Friday, February 6, 2009

This week I started helping a 17 year old girl here with pre-school.  She will be turning 18 soon and wants to become a teacher, but she doesn't have any experience.  Once she turns 18 she will start getting paid for the time that she is here, but it will also allow her to keep on living at the orphanage.  We only have 3 children in that class (the 2 year olds), but it can still be tough!  I have also started going to the classrooms of the older children after their morning break is over.  The system here is so different!  Every child works at their own pace to get through each subject every day.  They set goals for themselves every week and have to complete them.  There are 2 teachers in each classroom, but they just go around and answer questions.  Once a student completes a couple pages, they have to go up and score it themselves with the answer keys.  My job is to make sure they correct it and to record their test scores.  It's still a little weird to me that the teachers don't actually stand up in front of the class and teach each subject!

So far, I think it has rained here every day!  For the first couple of days it only seemed to rain at night, but now it has been happening in the middle of the day- Florida style.  Last Friday night we had a big storm- the thunder was so loud and the lighting was so bright, it was scary!  All of this rain is making the river behind us rise pretty quickly.  Rebecca is scared that it will flood here like it did a few years ago.  It was so bad that the teachers and other people who come to work here have to drive on the main road, but once they got to the turn off for the orphanage, they have to take a boat across part of it!  We are praying hard that we won't get flooded-especially because there are crocodiles in that river!  (I haven't seen any yet, but one of them took Rebecca's dog a few years ago!)

I am staying with the Minks since there aren't any other volunteers here and I didn't want to stay in the volunteer bungalow alone.  They are really nice and have really made me feel like part of the family.  They have their own children who are grown up and living in America, but they have 2 adopted sons from Ghana with them, which is where Gary and Rebecca were at before they came here.  One of them is 17 and the other is 12.  For Christmas they got a Wii from a friend, so in my down time I've been playing that with the 12 year old!  The Minks are really into playing card games too, so almost every night we've played a card game.  Some people were asking me what I would be eating while I was here, and I just wanted to let you know that we've eaten mostly American food.  I have tried some African cuisine, like antelope, but the Minks mostly have American food…like tonight, Friday, is pizza night! :)

Wednesday I went to a Bible study with Rebecca.  She meets with 3 other women in town, who are all white Africans.  They all speak Afrikaans, which they told me is more like Flemish than Dutch.  After the Bible study was over, we had to drop one of the lady's off.  She lives about 20 minutes outside of town in the "bush".  We had to pull off to this little dirt road surrounded by trees in the complete dark, which was a little scary!  I learn later that she doesn't have water or electricity, so living that far out is all she can afford.

Since the children have been doing well in school, Gary and Rebecca decided that they can compete in a track and field competition with different schools around here.  We have split the kids up into 3 teams and kept trying to start practicing the week, but the rains kept coming.  The competition is the 28th of this month and none of these kids know how to do any of the field events, so we'll see how they do.  We do have some fast runners though, so maybe we can win some races.  I guess they will start training next week as long as it doesn't rain, and as long as they get all of the field event equipment that they need. 

That's all I have for now!  Please continue to pray for the children here!!

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Gannon said...


You are very generous and brave to make the trip and do the work you are doing. Wanda and I are looking forward to your updates on the blog.


sarah said...

Thanks Gannon!!! Hope all is well with you and your family!