Thursday, May 28, 2015
To get to the school, we took a motorized tricycle. We must've looked ridiculous, with three air mattresses, way too many bags, and five passengers. But we made it! The school is in Akatim, about 20-30 minutes away from Senase. We drove up a winding, bumpy dirt road and when I finally saw the school appear, I couldn't believe it. I've seen pictures of this school a million times and just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that I was actually there, in person, in Ghana. We got set up in one of the kindergarten classrooms, then had dinner (jollof rice--my favorite!) After that, we lit some Chinese wishing lanterns that Chris had brought. We released them along with our positive thoughts and hopes and good vibes and all that hippy stuff. Tons of people from the village showed up to help us, which was awesome because it was something they hadn't seen before.
At bed time, we were all so hot that we lay on the concrete floor for awhile, just to cool off. And that was that! Day 1 in Senase/Akatim was a success.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015
Craig's job is really challenging for us because he misses out on lots of family time. He was gone this weekend, which stunk because #1) it was Mother's Day, and #2) it was the weekend before I leave for the next couple of weeks. It never gets any easier for me to be away from him. (I guess that means I like him, which I suppose is a good thing.)
Well for once, the team was supposed to return home at a decent time Sunday night (i.e. before midnight.) To accomplish this, they had an early evening flight and OF COURSE their game went into 15 innings before it was called at a tie. 15 innings?! Now this could have happened any other weekend, and it wouldn't have been a big deal. But their ridiculous game caused them to miss their flight, and now Craig won't be home until late tonight. We will literally have like 6 hours together before he has to take us to the airport.
On top of that, Charlie is sick. His Mother's Day present to me was a 102.6 fever. The poor guy is so fussy and tired and restless. Not exactly the best circumstances for traveling and being away from his mama.
I'm also getting this crazy anxiety about my trip, which is so unlike me, but I'm chalking it up to the fact that I'm a mom now and if things weren't to go as planned, I have lots more at stake than I have before.
Deep breaths, right? I know everything is going to work out. In four days I'll be on 14 hours worth of flights where I plan to get more hours of sleep in a row than I've gotten since before I was pregnant. I just have to make it to that point!
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Before Craig and I met, I was looking into going to Africa to teach. I have always been drawn to the idea of working in Africa. But before I could get very far with those plans, Craig swept me off my feet and we got married, moved to Utah, and got lost in the humdrum of everyday life.
After we'd been in Utah a couple of years, Craig met a guy at work named Chris, who had "started a school in Africa." Craig would come home and talk about this guy and his work all the time, and I finally had to tell him that I didn't want to hear it because as amazing as the things this guy was accomplishing were, it depressed me to think that I wasn't doing the things I had wanted to do. Don't get me wrong, my marriage and son are the most phenomenal blessings ever in the whole wide world, but there are still other things I want to do in life. (I think moms are way too often made to feel guilty for pursuing their own dreams and agendas. But that's a whole other topic.)
Fast forward a little and I realized I was wasting my time being bitter, and I instead needed to take action. Instead of telling Craig to stop telling me about Chris and The Senase Project, I started asking more questions. I told Craig that he should tell Chris that I was happy to help him and the organization in any way, just to let me know what I could do. That lead to Chris taking a huge leap of faith in me, and allowing me to start working with the Sponsor a Student portion of the organization. This meant that I would coordinate sponsor/student contact, try to hook students up with sponsors, and so on. I was so excited to be involved, and so amazed that this guy I barely knew was trusting me.
I told Chris, though, that I would love to help the organization in my capacity as a teacher if an opportunity ever came up. Well sure enough, one did! Not too long after I started helping with The Senase Project, Chris asked if I could help write some supplemental materials to go with the curriculum the school uses. The teachers there don't have many resources, and being a small nonprofit, we don't have the budget to purchase fancy, ready-made curricular materials. That's where I come in!
Now I'm not sure I totally know what I'm doing, but I knew that I definitely couldn't help unless I met these teachers and students, and saw their school in action. I feel like I won't know what it is they need from me unless I experience it first-hand. And so I'm going to Ghana next week. I have no clue what to expect, really. I've travelled internationally before, but never to Africa or a tiny, remote village. I'm a planner, so the unknowns have been hard!
But I'm trying to focus on what I do know. God doesn't do coincidences; there's a reason he moved us to Utah, and a reason he allowed Craig and Chris to connect. There's a reason I've always felt called to serve in Africa, and a reason I'm feeling compelled to do something different with my life right now. The Lord's timing is so perfect and it is beyond comforting to know that we have a Heavenly Father who has already laid out our paths, down to the last stepping stone. I really hope that I'm on the right track, because I know that if it's where the Lord wants me to be, then it's the right place to be. I guess we'll find out!
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
As for teaching, it's been a rough couple of years. Last school year was rough because of my pregnancy. This school year has just been rough. I haven't enjoyed my job this year, which makes me so sad to admit. Teaching just isn't about teaching anymore, at least in many places. When I don't allow myself to think about all the extras teachers have to do, I love my job. I love the kids, I love connecting with them, I even love the curriculum. But when I think about the 6 billion other things we're supposed to do, with a smile and a happy-go-lucky attitude, all while maintaining a balanced and fulfilling personal life, I get angry and sad and depressed.
I don't know if teaching is for me anymore.
The thing is, I'm so at peace with that. Usually I'd be a huge ball of anxiety, stressing over what I'm supposed to do with my life, how I'm supposed to help support my family, yada yada yada. But I truly feel like God is preparing my heart and mind for something bigger and better (not that teaching isn't one of the biggest and best things you can do!) I have no clue what it is, but I'm thrilled to figure it out with the Lord's guidance.
And I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, it has to do with my trip to Ghana next week.
Stay tuned for my Ghana adventures!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
♥ grass seed
♥ hamster bedding (1 bag was enough for 25 students)
♥ 2 googly eyes per kid
♥ 1 rubber band per kid
♥ 1 styrofoam bowl per kid
♥ 8 ounce plastic cups for measuring and scooping
♥ any materials you want to accessorize with (pipe cleaners, scraps of material, etc.)
*The kids need to work in pairs to help each other. One student will need to hold the stocking open while the other stuffs it with grass seed and bedding. *
9) Decorate with accessories, if you so desire. (I had first graders hot glue on “dresses” and stuff. They also like to make things out of pipe cleaners to glue on…ears, mouths, glasses, barrettes…)
This is a great book to invest in! It has lots of great ideas. I got mine on Amazon.com for just a few dollars.
I will post update pics of the Grass Heads as the grass grows. Like I said, this is just something fun and different you can have your students take home as a gift for Mom on Mother's Day. Have fun! I know your students will!