Saturday, October 18, 2008

Where the streets have no name...

Muraho again! I am writing as a woman who has lived in Africa for 2 months! Last night my friends and I went to celebrate at a restaurant called Heaven. The owners train and employ people from villages or difficult backgrounds and everything (tables, placemats, menus, etc) is handmade in Rwanda.

I have had a wonderful and exciting week with my class! We continued learning about addition sentences and are moving into subtraction, focused on 'sh' and 'ay' in our spelling and reading, learned about mammals and reptiles and birds, etc in science, finished our book called The Very Strong Readers about a school of fish (tied in with science) and what they do to be stronger readers. We also had our first Writer's Workshop celebration to conclude the first unit. That was precious! They got so excited over getting a juice box! We led elementary chapel this Wednesday as that was excellent reading practice for our parts. They were great!

Probably the best school story is this:
As a background, my students get stickers on a chart and are rewarded when they get to 25 stickers. (they get to have shoes off afternoon, stay after school for 20 minutes, or get 2 stickers, or a few others) And I also give tables tallies on the white board for different things. So, we're in line and Saadou just raises his hand and says, "Getting stickers is not the most important thing and even getting a compliment is not the most important thing. The important thing is learning." I was pretty thrilled he said that and encouraged the class that learning really is the important thing. But then Jade took it another step further. She said, "Getting tallies and stickers are not important. God loving us is the most important." and then they were all in agreement talking about how stickers and tallies are not important. So Jade spoke for her whole table and said, "You can rub (erase) our tallies, we don't need them because we have God."

I have an adorable and thoughtful class!

In other news...I now am a part of too many bible studies and have to decide which to continue with and which to let continue without me so that I might have time to find another ministry. (I'm wanting to find a program for teaching kids to read that don't have the opportunity to go to school...but I'm not sure yet) So, help me in prayer over that! I like all the groups for different reasons, but 5 is just really too many in my opinion.

So after being here for 2 months- yay!- some things are starting to feel normal, and its even hard to decide what to tell everyone.

Oh yea---I got a car!! I don't know if I'm supposed to share this, but I just will...the school is able to help my friend and I by loaning us money for a car. We just pay monthly payments and when we sell it again at the end of our stay we'll just pay the rest to the school and get some money back too! (cars don't depreciate hardly at all here). Our lives have drastically changed in the past 5 days. We are able to get more than one thing done in a day!! But it is sad too because our taxi driver Pete was so reliable to pick us up from school, and the children on our walk to meet the taxi every morning don't see us coming and run up, and we don't say muramutse (goodmorning) to everyone we used to see....and all the taxis and motos we know...its just sort of sad, but also an incredible blessing!!

My battery is about to die and I don't have my adapter with I must go ahead and post and add more soon!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I couldn't be here without you :)