Hey everyone! I'm so so so sorry I haven't blogged in almost 3 weeks! We have really been super busy since school started and this past week we didn't have internet.
So, lets back up to almost three weeks ago! The first week of school for both me and Josh was a little hectic. For one, we have never taught so even the thought of a lesson plan was overwhelming! Teachers do alot more "prep work" than I ever realized (even a four year old kindergarten teacher). But especially a first year middle school teacher who is teaching FOUR different classes/subjects. Josh really has a heavy load as far as school work goes. And many of his afternoons are spent helping out with sports teams at the academy so he does most of his planning and grading at nights and on weekends. YUCK! haha...but he does have a helper :)
The second week of school we started our "afternoon activities" which we are required to spend 2 hours a week doing. I had my first ballet class two tuesdays ago. It's really fun! The kids are 3, 4, and 5 so they are pretty young. It can be a bit stressful going from 5 hours with 17 four year olds to an hour with 12 3, 4, and 5 year olds though! I don't think I've ever talked as much as I have in the past three weeks. I say EVERYTHING at least three times haha. But they are so sweet and cute and to see them enjoying an activity I've prepared for them or to hear them say, "I love you Mrs. Harper!", makes it all worth while :) And it's pretty amazing to be able to watch them learn their letters for the first time and begin to put letter names with sounds. We are just working with vowels right now so it will be neat to start consonants and have the kids start "blending" sounds...ba be bi bo bu, etc.
My other afternoon activity I committed to was going to Chitipi orphanage every Friday to hang out and play with the kids! There are three teachers from the academy that go and lead it every week including myself. Also, about 5 or 6 academy students 11 years and up go with us to help minister to the kids. I plan the art and craft acitvity every week. Our theme this year is the "fruit of the spirit" so most of our activities and games have to do with fruit, love, joy, goodness, patience, self control, etc. There are about 36 kids at Chitipi. They are all so happy! Even though they have next to nothing they are always smiling and eager to interact and play with us. It's really great...after a long day at school on a Friday they really give me a new energy and uplift me! I look forward to going every week :)
Josh has been coaching the middle school soccer team. I think he is enjoying it! He asked our sports coordinator if he could get an assistant though because of the amount of kids. There are about 25 kids and he's been the only coach. A team played a game today with another Christian school in the area (Bishop Mackenzie Baptist) and Josh coached that. He was really good! He was getting into it and giving the kids tips as they played. This game was between kids ages 5-9 and they pretty much just all followed the ball wherever it went haha. But they were cute!
Josh is also helping out with band which he is enjoying as well. It's a small "random" band. The only pre-requisite is that you play an instrument. There are only about 6 or 7 kids that take it...but Josh plays pretty much any instrument so he can for sure help out there! There was a little Korean girl who plays piano that speaks NO English that he worked with this past week. I don't know if any of you "blog followers" have ever worked with people that speak no English and you don't speack their language....but it's difficult! I have a little Korean boy in my class and it's so hard to communicate when they know NO English at all. It's really a challange...but a rewarding one when you see them start to pick up on words your saying. We were both surprised by how many Korean students go to school hear at the academy.
We are still "church hopping" at the moment but hope to settle down somewhere soon. We have been to several different churches which have been ok. We'll just have to wait and see! Last week we were going to go to a village church with the McDonald's but I got sick :( I want to try one of those though! Maybe if we went to a village church every Sunday we would learn Chichewa faster. We are trying but it just sounds like mumbo jumbo when they speak it. My teaching assistant, Mr. Gray, has been helping me out with a few simple phrases but it's difficult! We really want to learn it though.
We really appreciate everyone's support and prayers! I hope in the next week I can do another post and talk about more that is going on! To sit down and try to catch people up on over three weeks of "happenings" is overwhelming! haha. I need to make a list of most important things or something :) I hope everyone is having a great week! I will try and upload some pictures of our house and the city this weekend.