Thursday, December 10, 2015

waiting and wondering....

"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform." So true - I always seem to be at a loss as to why God changes my travel plans without consulting me first. Of course if He consulted me first, His wonders probably wouldn't be as wonderful.

My Plan
Take a week to finish cleaning my house and classroom.  Drive down to Solwezi with Lina for a final road trip and time together. Fly down to Lusaka.

God's Plan
Allow Lina to get malaria so she is no longer able to drive me down. Arrange for a flight to be leaving Sakeji the next day with space on it and room at the Guest House in Lusaka.

Needless to say I didn't get all the work done that I had left to the last minute (serves me right) and got to spend very little time with Lina as she was too ill. Then I had to purchase the ticket for the new flight (why does it ALWAYS cost me extra!) and pay for 2 extra nights at the Guest House.

Normally I wouldn't be so upset about spending extra time in Lusaka but as I couldn't do much shopping (low cash and no space in bags) it made my time there rather boring! Thankfully some friends asked me to pick things up for them so I had some excuses for shopping! :) I also got a manicure and haircut to kill time, plus the price was right $24 for the whole deal!

Now I sit in the Lusaka airport departure lounge and wonder what to do with the last 2 hours of my time here in Zambia. It still hasn't fully kicked in that this is my last time. I'm sure that will hit me sometime after Christmas when I'm wondering what God has planned next for me.

I think I will post one more post once I am back in Canada. Maybe after Christmas. Then I'll shut this blog down.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


How do you sum up 6 years into one blog entry... I'm not sure I can. It had defiantly been an interesting adventure if nothing else. I'm not sure I fully knew what I was getting into when I first embarked on this journey; I'm not sure I would have followed God's command if I had!
I have taught 8 grades of kids in the 6 years I've been here at Sakeji and each group is so different and each student so unique and special. My first year here (2010) I decided to copy my JK teacher and put up footprints of each of my students. I've carried that on and now there's a path around 1/2 my classroom.

It's hard to believe that I've been an influence on so many lives in such a short time. I pray that I have been a good influence in their life and that they will remember some of the important things I have taught them in their time in my classroom. But mostly I pray that they will come to know Christ as their personal Saviour.
Today has been a hard day (and it's not over yet). There is much excitement about it being the last day, the kids are over the moon to see their parents (as it should be!) but it's also a day of goodbyes. Not just to me, but for the students who won't be returning next year. Some of them have been here for most of the school career and are moving on to high school - most likely another  boarding school, probably not a Christian one. They will have a whole lot of 'new and exciting' experiences to look forward to but they are also leaving behind their friends and 'family' at Sakeji. I usually skip breakfast on the last Thursday of the term, but I think I will make an exception this last time to say my final good-byes to the kids.  


Friday, October 30, 2015

Half Way Point

The halfway point I believe was actually last Wednesday, which means I only have 5 more weeks with this group of kids!
Almost three weeks ago now I got a cold (courtesy of the students) which got pretty nasty and then developed into a sinus infection. My grade one class was so sweet to put up with all my coughing, nose blowing and lack of voice. I got so many hugs and "hope you feel better soon!"s. One of my little cuties said to me, after a particularly bad day "Miss Sheach, I hope you feel better tomorrow. I'll pray for you tonight!" The next day when I mentioned that I was feeling a little better so was so excited and said, "I knew it! I prayed for you, so I KNEW you'd be better." Oh to have the faith of a child! Unfortunately I wasn't completely healed at that time, it's been a long, rough trip back to full health.
 I am very thankful to those who were able to cover a few of my classes when I just needed to sleep and for access to antibiotics! I can't imagine how missionary-teachers in the past just carried on through the illnesses, often times without the proper medicines. Makes me feel like a real baby!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Through the Eyes of a Child

Last term we started a project called “Communities Around the World”. Each we week we learned about a different country of the world, looking at their food, language, culture etc. I has been a lot of fun both for the students and me! With the amazing age of technology we live in I was able to Google pictures and find YouTube video clips for them to watch each week (learning the language, animals, various sports/games, modes of transportation) which made it all the more real to them. Occasionally we also had some yummy treats in class to correspond with the country we were learning about. I think the country that impacted them the most was Kenya. Probably partly because it is also an African country. When we were looking at various pictures of the housing there we came across some pictures of children living in poverty in and around dumps and piles of garbage. This really impacted my kids! One of them said, “I want to cry! Can they come live at my home?” It was so touching to see that they were wanting to help. The next week instead of learning about a new country I asked them if they wanted to help out some of the poor people like those in Kenya. They were very excited to do this! So we went on the World Concern website and looked at their gift catalogue. We talked about the different ways we could help out and then I let them choose some ‘gifts’ to purchase. I was very impressed with their choices. They chose to send some kids to school (“so they can get good jobs and get money for food”), a vegetable garden for a family (“vegetables make you healthy and strong”) and some Bibles (“so they can learn about Jesus”). As we had a little money left at the end we also got 2 soccer balls.

