Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Sunday

We had a great Easter Sunday! After church and a great lunch, the kids went on an Easter egg hunt. It was so fun to watch them delight over finding an egg, help each other find eggs, and then go to town on the sweets! I love watching them experience new things.
Passing out their "baskets"
Dazed and confused
Trying to grasp the concept
Off they went!
Marissa and Memo
Maleele was so proud of himself every time.
Sweet Reuben had a blast and helped all the others once his bag was full.
Maureen (and James falling over in the back!)
Biggie, James, and Joel
Learning how to open the eggs and get the goods!

Vigi overeating, as usual :)
At Haven 3, we just scattered the eggs OVER and OVER again and they delighted in finding them OVER and OVER again. They had no clue the others got sweets!
Just showing off their braids!
Sweet Helen, concentrating so hard
John's first egg
Jason's so artsy


Friday, April 4, 2014

Language School- last day :(

Well, folks, it's all over (this time around anyway!) and I'm home! 

I presented Ba Mwiinga with his cake and a flash drive containing all 40 pages of my typed notes! 

He loved the cake and was excited to go home and share it with his family. (I guess he loved the flash drive, too, but he asked for it, so it wasn't a surprise!) We did some final review and clarification in the morning, I took my final exam, and then we were off. Now it's time to try out all that I've learned in the real world! 

I drove straight to the hospital to check on Chabilo. When I first arrived, she really didn't look good. I was able to talk to the doctor, and he assured me that compared to how she was looking, she looks incredible today. Maybe I'm glad I wasn't here! 
When I went back tonight to check on her, she looked so, so much better. She was bright and alert, although still having a little trouble breathing. 

The doctor said it will be at least Monday before he thinks about discharging her. The paediatric ward was jam packed full of kids and their mamas, and they were all giddy when they didn't hear me speak a word of English! 

And as for all of the other little ones and aunties, they've surprised me with all sorts of new tricks. Can't wait to show some to you soon. 

I'm so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, bat free! I'm thankful to all of you who've followed along on the journey!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Language School- Day 19 and prayers for Chabilo

I'm totally distracted tonight because I just found out that Chabilo, one of our sweet baby girls, is admitted in the hospital with pneumonia and trouble breathing. I feel so incredibly helpless here, and can't wait to get there tomorrow and see how she really is. I've been so grateful that everyone has stayed totally healthy while I've been gone, so at least she waited until the night before I came home to get sick! That only leaves one night to wish I were there and not here! Please pray for healing for our sweet baby girl. 

In other sad news, I read something crazy tonight in one of my stories from a school text book that I practice reading in. Since I've lived here, I've heard so many things people do to try to cure themselves of HIV. I've always been disturbed by it, and we've had a lot of classes dispelling many of those myths. But today, in a 4th grade school book, I read this article:
One of the main myths spread all over Africa is that If you have sex with a child, it will cleanse you of your HIV. This story is warning kids that men and women both may try to give them sweets or money to bribe them, and then the children could get sick and die. It breaks my heart that those words have to be in a textbook, and that children have to be warned of horrors like this. It's just so hard to wrap my mind around realities like this in the world, eventhough I see and hear about them daily. It makes me want to pour every bit of love I have into the kids in our lives and preach to them how much worth they have. Despite how sad it is that this article even exists in a child's book, one neat thing about it is that the last line of the story says, "God loves all these children." Two things you wouldn't find in our school books at home on one page! 

I have such mixed emotions about leaving here tomorrow. I'm thrilled to get back home,especially now that Chabilo is admitted, but I'll definitely miss Ba Mwiinga, all the time to learn, and the simplicity of living here. I'm just beyond grateful I've been given this opportunity. 

One more day of classes and a final exam and I'm on my way! Thanks for your love and prayers!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Language School- Day 18

Today was as relaxing a day as we've had. We read a lot of stories and dissected them for their varying verb tenses, adjectives and adverbs, clauses, demonstratives, etc. It was fun for this oddball who loves sentence diagramming and all that jazz. :)

I loved when Ba Mwiinga said this today:
English is a smart language, but Tonga is a rich one.

He was trying to nail down some pesky prepositions (Tonga doesn't have them, or rather they are infixed within verbs so it doesn't seem like it has them), and he was attempting to explain why. We didn't really come up with anything, but it was an interesting thing to think about nonetheless. 

We also were going over some sentences in a book I've studied before. This was one of the sentences:
We were specifically looking at how the noun and adjective have to agree with the verb, but it struck me again how much you learn about a culture through learning their language. Imagine if we in America grew up reading in books that it's good to have big bodies! Such a different mindset to view your body as a tool that needs to be strong and fit for your work, and you're actually pitied when you're too thin. I digress, but I continue to love learning more and more about this unique culture.

Two more days-- ahhhh!  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Language School- Day 17 and a dead bat

Ahhh, well one bat down, a hundred to go. I told one of the groundsmen about the one just hanging out right in my living space and refusing to leave, and he came right in and attacked that thing while I screamed and hid my eyes.  It was horrible and hilarious all at the same time. So, I still hear bats all around but can't currently see any, so life is good! 

As for school, I'm starting to get sad that it's almost over. I mean, that feeling will pass I know :). It's just so nice to have had this time to give this my full attention and to learn from someone so wise. 

Today we revised many things that desperately needed it and practiced lots of different potential conversations with new tenses and vocabulary. Ba Mwiinga just kept shaking his head and saying, "I'm just proud of you." 

Today he was reading some passages out of one of his books, and he kept cracking himself up! It was making me laugh so hard, even though I had no idea what he was laughing about because I couldn't understand the passage! It's just so great to be around someone who is so happy and positive all the time. I want to be that type of person. 

Three more days... the end is in sight!
          My long-gone roommate