Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to all!

my last blog (although posted today) was actually written last week, Monday. it has been an interesting and boring week all at the same time. My father was admitted to the hospital on Monday or Tuesday (can't remember which)which is hard to deal with when so far away. Not that I can do anything even if I was home, but it just seems so much harder to take when i'm "stuck" over here. Praise the Lord, he has now been sent home! I'm hoping that means things are getting much better, but I know they still haven't sorted out all the issues, so prayers are still needed and appreciated! I've spent my week puttering around my home and trying to get it cleaned up! I had the Ferguson family (Mel, Ross and their teenage boys) and Lina over for supper on Saturday night which was a lovely "family Christmas" time. I've been doing a lot of reading, knitting and baking; all of which I find pretty relaxing. Now I just have to tidy up the kitchen again (I wish there were little elves that would tidy up after I bake/cook!) and then i'm all set for Christmas tomorrow. Tonight a few of us are doing a cheese & a chocolate fondue at Lina's house which should be nice. Then tomorrow I'm just doing a progressive breakfast/gift opening with Lina, Bethany and Jill as we did last year. It's usually pretty laid back. I'll probably call my family although they're spread across the globe this year! Boxing day is when we'll have our station Christmas dinner. it will be pretty crowded as there are quite a few visitor right now. Well, I guess that's all for now. Merry Christmas to all! and don't forget to thank God for the real reason we celebrate Christmas; His Son the Lord Jesus Christ!

back at sakeji

Lina and I arrived back at Sakeji last night. The trip up from Lusaka was, as usual, interesting. We did manage to get done all the things we needed to get done in Lusaka but sadly didn't get to do the one thing we wanted to: watch The Hobbit. Lina was even at the theatre at the right time but they had closed down because of some "water problem" and we had to leave town before the next showing. it was so tragic! we could't believe that they actually HAD it in theatre so soon. the trip to Kitwe was not a good one. i got a headache which developed quickly into a migraine so every bright light of the cars that passed us was agony. poor lina had to drive in the dark, with pouring rain, insanely bad roads and a passenger who was of no help when we got turned around in Ndola. thankfully Lina is determined and God got us safely to the Fernando's house although we thought the little truck was going to drown in the lake we had to drive through on their road! we spent our last day 'out' in kitwe buying groceries and last minute odds and ends and then hurried back to the fernando's as they had invited us out to a christmas party they were going to. it was slightly awkward as we were really underdressed (i was in jeans and a t-shirt) and we felt like party crashers. but the food was amazing as the majority of the people at the party were from Sri Lanka and can cook! sunday we once again piled into the little truck and headed home. we had some trouble with the one tire and figured the alignment was just getting bad but we were told later that it was actually that the tire was falling apart! praise the Lord nothing happened to it or us as we travelled home! now that we're back i'm trying to get my groceries and purchases all away and my house in order so that i can have company over for christmas. guess i best get back to that!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

why are my "vacations" never relaxing?

A week ago today the kids had all gone home. I finished the last 3 interviews (for next years students) and then crashed for a day or two. Saturday the "single ladies" all went to the cottage site (as the cottage has not yet been rebuilt) and we had some fun just hanging out one last time before Hannah and the short termers left. I honestly don't remember Sunday as I spent most of the day trying to get ready for the trip south. this trip was originally just supposed to be Lina and I driving Hannah and 3 other girls down to Solwezi so they could catch a flight to Lusaka. we were going to spend a day relaxing and buying groceries and then return to Sakeji. After some talking we decided that instead of staying in Solwezi we would head to Kitwe, spend some time with friends and do our shopping there as there is a better selection. This plan too was changed as Lina got word that her work permit was finally ready and needed to be picked up from Lusaka. Monday (after many tearful goodbyes) we got the four girls packed into the back of a small pickup truck (it was covered) with all their luggage and 2 cooler boxes. The road to Solwezi was surprisingly better then expected and we arrived in pretty good time with no one getting sick! A quick trip to the bank and Shoprite (for snacks) and then we got dressed up (mainly just in clean clothes) and headed over to the only hotel in town for a nice supper out. We had a lovely supper, full of laughs and ended with a funny story which i'll not share on this blog to protect the 'innocent'. ;)(those who have my email can write and ask if they're curious). Tuesday morning we got up early (too early for me as I didn't sleep well) and after a rather sad breakfast dropped the girls off at the airport. we didn't stick around for long drawn out good byes, instead Lina and I headed out of town, south to Kitwe. The drive down was horrendous! the roads were horrible and the traffic was worse. on top of that the police at the police stops were annoying. one asked Lina for her "particulars" (meaning phone number) which she refused to give out. we eventually arrived at our destination and had a wonderful meal and sleep. wednesday we set out again, this time for Lusaka. for the first time in the 4 years I've been here the immigration people were also stopping people on the road! of course I didn't have my passport as mine was in Lusaka getting renewed. thankfully, he was very good about accepting a copy I happened to throw in my purse. again the police hassled us for no apparent reason. it took forever to get to Lusaka and on the way we found out that the fitness on the truck we're driving expires on the 12th... like today. after much debating with other staff members both yesterday and today we still haven't got that one solved. we arrived in Lusaka in time to change and go out for a late supper. I have to admit the supper was really nice and we were able to forget some of the horrible things from earlier in the day. today we started by rushing through the pouring rain to the immigration office to get lina's work permit. I waited next door at the 5-star hotel, knitting, drinking a latte and eating a croissant... such a supportive friend. :) actually I DID bring a latte to Lina too. we spent the morning shopping, which is rather exhausting and then went out to a movie for a little "down time". we'll see what exciting things tomorrow has in store...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Into the last 1/3 of term...