I have to admit I was a little surprised with how excited they were about the whole thing. I have done the “gift catalogue” in the past with my students and never had such enthusiasm before. After thinking it through I realized it must have been because the previous classes had never “seen the need” before. Showing my students the pictures of people in poverty really opened their eyes to the world. Unlike cynical adults, children still believe everything should be “fair” and children (people) living in poverty just “isn’t fair”. Even though they are only 6 or 7 years old, I think they realized how much they are blessed to have a home, and good food and be able to go to school. They were excited to “share” some of their good fortune with others because it made things more “fair”.
Even though I work with children every day, I often forget that they aren’t just “kids” they are little people and they can share and contribute to the world around them now, not just when they are grown up. Sometimes we can even learn from their simple child-like thoughts – ‘there is a problem, how can we fix it?’ I’m glad that although I’m there teacher, I’m still able to learn from them! J After all Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”  

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Beginning of the End

Ok, so the title is a little dramatic sounding, but it is the beginning of my last term here at Sakeji. It's SO hard to believe it!

Despite the rocky start to my holiday, I did manage to get home safe and sound with all my luggage and spent a wonderful 3 weeks with my family in Ontario. I then travelled to Kenya and had an awesome week with Lina, visiting various places in Nairobi and on the coast of Mombassa.
At the beach.

Visiting my old highschool

All too quickly the break was over and school had started up again. We are now entering the 2nd full week of classes and are fully immersed in all our classes. In my classroom we have been having some fun learning about plants and getting our hands dirty (literally) as we plant various seeds. I did something a little different this year and placed our pea seeds with a damp paper towel in a Ziploc bag which was then taped to the window. usually they're in a glass cup hiding in the back room. The students weren't too sure that it was going to work (no dirt) but we SO excited when the seeds finally started sprouting. (I forgot to take pictures). Today we transferred them from the bags to our little "hats" (pots) as I was worried they were a little too moist in the bags. As most of them have stems and leaves growing I don't have to worry too much about them digging them up at this point. :)
Wearing their pots as hats

This past weekend I spent a long time cleaning and sorting my living room. I'm trying to sort out the stuff that I am not using (and not likely to use this term) to either return it to where it belongs in the school, pack it up to take home or give it away so that the next occupant of the house doesn't have to deal with it. It's funny how quickly you can accumulate "stuff"! I got my living room mostly under control so next weekend it's on to the pantry and loft room (which are both big "storage" areas). I wish my Mom was here to help out, she's so good at organizing and getting rid of the un-necessary stuff!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What a Trip!

