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!