The second 1/2 term is now over which means we're entering the final weeks of school. 3 weeks tomorrow the kids go home... but who's counting. I was pretty productive this weekend as I had SO much time off. I managed to organize my livingroom enough that I could set up my Christmas tree and other decorations. I still have to organize and clean the rest of the house, but (with the exception of the bedroom) it's not as bad. I enjoyed the decorating and dancing around to my Christmas music but I admit it made me pretty homesick. So, I made my Christmas cards and wrote a Christmas newsletter. For once I'm ahead of the game! Those will go in the mail this aft, i'm hoping! I also got 7 or eight more skirts made for the orphanage (recycled from jeans) which I've had sitting waiting to be sewn for awhile. Other then that I had a relaxing long weekend trying to fight off a cold that some of the other staff seem to be getting. So far I've just got the sore throat. I'm hoping that's the worst of it for me!

Monday, November 4, 2013

One month to end of term. I feel more confident now than I did in my last post, although this may be due to the fact that I just want to be done with the term! Not that it's been a long or bad term, I'm just ready for a break! I did another interview today. It was supposed to be for a prospective grade 2 student however I ended up using the grade 1 interview as that was more his level. I think it will work out better though because our grade 2 class will be pretty full already and the grade one class still has a few openings... I think. Man, with this heat it sure doesn't feel like November! My students just finished learning about winter (we started on spring today) so I have paper snowflakes hanging in my classroom; sure wish they'd cool it down a little! Tomorrow we'll begin work on some Christmas crafts. I haven't got my Christmas tree out yet, I think i'll hold off a bit this year. Mainly b/c there is no space in my house for it at the moment... really should do something about that soon. Next Monday and Tuesday is our 2nd halfterm break. I lucked out cuz it lands just after my weekend off, so I get an extra long weekend! I guess that would be a good time to get some stuff done huh?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

1/2 way point

The term continues to fly and the pressure mounts as we get closer and closer to end of term. We're at the 1/2 way point in the term (as of today)and I am suddenly realizing there is SO much to do before I feel my students are fully prepared for 2nd grade. I have been slowly working through the grade 2 entrance tests to see where they are at in comparison with the other children applying to grade 2. I have to say it always makes me feel so much better when I see their results and can compare them with when they first arrived. Yes, the HAVE learned stuff this year! Hurray! Of course some of them aren't where I would like them to be, but i'm sure many of my teachers thought the same thing about me when I was in school. I have to remember that not ALL of my students are going to be straight A students, some of them will be "average" (which was generally where I sat) and some will "squeak by". God makes us all different and just because they don't "ace" grade 1 does not mean they won't accomplish a lot in life. In other news; we're still looking for more teachers for next year so if there are any Christian teachers out there looking for a job... or an adventure:) please contact us and let us know! Must get back to grading papers; falling shamefully behind!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Catching up…

