Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tomorrow is our last day of school, and we will be celebrating it in style!
In honour of the grade 8 girls completion of the school year and their merge into grade 9 this coming September, we are dressing our best and having a ceremony on the beach. Over the past few weeks I've been writing a poem to sum up our year to read aloud for my students and their parents during our formal part of the day. I thought that I'd post it here for you to read and give you a glimpse of our fantastic year together!
i’d like to take some time today to give a tribute to my class,
each one that has been a part of a year that has gone so very fast!
looking back i am truly amazed at how far we’ve come,
so let’s go back for a moment to where we had first begun.
we overcame a lot of big hurdles together,
starting with our guesthouse classroom in september,
we worked amidst the wind, dust, diesel trucks and noise,
including haitian cooks and drivers and dustin’s water delivery boys.
(believe me, we often said WOY!)
over time we watched our classroom get built a little more every day,
and looked forward to the time when it would be our place to stay.
after our move, we stayed true to our subjects through thick and thin,
even when the helicopters threatened to land on our roof made of tin.
when the bell rang each morning we all came to our one room schoolhouse,
in addition to the many uninvited visitors including tarantulas, moths, lizards and a very large mouse (or should i say rat?)
by those stubborn mosquitos we’ve been eaten alive,
but with the help of some trusty bug spray, we all have managed to survive.
we loved trekking off campus for sa pi bons, french fries and chicken at the beach.
we had ice cream at the sugar cane museum, and baked a lot of banana muffins - these kids sure love to eat!
you parents may be wondering from all these fun activities if we did any work at all,
let me assure you that your kids conquered many walls.
ana and mina learned english, bridgely and riley survived a volcano eruption
grayden and sammy mastered long division and the grade 8 girls finished in time for graduation!
that brings us to now.
we may not be in a school gym or have all of the cap and gown gear
we may not be marching to ‘pomp and circumstance’, but there is still reason to celebrate this grade 8 year...
teagan with her sharpie-striped fingernails,
never complained about researching genetic dna or reading fantasy tales.
we can always count on her to describe historical figures with an overgrown beard...
she can sum it all up in one word ‘weird’.
madison loves her tang extra sweet,
and can always be counted on to confirm that her beloved penguins were not beat.
she has recently taken on a new challenge this season:
in her pursuit of super junior, she learns how to speak korean.
it has been a wonderful year of memories,
one that i will never forget even when i reach my seventies.
i am amazed that we’ve made it all the way from september through june,
and wherever you go now, i pray you will continue to grow and bloom.
i thank God for each of you and the way you have played a big part,
you all, in your own special way, have warmed my heart.
keep growing and dreaming and living out loud,
no matter where the path leads you i will always be proud!
and now that we’re here and the school year is through,
it’s time to celebrate all that God has helped us to do!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
We had told the kids and prepared the parents at church on Sunday morning that we would be stopping by later on in the afternoon, so you can just imagine how excited they were about it. They greeted us with big smiles and hugs as we came into view. Sadrac set up the theatre by perching the DVD player on an upside-down metal bucket and we spread one of my spare bedsheets out under the big cactus tree. The kids quickly took off their shoes (most of them go barefoot anyways), and the movie started in full swing.
It was so fun to watch the young ones sit mesmerized and adults alike cuddled with babies in their laps to watch the show. As I sat with them, I thought about how many times this film has been shown, how many countries and viewings it has had all over the world and how together my friends and I were able to share it with this special family. As the heinz 57 puppy came and licked up crumbs while the rooster strutted about I felt such joy about how this heavenly message of love is for all of us. The humble homes of these families may not be recognized as worthy in the world's eyes, and yet the sincerity of their hearts and belief in God's grace allows them to inherit such a beautiful kingdom. A kingdom that will be far greater in their eyes than even I can understand.
I feel so privileged that they live so close to the mission and that I am able to visit them and see them at church regularly. In the sweltering heat, the kids still squeeze up next to me or pile on my lap during the service, and I love hearing their voices of welcome as we near their home.
I still marvel about how it all began on a simple walk down the mission hill. The Lord truly ordained that moment, and I thank Him for giving me this gift of friendship!