Friday, February 29, 2008

art, rats and other things

Let me tell you a story about why teaching in Malawi is fun. Before I begin you need to know a little history. I have had rats in my classroom for who knows how long- forever probably. Disgusting, but we just continue on with life. (We tried setting traps but it is either too big or too smart).

So, on Monday morning I open my door and a strong odor wafts out. I will admit that my classroom normally smells a little weird, but this was unusually strong. So, I open the windows and turn on the fans to get the smell out. I figured that Mr. Rat (as my students have come to call him) had been up to his usual, disgusting antics. The students comment on the smell, but we continue on with our day. When it was time for reading groups we had to move our group from our normal table because it smelled so bad. By this time, I realized that something was definately not right with my room.

During recess I asked some of the cleaning staff to check things out in my room so about 4 ladies head in and start investigating. Pretty soon one of them comes out and gets the biggest thickest gloves she can find and as she's putting them on says, "We need you." Now, I've seen these ladies clean some pretty gross things up without gloves on, so at this point, I know it's bad.

The smell was so strong that I could smell it at the next building over. When I walked into my room they had my entire desk torn apart and they were all holding their noses. Did I mention that it smelled worse than anything I've ever smelled? One of the ladies took the top drawer of my desk and RAN out of the room with it- screaming and gagging. Mr. Rat had found his way into my drawer, but couldn't find his way out. He tried to chew his way out, but to no avail. At long last, he died a peacful death among the pens, pencils, markers, and other teacher like supplies brought from America. But, he couldn't leave us without one last memory of a vile smell, that continues to pervade our classroom to this day.

As my headmaster said when I told him about it, "Just think of the stories you'll have to tell your grandchildren." Or my students for years and years to come.

I'll leave you with some pictures of my favorite 6 and 7 year olds painting with watercolors- a great Friday afternoon activity. Tyraan and Shaydon. Evi and Hannah.

Friday, February 15, 2008

ok, ok, ok

Enough people have commented about my lack of updates that I figure it's time. Even if it's not filled with exciting news and pictures. I have been trying to put up a video of my students singing the song they sang in chapel last week, but the ridiculous internet won't let me. So, you'll have to wait until I come home to see it, I guess.

Speaking of home, I'll be in Oregon on June 24th and I'm so excited to see all of you. I really do love Malawi (most of the time) but it's been so weird to be away from everything I know for so long.

Here are some cute things from my students recently:

Me: Why did the author say 'Nothing can run faster than a cheetah?'

Zizwa: Because nothing is faster than a cheetah. Except Jesus. Jesus is the fastest.

A conversation I overheard from my "I'm too cool" boys:

"Some people are evil. I hate evil people."

"But we have to love them anyway and hate the evil. Because God loves people even when they are evil. He forgives them."

They are so cute. What an incredible opportunity it is to be a part of their lives! Even when they drive me crazy.

Here's the only exciting picture I have taken recently. They skies here are more beautiful than anything you've ever seen before.