Sorry for falling behind. I didn’t have much internet access after leaving the west coast until I got back to Zambia and then I didn’t have the time! I was SO great to be able to spend time with friends in Guelph. Wish I could have had another whole month just to catch up with friends as there were so many I didn’t even get to see. Going out for supper with some of my girlfriends from “days of old” was one of the best times I had on the trip; even if they did embarrass me at the restaurant. :) The trip back was long and uneventful. When I got back I had to kick into high gear as I had less than a week to get my classroom and lesson plans ready before the kids arrived. Of course just to add to the confusion/fun? the container boxes arrived and I had much unpacking and sorting to do. Once again to those who send stuff – you’re awesome! Thanks so much! Thankfully the first weekend of term happened to be my weekend off so I was able to work more on getting stuff sorted out. My house is still a wreck, but that’s seems to be its normal state. We have been having fun learning about plants in class. It always blows me away how quickly things grow here! We “planted” bean seeds last week and this week most of them are over a foot tall and some look like they will soon have flowers on them. I stupidly told the kids they could take their plants home at the end of term, but I’m not sure how I’m going to swing that one! Any ideas?? This term I am back to working at the orphanage at least once a week. I will be working both in the container sorting the clothing into the new plastic containers which just arrived as well as back to teaching the teens to read & write. I have more of a plan for the teaching now and will be working with the 2 most advanced ones first and then once they are reading they can help me with the others that have less training. One of the mamas has also requested lessons so it should be rather interesting.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back in Canada... again

We did go on our hike on Thursday and got rained out! It was a somewhat miserable ride back to the yurts as we were all a little soggy and tired, but it was still a great hike to the Ice Caves. Friday we headed back to Canada via the ferry to Vancouver Island. We did a brief trip around Victoria and then headed to Nanaimo where we have spent the past few days. Yesterday we went on a walk through Cathedral Grove Trail to see some of the largest and oldest trees in Canada. It was pretty cool but I kept expecting some ewoks or yoda to come crawling out from behind a tree! From there we went to The Old Country Market to see the Goats on a Roof where there are quite literally goats living on the roof of the market place. it was rather bizarre but interesting. We then made a quick stop at a butterfly and turtle place just for fun. I got some great pics of some beautiful butterflies before we called it a day and went "home". Today we spent at the beach at an event called "Kidfest". We checked out the Canadian Sand Castle Competition and walked around with the kids checking out the various booths etc. We were all pretty wiped out by the end of the day. I have yet to go swimming although we were again by the Pacific Ocean. It's a little to chilly for me! Tomorrow we catch the ferry to the main land. Not sure of all our plans. Dan early this morning to fly home so we should have a little more room in the car on the way back! I think we're spending a few days in Vancouver before Chris and Laura head back to Washington and we start our treck back to Ontario. Better get some sleep... another long day tomorrow!

Aug 14/2013

Had a some great "family" times in the Seattle area (i think we were actually in Marysville). The weather was gorgeous, a little cool in the mornings but beautifully sunny in the afternoons in fact a few of us even got sunburns, which we weren't expecting! Yesterday we went mini golfing as a family; it's been a LONG time since tht has happened. it was fun watching dad try to teach the next generation to mini-golf. :) today (wednesday) we left the beach house and headed more for the mountains. we're "camping" in a little place called "Paca Pride" which is sort of like an alpaca farm. We're staying in 'yurts' which is a new experience for me. the one dan and mere & kids are staying in is like a small bedroom, but the rest of us have a huge one. I'm sleeping in a 'tent cot' which is pretty cool. it makes you feel like a little kid sleeping in a "fort" in the house. i think i need to get once of these things for camping in africa b/c you're not on the ground but raised up about a foot or so. the alpaca's are cute. i'm planning on purchasing some of their yarn tomorrow. :) tomorrow we plan to go on a hike and picnic. just hope the rain holds off, it's been drizzling on and off since we got here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

a hobo and a beach bum....

oh the wandering life of me. after arriving in Canada I spent one night in Guelph, one in Sudbury, two at camp (near Chapleau), another on in Sudbury... then the real road trip began! Once our family (mom, dad, Mere's family and myself) were all assembled we headed out in our rented Yukon. Although it seats 9 people, it was rather squished to fit in 7 plus food and luggage as it has virtually no trunk space. we headed down through Michegan (slight problem just across the border with someone smashing the side view mirror nearly off the truck). the first day we drove something like 12 hours.... a very long trip for 2 little boys... we spent the night (or what was left of it) in Deluth, MN. The second day we travelled just into Montana state. On our way we made a few unscheduled stops to get out pictures taken with a huge Paul Bunyan statue and again in North Dakota at the giant buffalo statue and pioneer village. That night we arrived at our hotel at a fairly reasonable hour. :) The 3rd day we headed to Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful. It was VERY crowded with tourists so we didn't get to see much wildlife. by that point the boys were getting pretty fed up with being in the car. when we arrived at the geyser we had just missed seeing it go off and had to wait an hour for the next "viewing". by that point I was pretty tired and not really impressed with the whole thing, however the boys enjoyed watching the geyser "explode". that night we drove back to Montana to crash. our last day was the remaining leg of the journey to Washington. It was pretty cool watching the terrain change from the "bad lands" to the mountains. I have to say driving through the mountain pass when they're getting ready to blow it up was a little scarey but the view was amazing! Aeryck had a blast taking pictures of everything with his Leap Frog. We are now at the "Beach House" which is more like a boat house as there's not much beach but it's still a beautiful place and fully equipped for kids. yesterday the girls (minus Laura who had to work) went to get manicures and pedicures and just generally relaxed while dad and dan watched the boys. today we're heading out to Pike's Market Place and then the girls are going outlet mall shopping. I love holidays! :D

