Monday, June 20, 2011

ESL Plays from June

The week of June 13 my English students and I watched the end of the Old Testament part of the movie called The Hope.  This is a movie that has been adapted for ESL classes.  We will continue on with the New Testament part of the Movie starting next month.  I just wanted to share with you a bit about this class.

At the end of each class week (once a month), I usually give an assignment for the students to use their english skills.  Lately, I have had them tell the story of the movie to english speakers in town using pictures from the movie.  This month I decided to let them be creative and tell any story from the Old Testament part of the movie as a play.  I had 9 students in class this week so I divided them up into two groups and gave them an afternoon to work on it.  On Friday, they presented their work.

This was the first group.  They chose to tell the story of Abraham being called from Ur to Canaan and then being asked to sacrifice Isaac.  Abraham is the one in the towel head gear, the other one is Hagar or Sarah - he played both parts :).  They did pretty good with the story.  They even had one of the group play the ram caught in the thicket.

The next group had a different take on the word "play."  They decided to tell the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.  I brought several things from my house - including towels, a big knife sharpener (used as the knife for the sacrifice in the previous play), kikoi wraps, and the contents of my small toy basket.  There aren't many toys in it, but a few bits and pieces of several things.  I even brought a few fake flowers, a small stuffed bear and a fluffy chick I use for decoration at Easter time.

This group decided to tell the story using the toy bits and pieces.  They made a circle to represent the garden.  The one man in the robe and towel head covering was just trying to get into character I guess.  He played Eve.  As they told the story, they got down and played like little boys :).  They moved the characters around and spoke for them.  The snake was part of the head and trunk of an elephant puzzle.  When he was cursed to go on his belly they pushed it over on its side.

Here you can see the snake (green elephant head) talking to Eve (the chick).  The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil is the baby toy with fake flowers sticking out of it in the center.  Adam is the stuffed bear.  The other toy pieces make the boundary of the garden.  One of the students played the voice of God from just outside the room.  I thought it was a great way to tell the story.

So, all in all, the June English class was fun.  The students learned several new words, they got to tell their own versions of the story and we got to have a lively discussion about the eclipse (see previous post).  Next month we will talk about the birth of Jesus, his early years and his baptism.

I hope all is well with you!  Blessings!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lunar Eclipse & the Drums!

The red moon toward the end before it was completely eclipsed.
the start
half way into the eclipse

Okay, I admit that these are not the best pictures.  It is pretty far away and even though it looked big in my camera, it wasn't so big in the shot.  Also, unfortunately when the moon was the reddest, my camera decided that red is black.  I tried several ways to get it, but all those shots came out with a black sky and no moon to be seen.  So, these are the best I got.  If you want to see some good shots look here  They have a shot of it spread over time with the different views.  

When the eclipse started I heard the people in the village behind my house beating drums.  This continued through most of the eclipse.  I talked with my English class the next day about the eclipse.  First, they wanted to know how I could tell them the day before that it would happen :).  The wonders of the internet and a teammate in Nairobi who was paying attention and sent an e-mail to me about the event helped with that. 

We had a good discussion about the eclipse.  They are used to seeing eclipses.  We don't have much light pollution here, so you can see the moon, the stars and the milky way very clearly at night.  So, they have seen many eclipses - they just don't know when they will happen ahead of time.  Anyway, I asked them about the beating of the drums.  In English they told me that the people beat the drums because the moon is dying.  They want it to rise again.  So, the beat the drums to encourage the moon to come back. They said the people also sing and dance.  (I was very happy they were able to say all that in English even if it was a little broken!)  It is almost a time of celebration but with a bit of fear behind it.  The fear that the moon won't come back and light the night.  So, they beat the drums - maybe so it knows that it is wanted and appreciated - so it will rise again.  That last bit is my speculation :).  

So, there you have it from one who saw it for myself.  It was impressive!  I didn't stay up to see it become uneclipsed (I know it isn't a word, but what else do you call it?).  I had to teach the next morning.  It was to stay red/orange for an hour and forty minutes before starting on its way back to normal.  I'm thankful that I knew to look for it and got to see it!  I am also thankful for the good conversation starter it was in class :).  More on the rest of the week later!  Blessings to you all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

a new stove


I decided I needed to get a new stove.  My old one belonged to another missionary.  I inherited it 14 years ago.  I have been smelling gas in the mornings when I went into my small kitchen for a while now.  My friend and I have tried to find the leak.  I bought a new hose hoping the old one had a hole we couldn't see.  The gas wasn't strong.  My house is very open so the smell dissipated pretty quickly each morning.  Even so, I decided it is better to be safe than sorry.  So, I took the plunge and got a new stove while I was in Nairobi earlier this month.  I wanted to show you the stove and my favorite feature.  Enjoy the pictures!

My new stove - it has a glass lid

my favorite part - an electric starter.  No more matches!
At least when the power is on anyway :)