Monday, December 17, 2012

holiday time

Since my newsletter school has now finished and there have been a few changes. I will have one student repeating grade 1 next year as we felt she just didn't have a strong enough foundation in the basics of reading and writing. Thankfully when i did parent-teacher interviews her mom was very supportive and understanding of our decision. I have 11 other students preparing to come in January for a total of 7 boys and 5 girls. Half of my students already have siblings here at Sakeji so hopefully that will help their transition into boarding school life. At least 2 of my students have little verbal English, although they seem to understand it. Please pray they'll pick it up quickly and not fall behind because of it. I'm very excited about meeting my new class, especially as I have some new curriculum i'd like to try on them. :) But i'm ready to relax and enjoy my holidays first! Lina and I only went as far as the Copperbelt this trip as we both needed some dental work, mine was pretty minor this time and was dealt with rather quickly. Poor Lina had complications this time which ended in an extraction. We got a bunch of shopping done both for ourselves and the school and enjoyed eating out almost as much as we enjoyed our host's Sri Lankan (sp?)cooking! We had only inteded to be "in town" for a few days but that stretched into a week. so we were quite happy when we finally got home again on Friday. The rest of the Holiday is going to be spent relaxing or prepping for the new term. Except for Christmas and New Years days where the remaining staff will get together to celebrate. Wishing everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas! and all the best in the New Year! God bless!

Part of my November Newsletter...

The rains have come once again and everything is green and growing. Even with a gardener helping I have a hard time keeping up with my own little garden! My students were very excited when they came at the beginning of term because they knew we’d be learning about plants in science this term. We planted bean and pea seeds and watched them grow a little before transferring them into our “bag garden”. Last week we finally saw the “fruit of our labour” as we were able to eat some peas and beans from the little garden. It’s funny how vegetables that you have grown yourself as so much more enjoyable then those served in the dining room! ******** Most of my class did much better than I had originally thought. There are still some who are really struggling with some subjects but they are all moving on to Grade 2! Praise the Lord, as I have a full class of coming in next year. We had between 19 and 21 students apply for the 12 available spaces for the coming year; 6 of which have priority as their siblings are already here. We are very thankful to see so many interested, but until we get more staff, we are unable to expand our class sizes. We continue to pray for new teachers daily. Especially as a number of staff are looking to go on furlough next year (myself included) which means we will be stretched pretty thin unless more teaching staff come. ******** Once again I want to say a great big “THANK YOU” to those involved with packing and sending boxes through ACCTS (MSC)! I received a bunch of them at the beginning of term (thankfully June was here to help unpack and sort them with me) and then a few more came ½ way through the term. It is such a blessing to be on the receiving end of such generosity! It was also very exciting to get a new fridge (a gift) as my old one wasn’t very reliable and occasionally “took a break” which wasn’t so great when I had a term’s worth of meat in the freezer! Thankfully I don’t need to worry about that any more. I have to say one of the most interesting experiences I had this term was a crazy shopping trip in Solwezi. On our half-term break Lina and I drove June down to Solwezi (5.5 hr. drive) so she could catch a plane to Lusaka. In order to keep folks here happy, we volunteered to do some shopping for anyone who needed anything before the term break as Solwezi is the nearest “civilized town” (meaning it has a grocery store). I don’t think I was quite expecting so many lists! Besides ourselves and the school, we had 9 other shopping lists. Can you imagine the looks we got as we pushed 3 very full carts (one full of bags of potatoes alone) around the store and then proceeding to ring through 10 separate orders? We determined not to let ourselves be daunted by the task and in the end I actually enjoyed myself a bit (except the no air conditioning in the sweltering heat part). There was only 2 items we weren’t able to get, (which for Solwezi was surprisingly good) and it took us 30 minutes just to check out but we managed! Our cashier deserves a medal! I won’t be home (in Canada) for Christmas this year which will be hard as my family is big into Christmas traditions and spending time together. But I will be able to join in on some of the traditions here with my Sakeji family. I hope you will all have a joyous Christmas season, remembering the birth of our Saviour and spreading His love to those around you.