Sunday, July 28, 2013

passing time in town

Friday morning a bunch of us left Sakeji headed south and eventually to various destinations. With good company to talk to and no problems along the way we arrived in Solwezi shortly after 2. Hannah and I were dropped off at the lodge where we were spending the night and the others continued on their way. After a long HOT walk into town to get some money from the bank, Hannah and I soaked our feet in the pool (it was too cold to swim) and enjoyed some time just hanging out together. Neither of us slept well that night, not because of the accommodations but rather from excitement I think. the next morning our we got a 5am wake up call (which we didn't ask for) and the taxi arrived to pick us up at 5:30am. I thought this was WAY too early as our flight wasn't till 7:20 and it was only a 15 min ride to the airport but such is life. When we got to the airport it was still locked up for the night. So we sat on the curb freezing! Finally the night guard came and brought us a bench to sit on. he also let us know that the airport didn't open until 7. despite the wait, the flight wasn't too bad, although a little chilly. we flew in a Cessna Grand Caravan, which as Hannah put it was like flying in a 15 passenger van. :) there were 12 seats for passengers and then 2 pilots. once we arrived in Lusaka we got a taxi to take us to check into the flight house and then we headed out to the Cultural Village where Hannah did some souvenir/gift shopping. We had the rest of the day to kill time as Hannah didn't have to be back at the airport until 8 pm for her evening flight home. We spent some time window shopping and enjoying lattes together. it was nice just to relax and not have a pressing schedule. back at the flight house we chatted with some elder missionaries until Hannah had to go. I went to bed early to try and catch up on some sleep. today I slept in a bit before heading to town. I did some craft/gift shopping at the market, had some lunch and then headed home to rest for the afternoon. I have 2 reports to get ready which is what i'm supposed to be doing right now. :) tomorrow morning I head to the airport to catch my flight to London. i'll spend the night there before heading on to Toronto on Tuesday. can't wait to get home!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The end of another term draws near and the usual excitement and anticipation builds. Watching my students playing board games quietly together I realize how far they’ve come, not just academically but socially as well. They’re learning to work out their own differences without shouting and tears; sharing and playing fairly and encouraging each other. They still have a long way to go, but it’s such and encouragement to see that they’re actually growing. Although this is our shortest term, it always feels like the longest to me but I’m not sure why. I think it’s because the excitement of going to school has long worn off for the students and now it’s just “boring”. Usually by third term they’ve come to grips with the fact that this is school life and they start trying again. I probably also has to do with the fact that I am so excited about going home to Canada on the holiday. God has worked things out so well, as usual. I wasn’t sure how I would get down to Lusaka as the cost of a flight is usually out of my price range but then I found a cheaper flight with another airline. Of course they don’t fly to Sakeji so I had the issue of getting to Solwezi. Of course God worked that out too. The Towses are heading down to Lusaka (and incidently flying on the same flight as me to London) and are more than willing to give me a lift to Solwezi. They weren’t sure they could give me a ride all the way down but when they found out it was just to Solwezi they were more than accommodating. On the way back here there are 4 other girls flying in at the same time so we’re all catching the same flight to make it easier to get picked up in Solwezi again. Still not sure who it’s going to be picking us up, but I’m leaving that in God’s capable hands! One week today and I’ll be in Canada! Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Not 'Mommy' Material...

