Thursday, August 30, 2007

I have no pictures and no exciting adventures to report. Wow, that is a horrible way to begin a blog. Why would anyone keep reading after I wrote that? Maybe if I set your expectations low, then you will be thrilled to find out that life in Kenya is not as drab as it could be. I am almost finished with my third week teaching. Teaching middle school is different than elementary, and though I miss having my own classroom, it is nice to have frequent breaks throughout the day that are longer than 30 minutes. I find I don't have to bring work home all the time like I did last year. I can even read books in the evening if I want to! Imagine what a world this is opening up for me. Oh goodness it's exciting.

I have really been enjoying my students lately. The school has such a rich international flavor, and I enjoy seeing so many different colors represented in my classroom. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to post of them, but I will try to do that soon. They're beautiful, trust me. The other day in Bible class I was writing prayer requests on the board, and I wrote down one of my own. I asked them to pray that my mom would be able to find a job soon. One of my studens raised her hand and said, "Why does you mom need a job? Shouldn't your mom be retired or something?" I lauged really hard and then responded with, "How old do you think I am?" Then we got into the discussion of how old I am, and to my surprise, most of them thought I was older than I am. That rarely happens to me since I look young.

At school I do most of my teaching in the science classroom, which I share with the high school science teacher. I have a very small office, which doubles as the high school book room. It smells like old books in there, but I don't mind. I have a desk,, some shelves, and a white board. It's been so nice to have my own little space. Plus, who doesn't like to say things like, "It's in my office," or, "If you need me, I'll be in my office." Or maybe I'm the only one who thinks that's cool...

This weekend I am going out of town with my roommates Heather and Kayla. Heather's brother works at a ranch that's about a 45 minute drive from Nairobi. We are all looking forward to getting out of the fume-infested city. Then next week we have our West Nairobi School staff retreat. This means I will be getting out of Nairobi two weekends in a row. And it is in times like these that life simply can't get any better. I will post pictures when I get back. My giraffe-chasing pictures from last year were taken at the staff retreat, so I'm sure I will have some good ones after that is over.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Good bye family! My parents drove me up to Seattle so I could catch my flight to Amsterdam and then to Nairobi. We stayed with some friends there, and here is the front of their lovely house.

Back at our new apartment in Nairobi, my roommate's brother, Brian, and I were sitting on this bed that he brought back from Sudan. It served as a nice piece of furniture in our living room, until Brian made too sudden of a gesture, and the thing broke.

There were bugs inside eating away at the wood, so it's not all our fault!

Kayla and me on the first day of school - we are so excited to be going to school!!!

It’s been just over a week since my plane landed on Nairobi. With the jet lag gone and school in full swing, it feels like I never left.

The first day of school was Tuesday, August 14th, and as I write this, I am officially done with my first two days of teaching middle school. This year I decided to move up with the 6th grade class, which is now the 7th grade class. I am teaching 7th and 8th grade science, pre-algebra, and girls Bible. So far it has been going pretty well. I feel a little inadequate when it comes to teaching science, but the high school science teacher left me detailed lesson plans to teach. It’s nice having everything planned out for me, I just have to work at making these lessons my own. The Bible curriculum leaves something to be desired, and it’s another opportunity to get creative. Bible curriculum usually gives me that opportunity =).

I am living in an apartment with my good friends Kayla and Heather. Kayla and I moved out of the house we lived in this past school year, and now we are enjoying our new place. It’s very cozy inside, and I am very content there. Kayla and I are also sharing a car – a little Toyota Starlet. I have adjusted to driving on the left side of the road, and now I am pretty good at shifting with my left hand as well. The hardest adjustment was getting used to Kenyan roads, Kenyan traffic, and Kenyan drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. Now I am used to it, and I drive in an aggressively cautious manner. Most other drivers are just aggressive.

All in all, it’s good to be back here. Thinking about teaching brand new things is still a little overwhelming, but I love the students here. They make all the work worth it. Please pray that all the little first-week-of-school glitches would smooth out. I’m sure many of the new teachers are feeling overwhelmed, so be praying for them as well.