Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Church Experiences!

Today is Sunday. Sunday is church day. So for church this morning, Sarah, Bethany and I went with the Kennell family to the village of Njei, where we found out they weren't having church this morning. So, we proceeded to trek on a footpath to the village of Ewede where we worshiped with the people there. It was, of course, all in Kabiye, so I spent time looking around and listening intently for words I could recognize. There was one little girl with whom I kept making eye contact, so I would smile and make faces at her- her reaction was always to smile with her mouth closed which would quickly turn into a full-tooth grin! It was pretty fantastic.

I have so many things I want to tell you about. Like yesterday's wall spider fun, and Brett's pet monkey, and the adorable Emerson boys using me as a jungle gym, and the super tiny goats we saw today, and the African food experience we had the other day, and the market experience we had yesterday with the pagnas and the nasty meat and feet sticking out into the walking path, and the baby who is afraid of white people... but I can't possibly do that. So, instead, I'm going to give you a glimpse into my Moleskine notes I took during church!

1. A smile is universal.
2. Church can be long or short, depending on rain.
3. I can tell when someone is generous and serving even when I can tell what is being said.
4. There is a lot of joy in African worship.
5. I know the Ameya song, and that's nice.
6. We should sit in the chairs first because if we don't, they'll ask us to.
7. Preachers passionately raise their voice in Africa, too.
8. I am only a part of the body- I have gifts. I need to serve as a servant, teach as a teacher, encourage as an encourager, give generously as a giver, govern diligently as a leader and show mercy cheerfully as a human. I need to work on this.
9. "Love must be sincere." Romans 12:9a.
10. Cell phones go off during African church, too.
11."Hold on to the good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21b.

One more thing I want to share before I end this post. Today at lunch, we were talking about music and how we woke up to loud, American worship music today coming from the Nigerian church next door to our apartment. Then Nicole said this:

"If you hear Celine Dion, you know its a bar."

I laughed for quite a while.

I love you all, and I hope you are all doing well. I would love to have some comments with questions to prompt me to write more interesting/more applicable things!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here we are

Yesterday was big- we saw our primary place of residence and work! We went to the school house after a fantastic breakfast of toast and coffee (I am starting to realize that I really really like coffee). It's so interesting driving around here, because it's so utterly different than anything I've ever seen before in my life- it's beautiful in a very-different-from-America way.

At the schoolhouse, we had a little orientation to our workplace then went up to our apartment to see where we would be living for the next nine months. Basically, that meant we laid on the bed and made a list (mostly for my comfort) of things to do in the next couple of weeks before school starts.

We explored our balcony and roof a little then headed back down to the schoolhouse where we had a little introduction to the personalities in the classes, to help us decide which class we would be teaching. Here is the rundown of that:

Bethany- 6th graders and Art class
Jacque- 4th graders and Ballet class
Sarah- Kindergarteners and French class

I also find out that Bethany and I get to take French lessons! I think it will help me to not have culture shock quite as badly as I would otherwise- knowing/learning the language as well as building a relationship with people in the local community is so important. Last night after dinner, we went to the Hangen's house for Bible Study/singing, and it was nice. We had chocolate chip cookies- YAY!!

Today we went back to the school/apartment and worked through more things. Nicole took us through the math curriculum this morning, then Bethany and I went through the core curriculum this afternoon with her, which was kind of overwhelming. I know things are going to go amazingly well, but it's scary at this point to think of myself as a teacher. It's a new thing!

We had some fun jumping on the trampoline time and then an amazing dinner. Now we're sitting in the living room all working on blog things. We've decided to do a blog for the parent newsletter, and I will post that link later, so you all can see what we're doing in school.

Sorry this post is kind of late and drawn out. Life has been a little busy since we got here, just getting used to the differences. I'm hoping to be a little more consistent than I have been, but who knows what the future holds?

Monday, August 24, 2009


We made it to London!! All of our bags were checked successfully, we made it to our gate, and we even convinced people to move so we could sit together on the plane. Currently, we are sitting by the toilets crossing our fingers that our internet doesn't drop us, and getting ready to figure out which gate we need to be at in an hour.

We're tired, but we're great. I hope everyone is doing well- I love you all. I promise I'll post more later.