Monday, October 12, 2009


Grade 1 is fun to teach. Not only do you get to train little ones to read and write - skills that they will use for the rest of their lives, but everyday spent with the 6-year olds is pure entertainment. It's amazing the things that they come up with and the ideas and resolutions that they have for things. A couple times a morning I catch myself giggling at something that they say or do. The van der Mark kids and I still have a funny quote that we repeat to make each other laugh from last year. The context is during our math block. Bridgely was working through a addition activity where he had to count up the ducklings that had hatched out of their eggs. Grayden and Teagan were also deep into their own math problems and the classroom was quiet - Quiet until Bridgely randomly proclaimed - 'Break it up you chicks!'. We all gazed at him with confused looks on our faces, and then exchanged glances with each other and burst out laughing. That one-liner continues to pop up from time to time to this day!
Just this past week a similar scenario happened with Riley. The kids were all working away at their respective lessons while I worked quietly with the Loulous. All of a sudden, Riley looked up at me and said 'It smells like the junior playground at Camp Mini-Yo-We'. I looked at him with a blank expression and then toward the faces of his sisters who smiled and shrugged their shoulders. Like me, they are learning that random expressions are common in the minds of little ones. It certainly keeps the rest of us older ones entertained, and I'm sure that expression will come up again out of the mouths of one of the junior students as a joke someday soon. :)
Now, in keeping with the random trend - I have a list of my own random experiences and thoughts to share with you about the last week... Hope you can keep up!
First off we have breaking news... My main room and kitchen walls are YELLOW! Yesterday afternoon Rachel and Victoria (the grand-daughter of one of our Mission staff on the state side) helped me turn my house into a home. The colour is wonderful. It's fresh and vibrant, cozy and warm - a perfect tropical island sunshine brightness. There's something about fresh paint that gives you a little oomph. When I woke up this morning, I could see the corner of my yellow wall from my bed and it definitely perked me up! If you use facebook you can check out the progress in my 'new glimpse' album. I'll try my best to post up some shots on my blog in the next few weeks too.
Next on the agenda is my latest battle wound... On Saturday all of the Canadian staff at the mission (vanderMarks, Rumfords, Rachel and I) travelled to another Canadian missionary family's home to celebrate thanksgiving with over 35 Canadians who are currently serving in Haiti. It was so nice to be together and meet new people and enjoy the taste of turkey and stuffing just like home. The family who hosted us also live close to one of Haiti's main beaches so before lunch we spent the morning by the water and basking in the glorious heat... It's glorious because as soon as you start sweating you can cool off in the water! ;)
Anyways, at one point I branched off from the main group at the pool with Grant and Michelle and went down to the Caribbean sea to take a swim in the great deep. We were the only ones in the water and it was heavenly. We swam out about 20 feet and the water was way over our heads, but crystal blue. From the water we gazed back onto the shore and the mountains seemed to hang over us like a curtain. The waves were calm and we spent time floating (the salt water makes you really buoyant) and taking in the beauty of the paradise we were in. After about 15 minutes being in the water, I was floating along and I felt something pressing against my ankles. I kicked away and felt it again, this time closer, and then experienced a tingling/stinging sensation all over my stomach. I told Grant and Michelle something weird was happening and swam to shore. Once we all got out of the water, the pain minimized and turned into an itch. Grant concluded that I must have been stung by a jellyfish. With that, we gazed back out towards the water and saw two small dinnerplate-sized jellyfish mingling beneath the surface of the water. I did have a small red mark on my stomach, but overall it was a very mild sting. Most of all, I felt pretty thrilled that the jellyfish got me - I can chock that one up on my list of new experiences in Haiti!
The last random tidbit that I will leave you with for now is an update on our classroom... This morning was the first experience the kids and I had dealing with teams, as there are about 30 people visiting in two separate groups that are using the guesthouse area for meals and devotions. This morning one of the groups was reflecting on some bible passages while waiting for their Haitian translators to arrive before heading out. The problem was that there wasn't enough space nor solitude for a class workspace, so I gave the kids an extended reading time until they all cleared about 45 minutes later. Not the most ideal way to start a week, but then again, we're in Haiti and such is life!
After speaking to Laurens this morning (who by the way is doing remarkably well considering the collision last Thursday - keep him in your prayers as he continues to recover), the classroom should be good to go by tomorrow or Wednesday. They are supposed to be wiring the electricity today, so we will be able to move in shortly! As you can imagine, we are all very excited to have a place of our own, and we surely will never take it for granted! I'll be sure to post up a blog once we're all settled and let you know how things are going in our new space.
Thank you again for the prayers and support during this transition time. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!


Renee said...

love your randoms. praying for you and your new classroom!

Becky said...

...a jellyfish ... oh Diana ... be careful of those "new experiences" :) :)
Thanks for keeping us posted on life in Haiti. Blessings!

gertie said...

Diana...we keep you in our are doing wonderful things that make beautiful memories for you and the people you touch. God Bless you.