Sunday, April 20, 2008

its been a while

I beleive this will be the first entry in the year 2008-I guess that just shows how busy I have been! Went home for the holidays to the frigid land of Minnesota, saw family, enjoyed hot showers and microwaves and tons of different types of much as I loved it there, I think it was also really hard to go back. things that I have seen and experienced here I will take with me for the rest of my life....its different going from one place where yoiu worry about what you will eat, will you have a bed to sleep in and clothes to wear? or planning 2 hours in advance to take a warm bucket bath to a place where a person worries about what type of wine they should serve with dinner or who will pick up grandma and grandpa and with what car? I loved seeing my friends and reconnecting, but i would say that I definately felt out of place......New Years with my besties was phenomenal....and then after a couple weeks of binge eating cheese and cereal, I came back to my 'home'.

This year has flown by so far....partly because I've been so busy teaching! This year, we are extremely short on teachers-there are about 750 students at my school, and 10 teachers. The space is limited, so overcrowding in all classrooms is an issue. I did a survey one day at school-went classroom to classroom and counted...I knew we didn't have enough desks and chairs-but our school need 381 desks for every students to have one-that is more than half! and 442 chairs! I was blown away! we are in the process of building our school 6 new classrooms-they were supposed to be ready for the Form 1 students in Jan, but as of right now, there is no windows or doors, no blackboard, and no floor. No desks or chairs either..... good intentions, but everything here takes SO MUCH TIME!!! I sound like debbie Downer, but if you don't have a person supervising, making sure the work is getting done, its very normal for the people in the village to just not do the work....maybe they arrive at work at 10am and leave by 1...and half the time, they sit around drinking tea and gossiping! so, needless to say, progress is SO SLOW! I am teaching Form 4 math and physics, and got roped into teaching form 3 math as well....I have to be honest-the form 4 physics is SO HARD!I learned some of these things a LONG time ago, and other things I learned in my senior year of college! Because I ma teaching so many periods, and the timetable has a lot of conflicts-me being in 2 places at the same time- I am teaching at night as well....AND teaching extra math classes to those that are in Form 4 to get them prepared for their national exam in october. This means that I am at school Monday through Friday from 730am-10pm...with about 3 hours in teh afternoon to myself to rest. I don't mind it, but it makes the year go my so much faster and exhausts me....

I started a health club this year-we're working on learning more about HIVAIDS and STD's as well as good positive life skills, so that they can act as peer supporters....its gaining popularity-I started with 20 students, and now the attendence is up to about 30....I do this thing at the end of our weekly meeting, where I have them write a question about anything ro if they don't have a question, just to write me a note saying hi so that everybody is just writing something...I got this one note that made my heart break " My love has just left me and my heart is hurting. what can I do to make her love me again?" isn't that so sweet and sad at the same time? I'm hoping for AIDS day in DEC we can do womthing really cool and really big and have the health club lead it...

I was running a lot at site at teh beginning of the year to prepare for the Kilimanjaro Marathon....however, with my timetable, I got to run 40 minutes just one time...on average, it was 25-30 minutes....but I decided to run the half marathon anyways...what was I thinking!!!! I lost 4 toenails!!!! But I finished in enough time to get a medal! It was embarassing though-a 150 year old man(exaggeration I know, but this guy was SO OLD) passed me! I blame my bad knees:) Saw some amazing sites of kili, saw some olympians-man are they FAST!, and saw this one amazing man that had no legs running with fake legs!!! incredible!

I, sadly enough for me, inducted myself into the "poop in your pants" club this year. Had a nasty case of bacterial dysentery and was caught on a coaster(a mini bus) with no way to escape.....I tried to hold it best I could...but to no avail. I pooped in my pants(just a little though) :( I never beleived people when they said they just couldn't help it, afterall, we are adults and should have some control over our bowels....however, that being said...I now change my veiw. there are jsut some times when you just can't do anything to stop it from happening. Guess now I just have a good story, eh?

My fiance and I are busy planning our wedding-we're going to have an AFRICAN wedding next that's exciting...and a little bit of a challenge....we got offered a job at a nearby NGO, so we'll be staying for an indefinate period of time-maybe until our oldest kid turns 5 or 6:) -in a beautiful house in the middle of the village. My job will be working with orphans and tyring to help PLWHA(people living with HIVAIDS) and starting income generating projects....just what I'm sort of doing now, but this time I'll be living in a bit of a nicer house with my husband:)

Hope all is well in your lives, and I'm going to post some pics soon. Would love to hear from you!