Monday, February 27, 2012

weekend exciment!

Some pretty exciting things have happened this past weekend.

1) Saturday morning I discovered most of my kids can spell simple words! Ok, this may not be exciting to you, but to me it means that they have actually learned something and the past 6 weeks have not been for nothing. :) of course this excitment was soon over-ruled by the fact that a few hours later...
2) my dad arrived! i couldn't concentrate at all during home ec time (good thing we weren't cooking this week!)poor kids, i even dragged them up to the airstrip with me to meet the plane. most of my students have been waiting excitedly for my dad to come as well, but not that he's here they're all rather shy. i guess he's a little intimidating? The men in the kitchen were quite excited to see my father as well as it's been a long time since they saw him last. I'm sure today he will be meeting some of the maintenance guys who he used to work with and will be working with again over the next 5-6 weeks.
3) the third exciting thing kind of ties in with the 2nd as my dad brought a bunch of goodies with him in his many suitcases. (praise the Lord he didn't have much trouble despite traveling with 4 bags!) thank you to everyone who chipped in to send some of the stuff out. I have to say i didn't really get excited about the tools, but i'm sure they will be put to good use here. the chips and chocolate bars, however, were very welcome! :) the best treat sent tho' was the oatmeal choc chip cookies made by my mom and nephews... talk about a little taste of home... mmmm!:D

well, the weekend is over and we're back to the daily grind. i'm hoping my amazingly brilliant students of saturday are still around and still remember... it's always a little frustrating when you think they've mastered something only to find out it was a fluke.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

From ABC's to Reading Week

Nothing really 'new' to report, back to the day to day 'grind'. If anyone has any brilliant ideas on how to help students better learn letter and number recognition; i'm all ears! i have a few students who are still really struggling with this. The biggest problem I have to overcome this year is undoing the stuff they were taught wrong and re-teaching it the correct way. It's quite frustrating for all involved as they feel they have already learned this and want to move on; where as I'd also love to move on, I can't until they have actually learned it properly. That being said, its quite exciting watching those who have learned their alphabet, but it together and form words. Right now at school we are having a reading competition (Reading Week) to encourage the kids who aren't so keen on reading to really dive in. Of course this means the kids that already appreaciate reading are constantly lost in books. Its very common these days to see students wandering around with their head in a book, completely oblivious to their surroundings. As the grade ones can't yet read, they are to get others to read to them. I'm glad to see the older students helping out in this way too. it's quite cute to see 3 or 4 grade ones packed in around a 5th or 6th grader listening intently to a book. Maybe this will encourage them to start reading too!

Monday, February 6, 2012

quick update on work permit

The Lord has shown His awesomeness once again! Last time I wrote I was planning to drive down to Lusaka to take care of my work permit however, the Lord worked it out so I didn't have to go in person. I was able to send my paperwork down on a plane and now I'm just praying it will be all taken care of on Wednesday! So that Thursday I am able to take the receipt in to our local Immigration officer and get a temperary extension until all the paperwork is processed. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Unplanned Roadtrip

Well as usual the days had all sort of blurred together for the past few weeks until Thursday I found myself looking at the calender and realizing I had exactly 7 days to get my new work permit or I'd be illegally in the country! You may ask why I waited so long, well, I have been working at getting all the paperwork together but with teaching and living in a 3rd world country it is not always quick and easy to do! On top of that, when I left the country in December, the plan was to leave my paperwork in Lusaka for it to get renewed... quick and easy. Unfortunatly the new goverment decided to screw up my plans. I am now not able to renew but need an entirely new one, which means I needed a new form, pictures etc. It's also not as easy to get someone who can certify documents here, especially when the Immigrations officer is never in his office. Anywho, he was tracked down today and said that he is not able to issue a 'report order' (sort of like a temp ext.) unless I have a receipt, which of course I don't. This means that I have to get my paperwork to Lusaka and in the system by Thursday... yikes! So tomorrow after lunch I'll be making my way south. We're hoping that I'll be able to leave my stuff in Chingola (1/2 way) with the man who usually takes care of this stuff for us. However, if he's not planning on going to Lusaka next week, then I'll be heading all the way down. Not a drive I really want to make in the rainy season... but one that seems nescessary.

On a possitive note, some of my students are slowing starting to get a hang of the whole 'reading' idea which is very encouraging. Others are a bit slower but we made some good progress today. We discovered that the one girl who has been having a lot of trouble learns songs rather quickly. So Hannah has been making up songs with actions and such to help her remember her letters and numbers. I'm hoping this will be a big breakthrough.

Well, must get back to figuring out the plans for the next few days.