Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just sitting here thinking

Just sitting here thinking about how cool it is that I have or will have the privilege of teaching the children of people that I grew up and went to school with in the next couple of years. I can't imagine that too many teachers get that privilege. I'm thankful for it and trusting God to help me do a good job!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did I tell you?

Did I tell you that I squeezed lotion up my nose last week? Yep, if you didn't know it before you do now...I'm a dork! I was trying to pick out some good lotion to put on my dry skin and that's how I found myself going down the row, opening up bottles, holding them up to my nose and giving them a gentle squeeze so that I could catch a whiff of their scent. It was all going well until I squeezed the one that had lotion right at the nozzle and it shot right up into my nose! Wow! What a shock that was! Then there's the fun of trying to inconspicuously clean up that little mess and pretend like it didn't happen as I nonchalantely continue to browse in the store all the while laughing hysterically at the fact that I actually squeezed lotion up my nose!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Conversations with a Kindergartner

I had an after school visit from a Kindergartener this week that was quite funny. She was standing at the door with her brother talking through the screen to me. I invited her in but she must not have heard me until a little bit later.

When she did come in, the fun started. She began looking around the room noting things with amazement in her voice, "Oh, you have letters just like we do!" "Oh, you have a tape recorder just like we do!" "Oh, you have computers just like we do!" Apparently, she went home and asked her mom if all the classes looked the same.

The other funny thing she said when I asked her what her class had done that day was that they had had "adventures". Hmm, couldn't quite figure that one out - thought maybe it was a special name their teacher had for something they did in the classroom. Anyway, when she got around to noting the computers she started mentioning "adventures" again and I realized that she calls "centers" in the classroom "adventures". What a trip!

My advice to you with someone small today! It's bound to be fun and maybe even insightful!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is how we do it!

This is how we do it!
This is how we do it!

When the electricity is off
And it's raining
We're supposed to be learning
But the lights are off

This is how we do it!
This is how we do it!

Go out on the porch
With our books in our laps
Listening to the rain
As it tap, tap, taps

This is how we do it!
This is how we do it!

Don't even ask what inspired me! My poetry/song writing ain't good but it sure is fun. :) Got pictures but they won't load tonight.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's okay to be nosey!

You need some headphones. You head off to your local Walmart/Target, make your choice and put them in your basket. No strangers come along, lean into your cart and peer in at the choices you've made. That's North America for you. We all keep to ourselves!

In Niger, on the other hand, it's okay to be nosey. It just so happened today that I was interested in purchasing some headphones so I stopped at the local electronics cart and inquired about headphones. All he was selling were the Air France special with two prongs (and just in case you've been spending your whole life searching for them, you could also buy Air France's matching eye covers - crack me up!) Well, he didn't have any single prong ones but he was more than willing to go search them out in the market. Another great thing about living don't necessarily have to do the work of searching. Let me insert here that he pretty much left his cart unattended...maybe the people sitting near by would have prevented any thefts, I don't know. Any how, he returned and the bargaining began. This is when the nosey tomato seller stepped up to the plate. We named our price and the vendor exclaimed "Albarqua!" (Not sure of the spelling of that basically meaning are you crazy.) So then Tomato Man tells him that he needs to lower his price which he does. Then we higher ours a bit and Tomato Man encourages him to meet us in the middle somewhere, pretty much taking over the bargaining. Finally, we agree but wait to see two pairs of what we are purchasing. So while the vendor runs off to get the second pair, Tomato Man decides he's entitled to a bit of negotiation too because of course, we want tomatoes to go along with our headphones! Two pairs of headphones and one kilo of tomatoes later, we're on our way home with a lesson in how being nosey sometimes pays off.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'm HOT, HOT, HOT and it's not even the HOT part of the year! BLAH!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I listen more than I speak

"I listen more than I speak."

These were the wise words of a Nigerien teacher, sharing with us, her co-workers, the approach she has taken as she has learned to teach in a school culture totally foreign to that of Niger.

Wise words and yet so hard to execute. Harder still when it's your second time around and you have a level of familiarity with people. Your mouth just seems to fall open and the questions or disparaging comments about why things are done this way or that just seem to pour out...or maybe that's just my problem! I'm thankful that God has placed a wise friend here who listens to me...even just in saying things aloud I've heard myself say things that I know absolutely are not true. I hope one day it can be said of me that "I listen more than I speak." Got some work to do!
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