On Friday night I decided that I not cut out to be a Mom! I think being an Aunt is more my style; love 'em, spoil 'em and send them home! What caused this realization? I only got 1.5 hrs of sleep on Friday night because I was babysitting a nearly 2 mth old. I have to admit, I just like sleep too much to give it up! I was fully prepared to get up in the night for the midnight/3 am feedings etc.; what I wasn't prepared for was not being able to fall asleep b/c the little boy makes so much noise! He is definitely a grunt and groaner and he cries out in his sleep. Half way through the night I put his cot in the next room, knowing that if he cried I'd still be able to hear him. However that only lasted about an hour because he decided to snort milk out his nose and then proceed to choke! Thankfully I wasn't asleep yet and heard him but after that I felt I couldn't put him in the other room just in case. Previous to that I had a great afternoon with him. It was kinda fun having a baby around to play with and talk to... as long as I can send them home before I go to bed! (I didn't have my camera with me so I didn't get any pictures, but I'll try and get some tomorrow to add to the blog.) Saturday I was sort of wandering around like a zombie. I warned my students that I was very tired and that it probably wouldn't take much to push me over the edge. For once they listened and didn't push. In the afternoon I had sports with the seniors. I decided that playing soccer might wake me up... it didn't. I have a huge scrape on my knee to prove that playing soccer when really tired is a bad idea. Apparently my brain was too tired to send the "keep moving" message to my knees! It must have looked really funny b/c one moment I was running with the ball and then next I was on the ground. Saturday night I was asleep by 9:30 (which is way early for me!)and slept right through till the alarm went off this morning for breakfast. Unfortunately I still managed to get sick! I should have known that the end of term cold was lurking around the corner waiting to pounce. :S Hope I can shake it before I head home!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Field Trip to the Farm (written June 12)

Last week I told my students that we'd be going on a field trip soon. They were super psyched although they had no idea what it was or where we were going. Yesterday, after learning about farmers in our "community helpers" social studies class, I told them we'd be heading to the farm today. I wasn't quite prepared for the overwelming excitement! I love this class, they get SO INTO everything!:D This morning while checking on a few last minute things to do with the trip we found out that we might have to post pone it. I wasn't sure how to break the news to my students. They handled it pretty well, however, and decided we should pray about it, which we did. Thankfully God answered our prayers in the affirmative as I had not doing any classroom planning. So after morning tea (and ensuring everyone had used the bathroom) we packed the whole of lower school (grades 1-3= 36 students, plus 4 staff members, a 5 yr old and a 1 yr old totalling 42 people) into a land cruiser and the school's patrol. it was a good thing our kids are mostly small as they were packed several deep! it's also only a 8 min ride to the farm. i decided on that short drive that i never want to be a school bus driver; excited kids packed into a small space are REALLY LOUD! once we got there of course all the rules about "staying together" and being "quiet so we don't scare the animals" were quickly forgotten. but the kids had a blast and no one was hurt or left behind (although we did consider it...). their favourite things were the pigs... the horse.... and acting like cows in the weigh station. :)

the wandering lion

I was reminded that I should be updating my blog... and for once it wasn't my mother telling me. :) Trying to think of something new or different to write about is always my problem. But I remembered today that I have yet to tell about the lion. Not that I have much to tell. We have a rogue lion wandering around the general area. Not close enough that we have to be worried about it coming on station (i think all the noise the children make would keep it away anyhow) but close enough that it is often the topic of conversation. especially with the children when they are down at the river. I think they are trying to scare each other with the thought of it coming to get them. On Saturday while i was on river duty one of the students asked me what we would do if the lion came. I told them I'd blow the whistle and the last ones to respond would be lion bait! Truthfully I don't have a clue what I'd do, we don't exactly have a "what to do in case of lion attack" on our river rules paper. any suggestions? so far it has not shown any signs of being a man-eater. which is a very comforting thought, especially after watching "The Ghost and the Darkness" a few weeks ago! in fact this lion's taste seems to be only for beef. He has killed several cows (i can't remember the last count) but seems to leave the game farm animals alone. Mr. Pete Fisher has been trying to track/hunt the beast down but it is proving to be rather clever. Last Sunday Pete showed us some pictures of the pawprints he saw and said they measure at least 7 1/2 inches in diameter. This shocked me at first, but then I remembered the size of the paws on the young lions that I walked with and realized that a full grown lions paws would probaby be even bigger.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

