Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Creative Kids

I really am not too fond of Halloween. I never got into the costume thing as a kid once my mom stopped making bunny suits and between living overseas and the un-Halloweeny crowd I tend to hang out with, I just never got into it with the kids. So when they said we were going to have a Halloween party at school, my reaction was, yawn, whatever, as long as I don't have to do anything, much.

But I guess the boys like it more than I knew. And thankfully, they are creative enough to come up with ideas at the last minute. When someone said they would just be a ghost, Caleb had the brilliant idea that he could be a Ghostbuster (we have seen the movie a couple times - classic for their age- they love it). So here he is. Notice the badges with the logo....

We've been reading Phantom Tollbooth in school, and Jared is always a whiz in Math, so he decided to be the Mathemagician - you'll have to read it to find out if you don't know the book. The picture doesn't really show how his cape is covered with mathematical formulas and equations. But here he is:
Quick, easy, original, cheap. Once again, they amaze and amuse me.

Yeah! Tomorrow is a holiday and I get to sleep late and relax. Did I mention that this job has kind of taken over my life?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy 16th Birthday Max!

I thank God for the opportunity to go and spend a few days in Senegal, visiting Max while he's in school at Dakar Academy (DA). We got to hang out a lot, played a little basketball, played some video games, met his friends. It was a nice few days. During the day (while Max was in school) I spent time with the other SIM missionaries in Dakar, especially Dan Porch, my boss.

We wrapped up the week with a fun day out with some of Max's friends: Adam, his roommate; Andrew, Nathan, Philip, and then me and Geoff (Nathan and Philip's Dad). We went gokarting (if you ever want to find out who is competitive, just go karting. I'm definitely more competitive than you'd guess! That is a lot of fun... you can basically push the karts to the limit and never wipe out. We did have a couple minor bumps, but basically good driving. Followed by the best ice cream I've had in West Africa! Here are a few pics of the birthday boy and friends (taken by Geoff).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Quick answer

A couple people have asked about the location of the American School. It is at the same location as the old American Cooperative School, as I am sure the alums of that school recognize. They have just renovated the office wing and the first wing of classrooms so far, and we are not really using all of them yet. The school is on Old Road, Congotown side. Turn at Nigeria House and the school is a few blocks after the road turns to the left. Since the war, the building was used by the Child Assistance Program for offices and programs (CAP) so it was in relatively decent shape. The gym was all closed up for all those years, and they re-opened it when they took possession of the property. It's a great building and they have started work on it.

If anyone is interested in teaching, look for the Office of Overseas Schools on there are organizations who handle resumes and recommendations that the overseas schools use for recruiting. I'm not really sure how that works, since I didn't do it that way.....

all for now - Debbie

Friday, October 12, 2007

I forgot

I'm sure you think I mean that I forgot we had a blog. But that isn't it. What I forgot is what it is like to be a full time teacher. And then some, since I have 4 grade levels and I'm teaching everything except Science. Yes, that means I am teaching Math. Sorry, kids. So we have had 2 1/2 weeks of school and I'm really overwhelmed - trying to challenge the three 8th graders who are all excellent students, help my two very nice and diligent but still learning English 7th graders (they both attended French school before), keep the four sixth graders from wasting the whole day being silly(that includes Caleb) and work with the one 5th grader who has also been in French school and has good general English, but not so good school English yet. And who is a typical boy. So this is a real challenge, admittedly more than I had bargained for. But seeing this school fly is really important to us, so I think of it as an investment.

Anyway, I have been promising pictures, so here are some. The building is really nice - nicer than any I've ever taught in before. We have a/c so that is very pleasant. But the rooms echo a lot and by today my head was ringing so I hope they will find something to do about that. We are making do with limited materials for now - thank God for the internet - what a revolutionary resource for teachers! Thanks for praying and checking in .

This is the entrance to the school - we had a ribbon cutting ceremony and the President of Liberia attended. Caleb had a nice conversation with her, but I was too busy talking to parents to be one and snap a picture!
This is our classroom- after school. You can see why the room is loud - glass, cement and stone. But it is very large and has great potential. It has a clear story which you can just see in this picture which make the lighting natural. Sorry the lighting in the picture isn't so good tho.

With mixed grades, we are trying to work in groups sometimes. I caught this group being on task! This is also a view of the back of the classroom - more natural light and lots of space. I have some ideas so when I get it arranged as I want it I'll post some more pictures.

So that's how it's looking. By the way, more teachers will be needed for next year if there are any reading.......

Hanging in- Debbie

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sorry for the GAP!

Hi. This is Rick. Sorry it's been so long since you've heard from us...

Rick spent 2 weeks in the end of September in Greenville (150 miles SE of Monrovia, down the coast), helping get the ELWA Health Outreach project moving a little further, helping our new nurse, Naomi Olson, get settled there, and seeing patients and training the PAs and others....
And Deb is teaching at the new American school, and loving it, but working like crazy to keep up with it. Plus we have visitors at ELWA this month... a Radio engineer, a medical team....

After I got back from Greenville, I had a little over a week to catch up, and then I left for Senegal, to come see Max and celebrate his 16th birthday with him. WOW. So here I am in Senegal, at Max's dorm, trying to make a blog post, so you all don't feel we fell off the face of the earth.

Max is really enjoying the year this year... he's got a nice roommate, and enjoys the various classes, youth group, and activities. God has been doing some neat stuff among the students this year. But he's also looking forward to 7 months in the states, starting in about 3 months. Thanks for your prayers! More coming....