Thursday, November 7, 2013

school videos and picture day

Our day starts out with both classes together. We sing a chorus and then one of the teachers does a devotion with the kids. Afterwards, there is always a memory verse for the day. Here was part of the class working on it...

English: Psalm 119:60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
Swahili: Zaburi 119:60 Nalifanya haraka wala sikukawia, Kuyati maagizo yako.

This particular day the head teacher decided to take a field trip outside and let the kids practice writing their letters in the dirt. It was super fun! Here's me talking with a few of the kids. The first is Nyevu working on writing an "A" and "B"... Asha is to my right calling me most the time and little Monica you see at the end. Nothing that she "wrote" was legible but I think she was saying her vowels.
Walimu= teacher
hapana= no
jaribu tena= try again
unaandica= you write
kubwa= big
hapa= here
mstari= line
ingine= another
ndyio= yes

Here you catch the tail in of Salena praying... she mentions my name... she's praying for a safe trip back to Nairobi. The other class starts before us so when Salena says Amen and the kids break out screaming they are trying to be louder than the other class and they are saying: May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and forevermore, Amen. 

School really is a highlight for me each day. I'm getting more and more comfortable and actually had a couple days on my own this last week and I survived! These kiddos, as cute as they are, have zero discipline so I was really worried being on my own. Proverbs 3:5-6 put me at ease the morning I found out I was going to be alone for the day. I play a little game with them every time I want their attention. I say/sing, "Unasikia" and then follow it by an action. It's a take on "if you can hear me...." but it works wonders and the kids LOVE it! I keep my voice really low after we finish and it was the only way I survived lesson transitions! 

It's amazing how different it is from the "western" world of schools but it is slowly becoming more normal for me. Kids wondering in and out doesn't bother me near as much anymore and when they don't start on their assignment right away I'm not as annoyed they aren't listening. Eventually they get it done and that's all that matters. We have four lessons each day. Two before break, break for PE and porridge and then two more lessons. Mornings are always Language and Math. After break we either do science, social, music, or Bible. I have taught all these lessons by now. 

A lesson usually goes something like this... the kids are asked to sit down and be quiet (asked but rarely followed through with) and then there is an upfront lesson. For math I drew pictures of 3 balls, 5 triangles, 2 trees, 4 sticks and 1 cat. On the other side of the blackboard I wrote the numbers 1-5 and then had one kid come up at a time and match them with the stick. If they do it correctly we sing a little song that goes like this (in a british accent), "well done well done try again another day, a very good (boy/girl) a very good (boy/girl), keep it up keep it up! I love the positive reinforcement! After about 10-15 minutes of upfront lesson I ask the kids to "chakua kitabu na andica ndani" take out your book and write inside. Our older group does it on their own and then brings their books up front to be graded. Our youngest ones trace numbers, and the next class up I draw pictures and write the numbers and they do the matching part. This "freetime" to get their work done lasts anywhere from 20-40minutes and then we transition to the next thing.

Right before I left I decided it would be fun to take pictures of all the kids and then get them printed while I'm in Nairobi and then give them to them when I get back. First is my class and only 3 kids are missing... then is the older class.

Margaret "Pili"


Joseph "Luganje"







Wine (pronounced we-ni)
















Older class











Said (pronounced Saeed)








Saturday, November 2, 2013

a village wedding

On the 26th of October the village where I live celebrated a wedding! From friday afternoon through Sunday, it was a full celebratory weekend! The actually wedding was on Saturday but much prep had to happen on Friday and then Church on Sunday was special because many visitors were still present. In order to not bore you with words I've chosen to do a compare and contrast using google images of a western wedding and comparing it to the pictures from this wedding. Please note: I've been very general in saying what the typical "western wedding" looks like.

In the western part of the world the food is mostly likely in the village, prepared by their very own!

I consider starbucks a must before any wedding... however in the village we enjoyed chai and mandazi's.

In the western world the church is nicely decorated... here in the village it was nicely decorated with extra chairs, a few benches, and flowers tucked into the holes where the cement had fallen out.

Carlos was so nicely dressed for this special day compared to his usually shirt with a bunch of holes in it. Definitely not what a little boy would wear to a wedding in the western world.

I love the clothes the girls wear here! I'm hoping to get a skirt/shirt outfit made for the next wedding the end of November.


The bride and groom arriving with all of her family. Not the typical arrival for sure! It was quite an experience as all of the village church where I live went running to the street screaming to welcome them!

A "typical" western wedding means the father walks the daughter down the aisle (I'm being very general!) but here in the village, a whole procession of dancers both youth and young ladies guide the bride down the aisle. (Prudence in the white dress in the front is one of the students in my class and no she wasn't the bride!)

The cake! That box in the back was wrapped in foil!

The high table at the wedding. We (including myself) at on plastic bowls and we enjoyed nummy pilau with mbuzi (goat) and enjoyed sodas (a real treat!)

 Overall it was a really fun day! The service lasted about 4 1/2 hours (that was a little crazy) but I'm not surprised anymore as I learn more and more how they do things here. I'm so blessed to get to be apart of these special occasions. I have to say my favorite part was the Friday before and morning of the wedding helping the ladies of the community and church help prepare the food for the special day. Not only was it great swahili practice but also a great time of relationship building. God has truly blessed me with an amazing community.

And it feels like wedding season around here because we have another wedding the end of November in the village but now I'm actually back in Nairobi because of my Kenyan parent's daughters are getting married this Saturday here! I'm so looking forward to another wedding and getting to see how they do it in the city! I'll be resting this week, recovery from a nasty cold that has been going around the village that I got just before leaving, helping prepare for the wedding and enjoying the special day next Saturday!

Here are a few more pictures to share with you from the village wedding weekend:
All hands in!

We were all sweating as we kneaded the dough to make the mandazi's. I was working hard on my own but stopped for a second to take this picture. Salena on the left and Elizabeth on the right.

You can't tell in the picture but I was pouring sweat as I rolled out the now balls of dough from above and cutting them into 4ths to make...


These women are amazing!

This lady showed up, sat down and within a minute was working.

I actually got a group of them to stop for a second and look at the camera! They were all making chapati. These women are from the community so I don't remember their names :(

The morning of the wedding! They had been helping cook but it was time to break for chai and mandazi's! Mama Ruth (on the right) was dancing as I took the picture!

The pot was huge!! They actually used two in order to prepare enough food for everyone. The main cooks of the pilau were men but the women helped get everything set up.

After chai and mandazi it was time to continue preparing food.

Everyone stops and runs to the street when they see the cars and bus coming carrying the bride, groom and all the bride's guests.

There was full on dancing and screaming, whistling and every other noise you can think of to sound excited haha

My kenyan mama all dressed up with Sidi (left) and Paulo (right).

Holding Monica and hanging out watching the visitors arrive.

Kadzo. She sat so nicely for the whole ceremony! I was impressed!

another Kadzo... such a cutie. I was trying to get her to smile but it was not happening.

Priscilla and a little girl (I don't remember her name). Priscilla kept me posted on what was going on the whole time and it is her wedding that is happening the end of the month so I was constantly asking her if she was going to do this and do that at her wedding. We laughed a lot together!

Baby Charlotte! She was 3 weeks old in this picture and so tiny! She lives at the end of my "driveway" near the street so I pray she grows up not crying when she sees me. :)

A few of us after the wedding. 

Myself with the two teachers I get to teach with on a daily basis! Salena and Elizabeth. I really enjoy hanging out with both of them, they are such fun people!

The first one was a little too close but I like how they both turned out. Meet one of my friends, Lucy! Such a fun young lady!
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