dry season

Oh the wonders of dry season. When I came home today after lunch I realized my house smelled of smoke from the fires that had been burning last night. They have started to burn off the tall dead grass around the school and because of where my house is situated (somewhat near to the farm boarder) I had smoke coming at me from 2 sides. Doug, the head of maintenance wants to make sure they do a really good job this year. Appparently last year it wasn't done properly and some accidental fires got started that needed emergency attention. I don't remember hearing about it last year though. Anyhow, it doesn't matter how quickly you close your windows, the smoke and ash somehow manage to make their way in. This would also explain the reason i can't get my cold to go away - it's being aggrivated by smoke allergies. I kind of have a love/hate thing with the fires. I really don't enjoy the smoke and ash, but i have to say i'm quite mesmorised by the fires! i haven't taken any pictures this year (have enough from previous years) but i have enjoyed the flames from a distance. another part of the dry season is the cold. it seems like the longer i stay here, the more affected by the cold i am. for those of you from canada (or other northern countries) you will think i am a big wimp but this morning when i woke up the thermometer (on the inside of my window) said 15 degrees Celcius. i'm sorry, but this is FAR TOO cold for JUNE! yes, i realize i am in the southern hemisphere so it's technically winter here, but my body doesn't seem to understand that. i currently have 2 comforters on my bed and sleep in my flannels. if it was cold all the time it wouldn't seem so bad but then during the day the temperature is up in the high 30's! it's so hard for a body to acclimatize! one thing i really enjoy about this time of year though is that i can always have a HOT shower! as our water is solar-heated, this is not always the case during the rainy season; especially if it has rained for several days in a row. so i have been drinking a lot of tea and having a lot of hot showers to warm me up. i'm looking forward to going home and "warming up" in Canada :) can't wait for the sunny days at the beach!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I came across this quote the other day and was shocked by the emotions it stirred up in me. It's funny but I guess i sort of thought that now I was an adult i'd be other the whole "messed up TCK" thing but i realized i'm actually not! so for those of you who know me, this sort of explains a little bit about why i am the way i am. I would love to hear what other people think about this, especially other TCK's. This part in particular spoke to me. Now I understand why i "cling" so fast to family and traditions. "They search for home in the rhythms of breath and time and in attempts to absorb rootedness through ritual and personal connection. Family, religion, language, memories carried within, become the home these children are unable to return to, a home not defined by geography…." Enjoy... “All children must figure out who they are and where they belong. Rooted children can take their clues from history, from their environment, from the traditions they are born into. But mobile children, raised in a world of changing backdrops, are expected to be cultural chameleons, turning themselves emerald in the Amazon forest, tawny on dry Arabian sands. To successfully adapt to the transitions in their lives, they must flow in and out of cultures, taking on the colors of one, slipping from the bonds of another. Some embrace the many influences they are exposed to, while others are more selective, adopting only those aspects of a culture they choose to retain. They are able to immerse themselves in new cultures, keeping pieces of themselves hidden and adapting well with frequent moves.But what of their interior selves. Some children deal with transition by managing superficial changes with ease, seemingly conforming to the new host culture but camouflaging their inner lives. They learn new languages, wear the proper clothing, play the part like the seasoned performers they have become. Yet others suffer great difficulty in dislocation and cannot make themselves entirely comfortable anywhere. Without the supportive structures of a place they can call home,they flounder in new environments, unable to conform or blend in with their surroundings. Theirs is not the exhilaration of freedom but the loneliness of isolation. Awkward outsiders, they always feel out of place. A gnawing restlessness shadows their lives and prevents them, even in adulthood,from establishing permanent roots. They search for home in the rhythms of breath and time and in attempts to absorb rootedness through ritual and personal connection. Family, religion, language, memories carried within, become the home these children are unable to return to, a home not defined by geography…. The journey to self discovery can be a protracted one for the unrooted child. The restlessness bred into these children because of their parents’ mobility leads them to seek identity in something other than place. Roots are not portable; these children cannot secure themselves to an impermanent home. In developing integrated identity, they must piece together self hood in other ways.” from Unrooted Childhoods- Memoirs of Growing Up Global by Faith Eidsea and Nina Sichel

