I found out some good news today about our visitor that showed up during my prayer time; Colin. Miss Cherold, my teacher’s aide knows who he is and his parents. She knows where they live and is going to talk to Colin and see if he would like to learn English. Praise God. So we will see how God wants to work this out.
We have been diligently working on our library. The kids love books! I walked in one Saturday morning when the school was ‘supposed’ to be closed and found 3 kids piled in among the books and boxes and shelves; one was inside an empty box reading out loud, one rushed over with The Gingerbread Man, promptly showing his teacher how well he could read it, and one meandering about touching everything. I had to laugh.
The new shelves.
Getting a much needed aesthetic makeover.
It won’t be long before students have their very own library to come check out books, study in, or read. And the school is working on getting a computer put in the library so they can look up cool things like satellite pictures of the rings around Saturn, the skeleton of a Dodo bird or maybe a place far away called America.
We went to Guggigue island and on our way back stopped at an island owned by Twyla’s uncle. I call it Uncle’s Island. There is a camp there where Twyla and Noble sometimes bring the youth on retreat.
There were about 8 of us who went. We piled into a truck and headed off across the causeway. At Uncle’s island we were able to swim.
Miss Cherold. She is my teacher’s aid and an awesome person.
Me and my white skin:)
The awesome thing about it is the coral reefs come right up to the shore. In Florida and the beaches I’ve been to, the only thing under the surface is sand, shells and a few living creatures buried in the sand. But here there are coral reefs and fish almost everywhere.
Lenka, Cherold and little Tia making sandcastles as the sun sets over the Pacific.
I often bring models or diagrams to illustrate what I am teaching. It’s like a little show and tell session to help the kids learn and have fun doing it. Today, I was getting ready to teach from Genesis 1:27 ‘God created man in His own image, in the image of God’. We were going to learn that we are created in the image of God and that each one of us is special. But the Spirit led me to start at the very beginning. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God made the heavens and the Earth. So I went with it. We got into the sun being a star, the Earth revolving around the sun which makes the seasons and the earth turning on its axis creating night and day. God is so awesome! I tried to find a globe for show and tell but there wasn’t one readily available. So I drew a humble little diagram on the board to give them an idea.
About the time we got to God making the sky and forming the land out of the waters, Mrs. Kina motioned and said a really big fish was outside! So we all went to see what was going on. It was a huge, 700lb swordfish! It was probably 7 feet long. The kids were so excited to see it up close. We took some pictures and I asked the men how they caught it. They said with a pole…praise God…you should have seen their boat! I think the swordfish was longer than their fishing boat! Lol! I touched the tip of the fish’s nose/spear (or whatever you call it) and it felt like a wooden leg on a table. It was visibly worn and chipped on the end. Along the sides of the mouth was an area on the surface lined with white pads that felt like sandpaper or a cat’s tongue. I guess that was its teeth. I didn’t press to hard just in case:) It was a fun time.
We all reconvened in the room and I began reading again. Then we hit on Gen 1:21
‘So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.’
And the Lord quickened my spirit: God just gave us a live show and tell!
God’s timing is impeccable. I couldn’t even find a plastic man-made globe for my diagram. Surely there is no Teacher like Him. Hallelujah! And when you own the world and everything in it, and You want to teach Your babies about the awesome things You created in the sea, then You can pull a swordfish out whenever You want to! That just fires me up! The fishermen had no idea their catch was going to be part of Science class at Ebeye Gem School today. Glory to God forever more.
***NTA is the island’s computer center. They had several problems with their servers and a virus. Sorry for the delay in posts!
We had our Marshallese Cultural Day today. The King and the Queen’s daughter (the Queen couldn’t make it) came to our school. The kids did several dances in celebration of the day and of course, we all ate. It was all local foods – no chicken, steak or hot dogs. But I found a few things to nibble on. They had rice:) Praise God. Here are some pictures from the day. I love this job!
I spotted an unknown entity at the far corner of the stone wall. I snapped a quick photo.
It moved into the more populated areas of the masses, I took a picture and was relieved to see it was a…well…I’m still unsure what exactly it was but, at least it was pretty harmless. ;)
Typical Marshallese attire. Beautiful colors!
This past Monday, around ten o’clock in the morning, we were all in class and I was teaching my kids when suddenly, there was this horrible squeal that came from next door. And then a few more. I knew immediately it was a pig. Have you ever heard a pig squeal? It’s really strange. Anyway, I went out to the front porch to see what was going on. Mrs. Keena, my teacher’s aid, said they were getting ready to kill it right there and cook it. I think my brain tilted. I smiled, covered my ears and told her to tell me when they were done. In few moments she said, okay, they spilt it down the belly, its finished. Some of my kids were holding their ears and some were laughing at their teacher:) I thought, is that the little piggy I saw with her piglet meandering in the bushes that Saturday morning? I had to quickly forget it – Okay class back to English! It wasn’t long before we started smelling the pig roasting over the fire. That night the party went into the wee hours of the night. I find it all so amusing. I mean, when was the last time I was out on my front porch in Lexington and someone next door splits a pig open and starts cooking it right there? As odd as some things are here, I find the change…oddly refreshing.
When rainfall comes it brings with it a refreshing that blankets this entire island. Things can get hot, dusty and humid; there’s a point when everything just hangs waiting in anticipation of the rain.
There was a time, a week or so ago, where the main water supply plant that desalinates the ocean water for consumption had mechanical problems and went down. It’s the only public water supply for the whole island. They had no water for nearly seven days. Of course there are stores that sell drinking water, but I’m talking water for showers and dishes and clothes and washing your hands and brushing your teeth…you know, what we Americans always take for granted. Our water supply iat home and the school is not hooked up to the public system however. Believe it or not, I shower, cook, wash and brush my teeth with rain water that is collected by plastic pipes that run along the roof of the school and our houses. It empties into a big metal holding tank that looks a little like a dumpster back home would. But it contains fresh rain water. Of course we can’t drink it without boiling it. The tank is used by six adults and four children. But as long as it’s raining, the tank is replenished. It hadn’t rained since we landed on Ebeye weeks prior and I’m unsure when the last rains had come. Mrs. Grace said when this happens, the Marshallese just pray and the rains come.
It forms in billowing clouds out over the sea and you can tell it’s raining by the gray haze that stretches from the clouds to the surface of the water. You can smell it in the cooling of the air, the winds carry it while it’s still a ways off. Did the rain ever pour! For like two days straight.
I love it when it rains. Everything cools down by several degrees. We have a tin roof and the sound gets so loud I can’t even hear the drumming of the a/c which is right behind me in the kitchen. It lulls me to sleep. I thank Jesus every time I hear it.
But the island winter isn’t here yet. The rains are coming. These showers we’ve experienced so far this month are just a forward to the story. A little introduction to what’s on its way. Amen.