Why is it that my trips seem to continually be getting worse?
Wednesday I was all packed and raring to leave, of course I had to wait until parent-teacher interviews, and all the other end-of-term stuff was finished. Finally after the Children's production was done I hoped in the truck with my friend Mel Ferguson and her party and we were off for Nyangombe. We reached the house shortly after 10pm, had a chat and cup of tea then off to bed as we had an early morning planned. 4am brought a knock on my bedroom door - time to get up and start a new day although I had very little sleep I was still excited and things were going according to plan. We reached Solwezi a bit early and I was able to get checked in (with just a little issue over my extra luggage). The flight was short (just an hour) and I had arrived in Lusaka. Things were still looking good. I caught a cab to the Flight House and got settled in there before I took another cab into town. By this time I was starving as it was almost noon and I hadn't eaten yet. I had a lovely brunch at Mugg and Bean (my favourite café in Lusaka) and then window shopped for a bit before returning to the flight house for some much needed sleep. The next day, as planned I got up, had breakfast and checked out of my room. My flight wasn't until the afternoon, so I walked to the new local mall and wandered around a bit before heading back to the flight house to await my taxi. The taxi arrived nearly an hour late! This is when my plans started to fall apart. After a terrifying ride to the airport (I thought I wasn't going to make it b/c I'd be dead!) I got into the HUGE check in line. Shortly after a lady came along and hurried me to the front of the line so (ironically) I wouldn't miss the flight. When I went to check in they told me that my ticket wasn't showing up on their computer. WHAT??! After much waiting (and watching the time tick away) they decided they would allow me on the flight (as they had mistakenly cancelled my ticket) but that my luggage would not be able to come with me. I would have to pay to have it sent later. I was not going for that! So they told me "too bad the desk is now closed" and walked away. I was steaming!! I stormed my way back out through security to locate their office, which was locked (despite the sign that said 'open'). In a panic I called home to let my parents know I wouldn't be arriving when they expected me. Dad said he'd try and work on things from his end. Finally, after waiting over an hour the office opened and I had to deal with the same lady as before. I tried to tell them politely that they better put me on the next flight out. They said the next available flight was in 3 days. However, they could put me on the one the next day, but it would be stand-by, on each leg of the 3 part journey. And on top of that, I would have to pay any differences in price! So it came down to paying them to maybe find me a flight home or going with some other airline. Hmmm hard decision; I left the office. Thankfully I was able to say at the flight house for another night so I wasn't "homeless". My dad and I spent the next 3 or more hours trying to find a cheap flight home asap. Such a thing did not exist. The only availability was 1st or business class. Ouch! Big hit to the bank account! But praise the Lord, we were able to get a flight.
And that is how I find myself in the plush business class lounge at the Lusaka airport. Despite my nervousness this morning, everything went smoothly. I arrived early to the airport, checked in early and now here I sit relaxing and being served coffee/tea and biscuits. :) I could get used to this! Sadly, this will probably be the only time I'll be able to enjoy such luxury. So I'll live it up while I can and thank God for His goodness in taking care of me! (my earthly father is pretty awesome too!)I just pray the rest of the trip is smooth sailing!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Crazy Long Weekend Ahead!

I tried to post an update a few time over the past week but Blogger and my computer and apparently not on speaking terms as it wouldn't work. Here goes another try...

We've got a nice crazy busy long weekend planned here at Sakeji. Just to clarify this has NOTHING to do with either Canada Day or the American Independence Day. Actually, Zambia has two national holidays called Heroes & Unity Day (or something like that). As it was rather close to when we were going to have our half term and our Sport's Day, it was decided to roll everything all into one crazy package! On top of that we have 20 students + 4 staff visiting from Amano Christian School (Chingelo area). The Amano group will be arriving tonight (if they haven't already). Tomorrow they head off for a day at "the Rapids" or the cottage and we at Sakeji have our SPorts Day (track & field). I am "Head Child Wrangler" for the races tomorrow, which means I have to make sure to get the right kids to the starting lines at the right times. It also means that I will have no voice left by noon (at least that is what happened last year) must remember to take lots of water with me!

Sunday will be our usual Sunday Schools etc through the day. I am responsible for the afternoon Senior Sunday School (about 40 kids, grades 5-9) this time of course we will have the Amano kids joining us. Thankfully I have had some volunteers to help out. I've also decided to do a big game of Bible Jeopardy so hopefully it will run smoothly.

Monday officially is the start of our half term (although the kids that are going home will have left on Sat. aft). We break up the responsibilities between the staff members so that (hopefully) we'll all get a bit of a break). I think at the moment I only have a craft activity on Tuesday and a swimming supervision on Monday. I'm also responsible for getting an evening snack ready for about 60 kids on Monday night, but I got that covered already.

Overall it should be pretty fun, even if the kids do get a bit crazy. It beats teaching classes! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Little stories

I'm working on an update. But until then... here's my kids' first attempt at creative writing. I normally don't tackle this till 3rd term so I'm quite impressed with their efforts. (they were show a picture of a baby black bear in a tree and asked to write a story - 3+ sentences)

The Little Bear
By Patience

My bear Saline plays with me every day. I like my little Saline because she is very cute!
We play hide and seek and she hides in the rough trees.

Sam Bear
By Angela

Sam Bear lives in a valley. Sam likes to live in trees but not in bushes. Sam is so fat he can’t work, so he just eats. His mom still likes him though.

Billy Bear Climbs the Tree
By Chola

Billy Bear plays by climbing the tree with his friends. The tree is fun to climb! Billy Bear is happy when he is playing in the tree. His friends also love to play in the tree.

