Sunday, February 24, 2013

School and a trip

Hello!  I bet you all couldn't tell that I have been working in school...and that the weather has turned very hot. :-) Needless to say it makes for one very worn out Jenn.   So, I have been thinking about what to write and have been wanting to write about the school for a while now. So, I will start with that.

My kids, as you all know started school the Monday after we arrived in Sunyani.  I however did not get fully involved in school until December.  there were many reasons for this,and I am glad to be working again and doing what I love.  yes, I love working in school. I especially love working in school here in Ghana. it is incredibly difficult and hard, but also immensely rewarding.  I'll get to more of that in just a bit.

First the kids.  There are now 16 kids in school.  That does include my four year old Indie. We have enrolled her in the Speaking English program. LOL!!  Since i am in school everyday, Indie needs a place to be.  AND it is actually good for her as she is learning verb tenses andvocabulary that wil be needed for the Learning to Read program. The pace work (school work) is good for her to, dot to dots, coloring by number, drawing missing parts to things has all been very good for her.  It has been good for the other students to actually have an English speaker in the class as well.  Indie got a kick on the day they were learning toothbrush.  Th is difficult to pronounce since it is a consonant blend that is not in the local languages here. The kids all said toot brush which illicited many giggles from my little Indie. :-)   Montana and Corban are in the older learning center, and Jachin in the younger learning center.  There are 9 students altogether in those two learning centters.  The age ranges are from 6 years old to 12.  My kids are getting the hang of doing their school work in "exercise books" or notebooks as we might call them.  We have only one copy of each PACE and so they are recycled through each kid.  It has really helped cut costs since we don't have to get new paces for every kid for every subject.  This does mean that pacework is a bit slower.  Imagine having to write everything out instead of underlining, circling, or just anwsering. Math is the biggest time consumer.  They have to write out all the problems and then answer them. I really appreciate my kids, a lot, as this has been the biggest change for them as regards school, and they are just rolling with it.  It was difficult at first, but now it is normal, and hey it's really what everyone else has to do, too.  :-)

Back to the immensely rewarding part.  :-)  Here is what I love...helping kids learn how to think and how to learn.  I took a kid who only completed one pace in the first quarter to completing 11 in the second!! And took the same student who couldn't add or subtract without manipulatives, to being able to go through a flash card deck and get every single one of them right the first time. It still brings tears of joy as i remember it.  :-)  you know why? Because there was a struggle.  I had to fight (not physically, but mentally) to tear down those giants of I CAN'T, and help him, make him see that he CAN. That i tell you, that is what learning is all about.  I see his smile and the light that has come on in his eyes because he is beginning to understand, truly understand, what it is that he is learning.  That is what I love.  It is where my passion is.  I have parents who come and thank me, to which I respond, "it is my pleasure" and it truly is my pleasure.  Loving kids whom i have not born and engaging their brains to read and think and grow.  And I think to myself, this is why God made me.

Why did God make you? Do you know that God made you? He formed your inward parts while yet in your mother's womb.  You were wonderfully made, and you are known by the One who created  you.  He created you for a purpose.  i praise and thank God for every day i get to be here,  for bringing us back to Ghana. I am so very thankful for His plan and purpose for me, for Steve, and for our family.

I would like to ask you to pray for us.  We will be making a trip to Togo next week as we need to leave the country so that we can re-enter the country and get our passports stamped for another two month stay. Steve has been working tirelessly on finding work here.  He has applied for several development jobs here. A couple that sound pretty good, and we are not really sure if we will get to stay in Sunyani  with any of them.  Please pray our travels are uneventful and that we will find the work that the Lord wants Steve to be doing.

We miss you all.  Our love to all.  God's blessings to you all.