Saturday, May 11, 2013

may musings

It's so quiet on station right now i can hear only my fridge humming and the clock ticking. it seems strange to think that in a few days those sounds will be blocked out by the sounds of many children playing with their friends. normally at this point i am still not yet ready for the students to come back but strangely i find myself looking forward to seeing them again. this term break has been just long enough. as i have only truly been off-station for one night and two days i have had plenty of leisure time and find that i am sufficiently rested and ready for the new term. the biggest problem i forsee is getting back into a schedule and making it to breakfast ontime! in the last few weeks we have had 3 "changes" to our school. 1) the back end of the hall was taken off and it has been extended several feet to make new storage rooms. the workmen have been working very fast and seem to nearly have that complete. however the next part is extending the side and then replacing the roof. for those of you who have been to Sakeji, i am sad to say that they got rid of the Eucalytis tree that was between the hall and the tennis court. :( 2) a former student, now trained teacher, David Poidevin, has come to help for the next 2 terms, covering for those who are on furlough. 3) we have accepted a new student into grade 2 although she is already 10yrs old. this was a difficult decision to make as she is much older then the other grade 2's. normally we have a cap on age as this is a boarding school and it can cause problems further down the road. she is from the Hillwood Orphanage and has had a very rough past but recently gave her life to Christ and is working hard to overcome her past. she is a very bright girl and love to learn and help others so i'm sure she'll fit in fine here. please pray for her as she adjusts to life here and that she'll be able to catch up to her peers quickly. well, that is all for now as i have to get to a staff meeting soon and need to finish up a few things first.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

oops! missed a month

I've actually written a blog at least once since the last post, but then decided to scap it instead of "publishing" as it was very whiney. will try to do better this time. :) the term ended well and i'm enjoying the quiet relaxation of term break. the only travel for me this break was a quick trip to Solwezi with Hannah for shopping and dropping off the Ollila's. The trip went well; we accomplished what we set out to do and with the exception of a flat tire on the way in there were no major problems. for the rest of the holiday i have several "projects" i'd like to (or need to) get done. i'll have to see how many i actually accomplish. my first major project is cleaning the house. this is also my least favourite project which is why it has gotten as bad as it has. I worked on this a lot this week and got most of it done - like spring cleaning, just need to attack my bedroom now! the other projects are mostly fun hobby-type stuff. other then that i'll be spending some time over at the orphange helping to unpack their gazillion (slight exageration) boxes and get them organized so the stuff can be used. i think i'll have to write a blog about container boxes soon, just not today. :) tomorrow Hannah and I take the oldest of the orphans swimming. I haven't done this (with them) before so it should be interesting. apparently they're all pretty pumped about it. and that's about it. life is pretty boring at the moment. but not in a bad way in a relaxing way. :) oh, for all of you complaining about missing out on spring... come for a visit; we've got GORGEOUS weather here right now :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

pictures included this time! :)

Tomorrow is already the 1/2 way point of the term! I've been enjoying my class this term; trying to relax my teaching style a bit. I've realized it really doesn't matter if we get every single page of their workbooks done, as long as the children learn the material. I'm still a little frustrated with some of the curriculum and have decided instead of complaining about it, I'm going to improve it! Jess Russell (my TA this term) has helped me tremendously as she is very artistic and I am not. She has drawn " animal characters" to go with the alphabet letters (eg. Annie Ant, Zack Zebra) and we're making them into handwriting/spelling pages. It's been rather fun actually! Of course I can say that as she has done most of the work. She is now working on putting together some phonics pictures for me (ie. when 2 vowels going walking...). I'm scanning them into my computer and hoping to get them printed into booklets for my kids to use next year. I'll also be making up copies for the kids to use at the orphange and (finances permitting) some for teacher I wrote about in my previous post. Some day (maybe on my next furlough) I'd like to make up a social studies curriculum merging the Canadian ideas with the Zambian content. The books we are currently using are Zambian, but there just isn't enough in them to last for the whole year so I'm have to do a lot of supplemental work anyways. Other fun news... tomorrow is birthday party. The theme is "the WILD WEST". My students have been learning to do a square dance in music class and I got to see it for the first time today when they did a dress rehearsal. SO cute! I got little "cowboy hats" for the boys to wear and big bows for the girls to wear. i don't think i can post a video here but i got some pics of them posing. (i'll try and put the video on facebook if you have access to that). It should be a fun day tomorrow. :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

give thanks in everything!