The Baby Bear
By Kyashi

Ted is a baby bear. He is climbing a rough tree to find his mother. His mom has found him! Ted is happy to see his mom.

By Kamasongu

Jack wants to go to his mom in the tree. He wants to play with his mom and dad. Jack doesn’t know where to go, so he is lost! Finally his mom saw him on the side of the trunk.

By Sammy

The black, baby bear, Samson, likes to climb trees. One day he found a big tree that was scratchy. He still wanted to climb to the top though because it sounded like his mom was up there!
“Samson, oh, Samson!” shouted Mom. “Where are you? It’s time to eat. It’s your favourite! Your friend is here to eat with you.”

The Lost Bear
By Kondwani

Baby Jake is small. He was climbing a big tree but he got lost! He doesn’t know where to go. He misses his Mama. Jake has no place to stay. He is hungry because he has no food. He loves honey the most.

By Melissa

Ted is a real, black bear. He is a baby who still needs his mom. He is in a fat tree because he is looking for his mom. His mom is looking for food for Ted.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I thought I had updated this at end of term, but I guess I just wrote my newsletter instead. We've now had about 2 1/2 weeks of holidays and I have to say it hasn't been too bad. Last week, Lina and I headed into Kitwe (COpperbelt) to do some shopping. I think this was the first time we have ever driven straight to Kitwe without stopping overnight in Solwezi. I didn't know how long of a trip it would be. It's only about 566kms, but due to the rain and bad road conditions it took us over 12 1/2 hours despite that it wasn't too bad a trip, nothing went wrong with the car, we didn't have any police stops etc. We had a nice visit with the Fernando family and got all our shopping done. Although we didn't find everything we were looking for this is normal so we weren't too put out. We even had time to get a little pampering done, Lina got a manicure and I got a pedicure. Of course walking around the dirty town afterwards and falling into a hole kind of took away from the clean pampered feeling, but that is life. Our trip back up was a lot dryer which made it a little faster and we would have gotten home much sooner had it not been for the few stops/errands that we had to make. All in all though it was a decent trip and it was so nice to get off station! I'm still battling this cold that I've had since before the term ended. It's really holding on and is affecting my allergies and my asthma which is SO not fun! I think it if continues much longer I'm going to have to see if I can get some antibiotics or something. It would be nice to start the next term in a healthy state. When I got home from the trip I started into sorting my house. I've packed up some stuff to send home with Jill Avery's parents when they leave in a few weeks. It's hard to sort through what to take and what to leave. Some stuff isn't necessary to keep but has sentimental value. How do you choose? SOme stuff I would like to take home but it is too heavy/big and will cost too much, so I'll have to leave it behind and see about replacing them later. Moving house is hard when you're changing cities, but moving to a new continent is SO much harder. I guess ultimately I have to remember it's all just 'stuff' and in the grand scheme of things it's worthless.... this is not an easy thing to do though.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Exhaustion sets in...

Last Wednesday was the official half-way point in the term which meant Mon & Tues were 1/2 term break. It was fairly relaxing, especially as it followed my weekend off. It was almost like having 4 days off in a row! Glad I got those days because since then it's been non-stop! At least that is how it feels! The weekend was full of swimming and other supervision duties, 2 Sunday school classes (morning and afternoon) and a weekend of dish duty in the dining hall. I have also picked up 2 more class periods of teaching in which I am helping a few children in grades 2 & 3 who are behind in their reading skills. I didn't think it was going to be that big a deal, but I now realize that I now have 3 days in a row with no breaks from breakfast (7am) until after supper dishes (6:30pm)! I do have 'rest hour' but as I have no prep class it is mostly being used for prep stuff. What was I thinking?! Having just reached the end of the 3rd tiring, I feel completely wiped out! To add to the 'fun' I'm fighting off a cold which the students have so generously shared. I think I'm going to have a long bath and then head to bed with a good book! Praise the Lord, tomorrow is Friday and I have the afternoon OFF! SOO looking forward to a LONG nap... before walking over to the orphanage of course. Only 4 more weeks of the term... will I make it?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Grade 1 Class - 2015

