Friday, November 24, 2006
Greetings to you all!
Today you will actually be getting 2 (yes, two) updates from me. I wrote one last week and never had the chance to publish it, and now I am about due for another. My apologies for being so long in the writing. This morning I woke up early and walked to a café that happens to have wireless internet. I did this in hopes that I would be able to chat with my family on their Friday night, my Saturday morning. So far the internet has not been turned on. And here I sit, sipping my coffee, alone in a booth, waiting. Waiting. At least I have my computer and can type while I wait.
Happy post-Thanksgiving to all of you! I had a nice one despite the fact that the only break we got was a half-day on Thursday. I’m thankful we had that, but I’ve never gone to school on Thanksgiving, much less the Friday after Thanksgiving. There’s a first time for everything, I suppose. Some of the other single white female teachers and I went over to a family’s house (the Ernisse’s) for dinner. They are missionaries with SIL (Wycliffe), and they have a daughter at the school. They are wonderful people, and we had a really nice time. Dave Ernisse has become like a father to our roommates and I. He helped us buy our car and hook up gas to our stove. Today he’s going to clean our leaky faucet.
Well, now it is a little later, and I have been talking to my family online for over an hour. My hands are shaking from my 2 cups of coffee. Yesterday was crazy hair day at school. I was tired of teaching, so in the afternoon we watched a rather boring science video. I took a picture of my class. There were about 6 kids absent, so this picture has almost everyone. I told them to do something silly, like pick their friends’ nose, and this was the result. Oh I love 6th grade.
I think the rainy season may be almost over. On Thanksgiving, it was pouring down and the streets were flooded everywhere. I was soaking wet after walking from my classroom to the middle school side where I teach pre-algebra. The good news is both today and yesterday, it has been reasonably dry. And as I sit here writing, I realize I don’t really have much else to say. Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!
I wrote this on Nov. 18th! Sorry I'm a little late in publishing it! These pictures were taken at our school bazaar about 3 weeks ago. The picture on the top left is of Naomi, Rachel, me and Adrian. Then girl in the red in the next picture is Priscilla. Then the picture of the bottom is Heather, me, and Shel Arendsen. Notice his Kokrine Hills Bible Camp hat! He has some connections with my family, and he wore his hat just for me. I was so excited!
Sorry that it has been a couple weeks since I’ve written, but there is a very good reason for it. Actually, the only reason is that I’ve been busy and haven’t had the energy to sit down and write. Lately my time has been consumed with the usual planning, grading, teaching, and all that. I also have a few students who are in serious need of remedial help, not to mention my 5 ESL students. God is so faithful in providing, though, because I now have an aide in my classroom as well as someone to take these students out of the classroom to work on reading and math. It’s such a relief. With 27 students in my class, I was unable to give them the attention they needed. I am so thrilled that they are receiving the one-on-one help that they need.
We are still heavy into the rainy season in Kenya. It usually pours down rain at night and in the morning, and we have been fortunate to have it clear up for a few hours around lunch time and later into the afternoon. It’s like God is saying that He loves us so much, He doesn’t want us to have to suffer through indoor recess. I really appreciate that. As much as I love my students, I love for them to have recess outside where they can run, scream, bounce balls, argue, and all those other things pre-pubescent pre-teens need to do. The rain makes for interesting running conditions. I usually have to slide around in the mud. In fact, one of my little neighbors saw me after I went running one day, and in his thick East African accent says, “Why are your legs all dirty?” I explained it to him and then asked if it looked funny. He thought for a good 30 seconds and then grinned and said yes. Driving is also an adventure in this season. The heavy rains dig the pot holes even deeper, so we can’t help but have a bumpy ride to school.
Every Friday night there is a youth group of sorts called King’s Kids for the 6-8th graders at West Nairobi School. The meeting place rotates between different missionary family’s houses. This month it has been at a house just down the road from me. Last week I was asked if I would be willing to play guitar for their singing/worship time. I was delighted, and I had such a good time that they asked me to do it this week as well. We sing for about half an hour, have a Bible discussion time, and then play and eat. Most of the kids are either in my 6th grade class or in my 7th and 8th grade pre-algebra class. It is so much fun to spend time with them outside of school. Sometimes I get so busy with the school side of things that I forget about the ministry side, the relationships. This is the perfect opportunity, and I feel like the Lord just placed it in my lap. In February my roommates and I are going to have them meet at our house. It will be an adventure. Just imagine between 20 and 30 middle schoolers in one room together. It’s chaos and an absolute blast. They are such wonderful kids! I absolutely love it.
Second quarter is just flying by! We only have 4 weeks left before Christmas break. I am definitely feeling the need for a break as my patience with certain students is not what it used to be. You can be praying that God would grant me the patience and tenacity to love these little darlings who have the potential to drive me insane. I don’t want my general fatigue to affect the way I treat them. At the same time, there are times when they take things too far and need me to be hard on them. Pray that I would be discerning rather than moody. Continue to pray for the students who don’t know the Lord and even for the ones who do. Many of my students know all the answers to the Sunday school-type questions, but I don’t know if the love of Christ has truly pierced their hearts yet. Of course, I know it has not fully pierced mine either! Prayer in that area would be appreciated. Thank you for reading this very lllloooonnnnngggg update. I hope all is well with you and yours.