It’s raining! I don’t usually get excited about the rain, in fact I’m usually kinda annoyed, but as we’ve had very little rain of late it’s good to see the ground get a good soaking. Of course this means a cold shower tonight, but I think I’ll live. I was reminded yesterday that I need to be thankful in everything! I find I often whine about what I don’t have or how what I do have is not good enough etc. Yesterday 5 teachers from a local Zambian school came to Sakeji to observe our teaching practices etc. Sort of like a professional development day for them. I was not looking forward to their coming at all as any disruption to the class can be rather annoying. At lunch time of the teachers was assigned to my table, which is always awkward as I’m shy and never know what to talk about, but I need not have worried as she was not at all shy and had tons of questions for me about teaching grade ones. During the conversation I found out she teaches 30 grade one students (ages 5-6) all by herself (no T.A’s or extra assistance). On top of that the school she teaches at doesn’t have a set curriculum and has very little resources. (I’m slow so it took me awhile to pick up on that one). It definitely made me feel very guilty for all the whining I do about the curriculum we have that I don’t like. At least we have it! I don’t know how she teaches without losing her sanity! I finally took her down to my classroom to look at the books etc. She was blown away; not by the mess or anything wonderful I had done, but by the size of the room (for just 11 students) and the bulletin boards etc. I soon found myself grabbing a spare box and filling it full of extra stuff (flash cards, old reading books we haven’t used in years, photocopyable books I was sent but never find the time to use etc) she was nearly in tears she was so excited. It was very humbling! God continually needs to remind me about how much I actually have compared to those around us here; maybe one day I’ll actually learn this lesson and stop whining!

Monday, January 28, 2013

3 weeks down

We've all settled in to the routines now and for the most part my studens are still fairly well behaved! This class is very different from last year's class, I find teaching them a lot less stressful, which is nice.:) They are generally a quiet bunch (when they're working) which is somewhat surprising to me as they are mostly boys. Having Jess in my class as a T.A has really helped too as I don't feel so stretched and she's always willing to pitch in. I'm also less likely to get angry with the students if another adult is around. I've been trying to have a lot of fun with my students this year because I read somewhere that something you learned while having fun is more likely to stick with you. So today when trying to teach them 'right and left' I got the "brilliant" idea to do the Hokey Pokey with them. (you know "you put your left hand in... etc.) We all had a blast dancing and singing and I think some of them actually learned which hand was which! :) Now if I could only get them interested in learning to read... I have 4 students in particular that really just don't seem to care. I even stooped so low as to bribe them with candy last week... it still didn't work. I guess I'll think of something eventually... I hope!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Merry Christmas!

just found this saved as a draft... oops! Christmas this year is a bit weird as this is the first time in my life that I won't be celebrating with my family. I've sort of gotten over the sad part, but I'm having trouble with realizing that Christmas is REALLY here. I have my tree up and house decorated, I've been listening to Christmas music, wrapping gifts, and doing Christmas baking. I've been to several Christmas parties and Carol sings but it still doesn't feel like Christmas is happening tomorrow! Normally by this time I'd be as excited as a little kid, but this year I'm having difficulty getting excited. I AM looking forward to the fun things I have planned with my friends for tomorrow; mainly a progressive breakfast & gift giving! Sounds pretty yummy and fun!

One week in...

Just thought I'd add a quick update while I'm actually able to get online. Since school has started back there were some changes made to out internet and for some reason I now have trouble connecting or if i do get on it boots me off after a few minutes. We've now completed one week of classes and my class is beginning to settle into the classroom routine and rules, not that they always remember, but they're still making an effort. Unfortuntately I've had to discipline some of them already. I'm hoping that they'll learn quickly and I won't have to do it again any time soon! On the "home front" I have a sneaking suspicion my cat got herself pregnant last time she escaped.... great. Now what do I do? to make matters worse there is actually a vet on station and i was hoping to get her fixed for free while he's here but that probably won't be happening now as he's not here for too long. :S oops! just realized the time. have to go get readyfor a staff meeting...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As of today our holidays are over and the students decend on us again. For once, I think I'm actually ready for them :) I had a nice holiday, very casual; hanging around my house, reading, baking and various other fun activities. Christmas Eve the staff remaining on station had a lovely Christmas dinner with turkey, ham and all the fixings! Delicious! Christmas day I spent with the other single ladies and we had fun going from house to house eating and openging presents (a "progressive brunch"). We had various carol sings and games nights as well. New Years Eve we had a bonfire and singing, fireworks, food and some of us stayed up past midnight watching a movie. The past week I've spent in and out of my classroom prepping for the new school year. My classroom is finally ready (although it needs some sweeping etc in the morn) and i acutally have the first week of classes planned! i have never been so organized in my teaching career before! :D I found out last night that one of my new students may not be coming because she is a picky eater and her parents don't think she'll be able to adapt. HA! most of the kids that come are "picky eaters" but they find out quickly that picky eaters are hungry kids with sore bottoms... so they go home not quite so picky. :) Well, tomorrow is the first day of a new school year. So exciting as there are SO many possibilities! Can't wait to meet all my munchkin's!