusaka on our holiday. They have spent the last 5 (or is it 6) weeks building the walls etc of the new dining hall. Tomorrow morning Paul and Jim leave here to head back to England on Saturday. In the past few weeks we've had 4 more men descend upon the station to take up where Paul and Jim have left off. It's rather odd to see nearly even numbers of men and women at tea times each day as we're so used to the women out numbering the men 4 to 1 (sometimes way more then that)! Please pray for the team over the next few weeks as they come to the more dangerous part of the work, the trusses/roof and all that involves (i'm not exactly sure what that is, but it sounds kinda dangerous!). thankfully we've only had some very minor injuries (cuts and scrapes) so far.

in other news; for the first time in (known - please correct me if i'm wrong) Sakeji history. the senior class is heading out on a 'sports tour'. what this really means is that they're heading down to Chigola to the "new" Amano school to compete in a netball tourney. Phil Towse has arranged the whole thing and the students are quite excited. Janette Young and myself will be going as well as it's an overnight thing. Actually we'll be leaving a week Saturday and coming back on the Tuesday. The students (and staff) will be missing morning classes on Saturday (which of course, we're all pretty cut-up about) but as the Monday and Tuesday are half-term that will be all we're missing. Please pray for us all as we head down, for safety etc. As this is the first time we've done it, we're not sure what the costs will be (donations are always welcome ;) ) but we're hoping it will be feasible enough that it can become a yearly occurance. and that we might be able to host other schools in the future (once we get some new courts/fields set up - which is not in the forseeable future).

i'll probably get in trouble for this, but to put in a plug for the school. we have several "ongoing and upcoming" projects that are not always known to others until they are complete. when i was home people wanted to know how they could support the School and was it possible to help out with specific projects. Financially it an be done through MSC Canada or CMML (USA). A general donation can be made or you can specify if there is a certain project you would like to help with. If you would like to help out physically (ie. working on one of the building projects) contact me and I can put you in touch of the person in charge.

I have listed below a few of the projects (that i know of).

1) New diningroom/kitchen - currently underway, hope to be finished by September-ish
2) new roof for the dorm (current one leaks like a seive!!) - still getting priced/plans drafted etc
3) improvements to the sports program - like the trip, also fixing up courts/fields & getting new and good quality equipment that will last
4) improvements to the music program - this one isn't official, but i know Lina would like to be able to make some changes. having instuments (other then the recorder)for the students to learn would be nice
5) fixing up the classrooms (structural stuff)

i'm sure there are many more "projects" and there always will be. but we try to take one day at a time and trust the Lord will provide for the things we need as He has promised. So please don't take this blog as "begging for money" i don't mean it to be like that at all. I simply want to make others aware of some of the future plans.

well i must go. long day tomorrow and it's only 1/2 planned out!
thanks once again for reading!