Can you believe that we are almost halfway through June already!?
Time is FLYING.
I think it must be something to do with the 100+ people on teams that have been here over the past two weeks. As you can probably imagine, dinner times have been quite overwhelming! As life here at the mission gets more and more busy, my mind has easily been lost in a spin of winding up with the mission summer schedule, and also winding down as the school year comes to a close.
We have 2 weeks of school left. That's it! So needless to say, and the kids and I are in major anticipation mode! We've got a 'spendid summer' number countdown where we cross off a number, and a countdown chain where we cut off a link of a paper loop each day. Just 10 days to go!
With our last unit wrapping up, it is definitely starting to sink in that the school year is coming to a close. It's hard to get my mind around it... On one side, when I think about our start back in September, it feels like years since started out in my spare bedroom. And yet, the thought of our school year coming to an end already feels like it's gone by in a flash!
Thoughts of finishing my first full year as a teacher is quite an exciting though... This is what I have dreamed about even since I was little! The fact that the kids and I actually survived all of the planning and units amazes me, and compels me to give all the glory and thanks to the Lord. He brought us through!
It has truly been a year full of growth, not just for my students, but for me as well. I am looking forward to using these lessons I've learned and the experience I've gained to benefit in the year ahead.
Along with the many guests staying at the mission, Brad and Vanessa Johnson and their four children have also come for the summer. As our school year wraps up, it's been fun to have the Johnson children (Junior and Georgie who have been adopted from Haiti, and Beau and Jayma) join us for our afternoon classes. The van der Mark kids have loved having their friends around, and with the extra numbers, we've been able to do some neat activities. Teagan and Grayden have been learning about simple and complex structures in their last science unit, so we've been branching their new skills into some fun building competitions.
The pictures below show the kids making frame structures out of spaghetti and marshmallows. They came up with some quite ingenious designs!
In addition to our 'action packed' school days there has been a lot of other things happening on the mission. This week my mind has been filled with thoughts about our school finale, and everything that goes with it - report cards, end of the year trips, portfolio organization, de-brief and ideas for next year. However, I've also been fortunate to take part in some of the other happenings on the mission, and make the most of my time here.
This past Monday, Laurens coordinated 70 team members in roofing the new orphan village kitchen. At about 3pm as I sat in the classroom scheduling lessons, Cheryl came in and said that the workers needed even more assistance, so with that, we all changed into our work gear (kids included!) and climbed onto the roof to pass cement buckets as the final square feet of the roof was poured.
I felt it was a moment that the Lord was really reminding me what I am here for. As much as my responsibility here is to serve as a teacher for these Canadian children, I am thankful for the daily reminders and opportunities that I can serve at the mission. It was an optimal chance for me to work and serve in such a tangible way and I was very thankful. It isn't very often that I get to join into a big work project or clinic outreach, and it's often easy to forget life outside the compound when I am teaching the kids day after day. I am grateful for the reminder of what life here at the mission is all about - serving alongside people from all over the world to bring hope to Haiti. It is a privilege for me to live in a place where both my strengths and weaknesses can be used for the Lord.
This weekend, I am hoping to polish off my report cards and take a trip to Good Samaritan orphanage to see some of my favorite little ones. I am sure my time with them on Saturday afternoon will be just the boost I need to clear my head of marking for a while! :)
Thanks again for your prayers in this 'home stretch' period, that I can keep my eyes focussed on where I am now, and not feel too overwhelmed about all I need to do before I come home. It's my hope that I can live each day to the fullest here as the days fly by. See you soon!