It's well past time I update this as I have now been back almost a month! My new class is great! We have our issues from time to time, but I'm enjoying them so far. I have 6 girls and 3 boys this year which is almost exactly opposite to last year's class.
On our first full day of classes we had a little lizard visit our classroom. He was attached to the side of one of the desks. I flicked him off and he promptly scurried under my chair. I wasn't totally okay with this either as I was sure I was going to step on him or something. Eventually I scooped him up on a paper and deposited him outside on the windowsill. Half and hour later I found him in this position ON the window.
Last Tuesday was our first time going into the School Library. The kids were quite excited because it is in Upper School (where the senior's classes are). I'm not sure how excited they will be this week.
I guess that's about all for now. The current weather here is rain, rain and a little more rain. That's to be expected of course being that it's rainy season. I think it has rained every day since we arrived back with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions. Although the sun comes out for part of the day, it would be nice to see a little more of it!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Trip back part 2

I'm finally back in Zambia! Didn't think I'd survive. Started to feel queasy on the last leg of the trip but I think it was just the waiting in the plane and basically being on the plane for 36 hours! The last leg was only 45 mins and I was too tired to keep my eyes open, but too uncomfortable to sleep. I would have spread out on the extra seats, but they were filled in Harare so no luck there. PTL none of us had trouble at customs and ALL of our bags arrived, although we were beginning to wonder about one of Bethany's bags. It took at least an hour and 1/2 to get through customs, grab our bags and head out. With a "quick" stop at the ATM and a phone store to pick up my new SIM card (having lost my phone in Rome this summer After dropping our stuff at the flight house and washing the "plane grime" off we headed into town for supper at Mug & Bean. We didn't do any shopping other than stopping at the grocery store to buy some milk. The rest of the evening Lina and I spent catching up on the last 6 months. Our flight to Sakeji was at 8am this morning which wasn't too bad. Thankfully I remembered to put on my medicinal patch so I'd defiantly have been sick on the flight as it was not smooth. We drove through clouds and rain the whole way back. Bruce tried to go above or below the clouds but they kept finding us. I was able to snooze a bit so the 3.5 hour flight went by pretty quickly. Jill fed us a yummy lunch and then I came home to unpack my suitcases and boxes and get my house in order again! I will head into my classroom tomorrow and start prepping it for the coming term which starts on the 12th.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

trip back part 1

It has been a LONG trip and it’s not over yet. The flight from Toronto to Addis Ababa was way too long and uncomfortable! I usually take the window seat so I can lean against it and try to sleep. I don’t usually get up much during the flight so it doesn’t matter much. When I booked my seats for this flight I didn’t think about the fact that this flight was longer than my usual flight to London. The middle seat was occupied by an elderly lady who didn’t speak English and expected me to crawl over her to get out. Very awkward! I didn’t get ANY sleep and had very little tea which meant that my head was pounding by the end of the trip. I did finish a mitten I was knitting and got started on the second one. Maybe by the time I get to Sakeji I’ll have a pair done. As our first flight left an hour late we missed out transfer flight… sort of. I’m not sure if they delayed our connection or put us on another plane. Either way we were herded onto various buses and driven to planes that were waiting for us. I was assured that my luggage was going to make the same flight, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. I just hope it arrives before we fly to Sakeji. The second flight (Addis Ababa – Harare) was much nicer! I had 3 seats to myself :) and was able to snooze a bit. It was a much shorter flight (only about 3 hours). I am currently in my seat(s) as the cleaning crew cleans and the gas guys refuel the plane for the final leg of the journey (Harare – Lusaka) this is also a short flight (we actually flew over Zambia to get to Zimbabwe). I am praying this flight goes smoothly as well as customs in Lusaka. It would also be very nice to see my luggage waiting for me! From Lusaka Bethany and I will catch a cab to the CMML Guest House where we’ll join Lina for the night. I can’t wait to have a shower and crawl into bed!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Heading Back

I can't believe my furlough is now over. It started out moving so slowly but I'm not sure where the last 3 months went! If all goes according to plan I fly tomorrow (Tues) just before noon. I won't arrive in Lusaka until Thursday (3 flights to get there this time)and fly up to Sakeji a day or two later. Although it's been a busy time here, because it was a change of scene, it has been relaxing enough that I feel re-charged and ready to take on a new year and a new group of kids. Schools starts up again on the 12th (if I remember right) so i'll have to get right into planning lessons and organizing my classroom! So how am I spending my last night in Canada? Watching the Canada vs Russia hockey game of course. I'm not usually one to watch hockey but it'll be the last time I get to cheer for Canada on Canadian soil for awhile so why not. :) Not sure when i'll get on next but Happy New Year. Let's see what God has in store for 2015!