Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Grind...well...mostly

I have been asked when i would write again on my blog.  so that got me thinking.  when was the last time i posted.  Well, it has been almost two months.  ok, so i definitely need to get better about writing. I mostly feel, like something big or important needs to happen so that i can post it, but the last two months have been pretty much just keeping our noses to the grindstone...except that is for our beach trip. :-)

But first, our daily grind, because I mean really isn't that what life is made of?  We finished our school year on the 20th of June and had our awards night on the 21st.  This was a HUGE accomplishment.  The students made such progress all of them!  I looked though at what my own kids did and initially thought, wow, they need to do more. But then I was reminded, ever so logically and gently by my husband, that they missed out on the entire first quarter of school. AND not only that, but they also made the transition from actually writing in their PACEs (school work) to copy things out in exercise books (notebooks).  It was a little slow going at first for them, and struggles with attitudes abounded because it really is so much MORE work (I'll get to that more in a minute).  But, they persevered and we gave them no opportunity for pity.  And so, with all that in mind, they came out doing very well.  Very well, indeed.  Montana and Corban tied for the most 100s in their learning center.  Jachin got the most PACEs for his learning center and he also got the Principle's Award (academic achievement award that takes into account number of PACEs, PACE average, and academic balance).   Soooo, back to things being more difficult to do school work in exercise books.  In order to keep the costs of running a school here as low as possible, we do reuse materials.  For the students, this means that the work they would normally do in a PACE gets copied into their exercise books.  That doesn't sound too bad does it? :-)  Well...the next time kids are in school, pick up a PACE and check it out.  Where many kids in America just have to underline or circle... our kids(the kids in Sunyani and elsewhere in Ghana) are writing out the answers even whole sentences. This takes more time.  It requires more diligence, because we take off points on checkups, self tests, and tests for misspellings or things incorrectly copied. Is it fair?  That really isn't the question.  Life isn't fair.   We have to take the challenges we are faced with and do the best we can....and surprisingly, pleasantly so, these kids are rising to meet these challenges and persevering and conquering!  So, as you can see, school takes up a large part of our daily grind.  There is more I could tell you, but alas, who wants to read a book on blog page?!

We all really enjoyed our trip to the beach.  :-)  Our kids wanted to spend all day every day down at the water either in the water, hunting up shells, or playing in the sand.  Who could refuse them?!  That IS why we were there.  It was a really relaxing time.  I love the beach.  Who wouldn't?  So glad that I didn't grow up around I totally think I would have become a bohemian.  :-)  My kids came home with shells, sand, and sea water (so that their friends here in Sunyani could taste it lol!).

Once back to Sunyani, we dug in our heels to finish out the last half of the last quarter.  You know, I always look forward to school starting, but i also look forward to the end of the year.  Sometimes those last few weeks are hard because you want so much to just be done.  BUT, I want them to be done well and finished up strong.  The last quarter of school I was especially working on improving the primary learning center's English.  I often wondered through the process how much progress i was making with them.  Right in that last week of school, when we were finishing up the PACEs the kids were in, I got a few glimpses that there was indeed progress.  God is SO good.  I am SO thankful for His loving kindness and amazed that He allows us, sometimes, to see the impact we are making.  One student's comprehension finally had caught up with her reading level.  Another student totally aced all of his spelling words.  And another, was catching on to the entire system of how to do the PACEs.  I am really excited for next year!!  They are going to really kick things out!

Ok, so here are some ideas I have been tossing around.  As you can see I changed the name of the blog. I did that so that because I didn't want to feel like I needed to have something big or amazing happen for me to write.  I am going to work toward one time a week. Now I don't know how long it'll take me to get there.  Right now, you're probably all thinking that one time a month would be improvement. LOL!!  I want to talk about our faith, our family, strength, and fun.  Not necessarily in that order or any order.  I definitely want to include some Shaklee stuff, because...I do.  :-)  I have had a very few ask me what it's like here.  One person asked me about what kind of food is available here.  I hope to do a blog on that soon.  Do you have any ideas or questions about life here?  Let me know.  It'll give more to write about.  Hope you all have a great weekend!  God bless!