Friday, March 26, 2010

The challenges of English Class and Rain!


This has been a very good week! We got rain last Friday. Then it rained again a little on Tuesday night and then for about four hours on Wednesday. We also got rain Friday morning. So, while I was teaching my English class we had rain several times. This was very nice, but also created a few challenges.

Challenge #1 - Our building is made for the heat of Turkana. It is a very nice building and serves our needs very well. When it rains, however, the rain can come in the windows. We can shut the windows, but many of them are lacking the glass that would make this affective. This usually is not a problem since we get rain so seldom. So, we improvised in my classroom. We tied a mat woven from palm leaves over the window to keep the rain from coming in the room. This cut down on the amount of light in the room, but kept us a bit more dry. The mat is what the Turkana people make to sleep on at their homes.

Challenge #2 - When you get rain for a couple of days in a row, that means there hasn't been much sun. Our building has solar panels and batteries to supply some electricity. When we tied the mat to the window, we cut down the amount of light coming into the classroom. So, that meant we had to use the light in the classroom. Thankfully, we got enough sun on Tuesday to power our lights for the 4 hours it rained on Wednesday morning. The lights had been used the night before too, so there was some question in my mind about having the power to do that. But, God is good and the light lasted until the sun came out again.

Challenge #3 - Our building has a nice tin roof. There isn't much between that tin and our classroom - just a thin ceiling panel. So, when the rain came down hard it made quite a racket on the roof and in the classroom. Today I had to yell the words to a story we were reading. Thankfully, the hard rain only lasted a half hour or so today, so we made it through and I didn't loose my voice. On Wednesday, we were playing a gap game, so the students were able to talk loudly to each other and be understood. So, we managed even with the racket over and around us.

Challenge #4 - When it rains, the desert gets cold. Okay, you might not think that 73 degrees or so is cold. However, if you lived in the desert and were used to 98 - 100 degrees, then 73 degrees would be cold. Although, I loved the coolness of the rain, my students were very cold. So, they were huddled in their seats while it rained. They didn't turn blue, but they were quite cold. A couple of them got their light blankets that they use when sleeping and wrapped up in them. Of course, it didn't help that most all of them were a little damp from getting wet in the rain walking from the dinning area to the classroom. It isn't far, but when it is raining hard, you can get very wet very quickly. The good news was that the student were very alert since they were cold :).

Yes, rain brings challenges! Even so, it is such a blessing here. Each time my students prayed - even when cold and wet, they thanked the Lord for the rain. It even gave me an opportunity to ask them about the rain here. They were able to explain in English why the rain is such a good thing for them and their animals. I was very happy to be able to hold this fairly long conversation with them in English. This month marks the one year mark since our class began. This was our 11th class. Each class is only one week long, so they are doing very well. I was happy to see them communicate - a little disjointed, but they got their points across. So, the rain is a blessing even with its challenges!

Have a great week! I will make another post soon giving a bit more detail on the actual class :).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rain! & bugs!


It rained Friday for about four hours. Praise the Lord! We badly needed the rain. I am looking forward to seeing some new green shoots in the coming days. I am not looking forward to the bugs. Whenever it rains, we get an invasion of bugs. I think they must hide out in the sand and wait for the rain to come. The rain is their signal that life is livable for them so they hatch and come join the rain dance party.

Okay, that might be a little far fetched but it might have some basis in fact too. I haven't studied them enough to know, but I do know that they always come after the rain. They stay around for a week or two and if there is no more rain then they quietly go away. In the meantime, I spend a few nights with very few lights on in my house. They tend to like light and manage to get in the house around even the best screens. Even without lights, they do still manage to make their way into the house - just not as many.

Is this a complaint? Not really. I know we need the rain, so how can I really complain? It could also be that these bugs provide life for those new green shoots or maybe carry their seeds around so that when the next rain comes, there will be new green shoots. God is amazing in the way he has made our world! So, I am happy for the rain and if I am not happy for the bugs, I do not want them to go away completely. I would like them to stay out of the house. So, I keep the lights low and praise the Lord for the rain :).

What about you all? Have you danced the "happy it is raining" dance lately? How about the "happy its snowing" dance? Okay, maybe the "happy it is sunny" dance. Whatever your weather, give thanks the the Lord who made our world and enjoy what you have been given.

Have a great day! Pray for more rain here and pray for me as I prepare for my next English class this coming week. I am teaching about clothes. It should be an interesting week. I hope yours is too!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Home again, home again...

jigity jig! Flying is nicer and faster than going in a rig!


Sorry about the rhyme, I just couldn't resist :). I flew down to Nairobi last week and returned to Lodwar today. It was a nice break and didn't include the bone/ body jarring two day drive that I normally take to get to Nairobi in my truck. When we flew over Lodwar, we saw many puddles of standing water. Praise the Lord, it rained for about 6 hours on Thursday!!!!!

The rain is wonderful and we need more, but please also pray for the people who will be getting sick with Malaria because of the increase of habitat for the mosquitos. The rain has been needed so badly and I am so grateful for it!! I pray that even more will come during this normal rainy season so that the people and animals can recover the drought of the past years.

Praise the Lord with me for the rain!!!!! Pray for more and for the health of the Turkana people too :)!