Running Races, Ward Administrators, and an African Weekend

This morning I got to help Joel teach Chemistry; we supervised the students as they did titrations in the laboratory. It’s surprising how few resources they have in their chemistry lab, but how well they complete their experiments and learn. Joel is a great teacher, and he’s wonderful with the students and to work with. The main struggle seems to be that he doesn’t have very many teaching resources…he has one 70-page book with sample experiments and an example test with no answer key! I’ve got to ask him if he’d be able to use a chemistry textbook if we sent one. This afternoon, we went to work on the wall of the library with Joseph and Patrick. As usual, we did a lot of talking and laughing with just some work here and there. Today I met Simba, a 19-year-old Form V students who speaks English incredibly well. He’s very intelligent (he quizzed me on all sorts of different knowledge) and happens to be head boy of the entire school. He has one more year of advanced secondary school and then will be attending University. He’s currently taking classes focused on English, history, and geography, but his goal is to study science in college. We have the same sense of humor too, so he was a great person to talk to!

Yesterday, I went to the secondary school, but my teacher didn’t show up, so I spent time with LaFyte and Linda before heading over to the primary school with Mom and Aidan to orchestrate the running race for the first grade class to win soccer jerseys and t-shirts. The kids were so excited, and ran their little hearts out. We had two separate races, one for boys and one for girls, with three winners from each. So out of the class of 50 students, only six were winners! But no one complained or cried, and everyone clapped for the winners when they got their prize. The kids were so happy, and wore their jerseys for the rest of the day…precious! I stayed to help Mom and Aidan teach their 6th grade English class with Edward’s wife, Engera. The students are just beginning to learn English, so we helped them practice the types of cards and what to write for particular occasions. Then it was back to the mission house for dinner, where we were surprised by the Ward Administrator (a big potato!) who answered our many questions about the school system. He’s in charge of seven primary schools in the Iringa district, and was very friendly and knowledgeable. We sent him with 12 balls (6 soccer and 6 volleyballs) for him to distribute to the other 6 primary schools in the area that we cannot visit. I was exhausted after dinner, so I went to bed early and slept very well.

This past weekend was quite restful, and VERY African. We accompanied Edward to Iringa on Saturday and sat at Neema Café to use the internet and catch up with family back home. The bumpy ride to Iringa didn’t do well for our tummies, but the food at Neema was delicious and we quickly felt much better. Sunday was a lazy day at the mission house; Edward had to go back to Iringa to orchestrate plans for the next group of volunteers, so we just hung around and read (I finished Memoirs of a Geisha in one day), played card games (UNO, Crazy 8s, BS, Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, etc.) and just lounged around. Even though it’s the dry season, we had a few days of cold, dreary rain…ick! But Edward built us a roaring fire when he came back from Iringa, and we were warm and happy. Having a fire every evening is the best treat…we’ve come to enjoy and appreciate it so much.

I’m really excited about the next 4 ½ weeks, although I’ll be so sad to see Linda leave at the end of the week. The Jubilee is on Saturday, so that should be an interesting experience, and I’m looking forward to seeing Patrick and Simba in their plays and hearing the girls sing.

Praying for more good experiences and thanking God for our health and hoping for the continuation of what we’ve been blessed with.


Hanging at Neema Café in Iringa


Riding shotgun on the way back to Pommern with Mohammed




Our African movie night, courtesy of Linda! We watched Up. 🙂


Off to school with Linda!


Helping teach Aidan and Mom’s pre-primary class


Love how you can see everyone’s personality in this picture!


Getting ready for the running race…on your marks…get set…GO!


Winners! Thanks to those who donated jerseys!


Love these kids 🙂


Working with Joel in the chemistry lab


The Ward Administrator and the donated soccer balls and volleyballs 🙂


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