Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ESL beginning class


I know it has been a while since you heard from me!  Sorry, but the internet and phone system in Lodwar has not been conducive to blogging lately.  I am currently in Switzerland and Nairobi for a time and will try to do some updates for you before I head back to Turkana. I am in these places for a couple of weeks of meetings.  The mountains in Switzerland do make up for the long meetings!

I thought of using my phone in class to record some songs, but didn't think about the fact that you would be looking at the floor mostly.  I will try to do better in the future :).

Even with that, unfortunately, I have not been able to figure out how to get these videos to upload.  I tried last week and now again while I am in Switzerland.  I'm not having much luck.  It uploads the video but then gets stuck on processing the video.  So, I don't think I will be able to do this.  I got some help changing the video to audio and thought I might be able to do that, but I don't know how to upload that since it isn't a picture or a video.  So, I am going to go ahead and just tell you about it.  If anyone can help me for the future I would love to know how to do this!

My beginning class started out with the students learning several new commands.  They learned how to stand up, sit down, turn, turn around, walk, stop, go out, come in, point to..., look at ..., write your name, circle your name, spell your name and a few others.  We did them in many different combinations and even spent time outside under the sun finding various things near the school.  The students needed to learn the official names of the letters and they need to learn the order so they can eventually put things in alphabetical order.  So, I sang the ABC song for them and they in turn sang their ABC song for me.  It was a bit different tune and they called "Z," Zed.

I also wanted them to learn how to greet people and how to say goodbye.  So, I put simple greeting and goodbye phrases to the song "So Long, Farewell...." from the Sound of Music.  The students really enjoyed singing this song.  I was getting hoarse singing it over and over loud enough for them to hear, so I sang it into my phone and just kept hitting play for each of the verses until they got.

This class was a lot of fun and I look forward to working with them more in the future.  I also had my intermediate class as part of this class for about half of the week.  It was a good review for them.  When we got to the greeting learning time, I sent them out with a English speaking Turkana man to help them do a simple English Bible study.  They spent some good time practicing and remembering all they had learned in the past.  They were able to help the new students as they practiced greeting them.  I am hoping that this will continue to work out, but I am not sure about the teacher I am working with so you could keep that in your prayers.

Sorry no pictures this time or video, but I will see what I can do in the future.  Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

July's projects

Right after I get back to Kenya, people begin talking to me about fixing things.  One of the things that needed fixing was the banda that my guards sit under during the day.  This is just a cooler place out of the sun for them to sit.  When I looked at the structure, I had to agree with them that it needed to be worked on.  This banda was built by former CMF missionaries a few years before I came to Kenya.  I have added some Makuti (palm leaves woven to make a type of thatch) over the years, but not done much else.  

So, as you can see it needed some help.  My guards also wanted me to make the roof higher.  That required a carpenter and a bit of extra thinking.  The posts for the banda were only so high.  They were also still good and were imbedded in the concrete.  So, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy the process of repairing and improving it.

this is how we made the center post taller

We added plastic to help keep out any rain that might fall :)

This is the way it looked in the end - without all the 'trash' around it

left over 'murrim' - stalks of palm leaves