Tuesday, December 8, 2009

African Adventures With The Williams.... Holidays!

Hello everyone! We're just putting a quick message here on the blog for December... Not because we're too busy Christmas shopping but because Mark has holidays this month (on & off) and we really need them! We're just goint to try and catch up on some projects (Jodie's baby book, one year video for Jodie, and other long overdue household stuff) and some weekend traveling to just get out of the city.

So we have added some pictures that we hope you enjoy!

We're not traveling home to North America this year. It's very expenseive and an exhausting trip after all is said and done and we think this year our family would benefit more from a time here of rest and catch up! But we're going to miss all of you and will be thinking of you (and the snow and apply cider and snowmen). We'll have a very nice time here though, with a Christmas tree and Jodie's first Christmas that she can enjoy. Seth's already asking about a Christmas tree!

We pray this Christmas is great for all of you! Rest. Enjoy one another. Honor old traditions (good ones!) and start one new tradition this year. We plan to help our kids find a toy for a child that doesn't have one. We have the privilege of not packing it in a shoe box but taking a walk down the road and giving it to someone in the neighborhood. Maybe that is a possibility for you as well. Maybe there is a way this year that you can touch someone with the kindness of Christ face to face. We're pretty sure this is a tradition that we can continue no matter where we are and we're excited to see how it will impact our children throught the years.

Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Love and blessings from,

The Williams Family

Friday, October 9, 2009

Adventures With The Williams Four: Future Plans

As we look back over our time in Africa it is hard to believe that we have been here for a little over four years. I remember our arrival in early September of 2005 at the airport and thinking that we should just get on the next plane and head back for Canada. Looking back I am very glad we did not decide to do that and as time progressed our initial two year contract has turned into four plus years. Likewise our family of two has been blessed with Seth and Jodie to make a family of four. During our time in Uganda we have seen so much, learned a ton and been blessed by so many. It has been a life changing experience for our family and one that I hope we never forget as we live each day regardless of where we are in five, ten or twenty years.

Recently we have been praying daily concerning our future as we consider renewing our contract here in Uganda. Yes, I will admit that I am dying to see a little bit of Hockey Night In Canada and lace up those skates, but most importantly we think of our many friends and family members back in Canada and the United States. Those are the things that are closest to our hearts and more so for Sarah as our children begin to grow up so fast. Needless to say we strongly feel that being in the palm of God’s hand is not always easy, but it is the best place to be for the Williams Four. Yes, we have decided to extend our contract to the end of 2010 and continue to seek God’s leading for the future. We know that this decision is more difficult for some than others, but please know that we still love you and miss you, but at this point continue to feel called to Uganda with the African Children’s Choir. Although, some of my Canuck and Oiler buddies may be happy that they will not hear the voice of Mark’s “Go Flames, Go” for a little longer.

As we move forward we would seek your continued support as you feel God is leading you. We continue to see much fruit in the hearts and lives of the students at the school and those that have graduated and are grateful to be blessed with a good base for high school. If you would like to be part of our ministry here in any way we would ask you to seek God’s leading. There are so many different ways that you can be part of our work here or help us as a family. Instead of providing different options we would ask you to seek the Lord’s guidance if you feel a tug on your spirit. If you don’t know how you can help but would like to or want to please send us an email at we_ganda_uganda@hotmail.com and we can suggest some ways.

For the many of you who have helped us over the past four years we can not say enough about what that has meant to us. We pray Gods richest blessings on you and wish we could thank you in a much bigger way. If I could we would have you all over to our backyard in Uganda for a big barbeque party… One day we will do just that whether it is Kampala, Abbotsford or where God places us.

As this note comes to an end please try and understand the purpose in our staying and do know that we miss you all very much. Until we meet again in person we pray blessing, health and safety on all of you. As we follow God’s leading for our lives we will continue to lift you in prayer and we would be so thankful for your continued prayers. Please keep in touch when you can as we love your emails and other communication. You greatly encourage us!
Much love from the Williams Four.

Heart For Kids!

Four years ago we were clearly led to come and work with the African Children’s Choir here in Uganda. There have been long days, lonely times, but also frequent evidence of the positive impact that our work here has made in the lives of the children that we have worked directly with. Our hope and prayer is that God is glorified in every way through our time here.

Cultures & Traditions

Tradition!!! Sarah helps the ‘groom’s side’ carry in the dowry for a bride to be in the village. We have been blessed to be a part of many of these functions with our new Ugandan friends.

Visitors: Mom & Dad Williams

Being far from home we have been very fortunate to have people from home come and visit us here in Africa. Not only do they come for a much welcome visit from afar, but they also fill up their bags with many goodies for us and the students at the school. Thank you Doerksens, Sas, Shannon, Irwins, Schroeders, Mom and Dad Williams, Josh Campbell, Brent, Daniel, Alice Sharping among others. And… ????

Thank You

While on a road trip with Mark’s parents we stopped at this small village to give out t-shirts to the children playing outside. Thank you MEI for those great T-shirts as they are one of the most prized gifts we give out.
We’ve been blessed by so many generous people who have raised money and sent stuff over to give away! Thanks to all of you! The following picture is of our most faithful fund raising team. Thank you Cloverdale School!!!

Athletics, Academics & Music

Our senior girls’ soccer team won first place in a city wide tournament and returned home with a trophy and even a goat. God is good! We have been blessed as a school with much success in academics, athletics and music. Even though we are very small compared to all the other schools we compete against we have matured into one of the top schools in Kampala and even throughout the entire country of Uganda.

No Higher Calling

This group of pictures shares the most significant purpose here in Uganda. There is no calling here or in North America that can mean more to us than this. Seth, our little big man and Jodie our princess we love you both. Lord we pray for wisdom and strenght!Mustard Anyone???

Reaching Out

Attending choir send off celebrations is an exciting event and here Sarah is holding a young sibling to one of the choir children who was very taken with the white lady. (Before we had children of our own to take over mommy’s lap).


It has been amazing to be in a different country and see the different kinds of wildlife that Africa has been blessed with. We have been able to do some exploring outside the city and see some of God’s great creation. Everything from elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, water buffalos, many varieties of deer, and numerous birds.

A Loving Staff

The first time we took Seth to the school was a special day! Mark especially enjoys sharing his babies with his staff and students who spare no expression of their adoration! Our children are loved!

Sharing Our Children

Here begins a succession of pictures to give you an idea of how blessed we are to be surrounded by people who love and appreciate our children. Nothing can replace the regular contact and love of our parents and extended families for our children, and we feel that every day. But as God has directed us to be here for now, He has also provided great love for our children and we value that very highly and thank Him for it.

Baby Orphanage

Before our own children were born we enjoyed several trips to a baby orphanage in Jinja Uganda where we would visit the little ones and give them hugs which they absorbed like little sponges. This little guy had a thing for Mark and spent one of our visits refusing to let Mark put him down. (As opposed to the other children the next time we came who took a look at Mark’s white face with facial hair and the whole room of 1 year olds burst into inconsolable terrified shrieking!)


What appears to be a trio of men traveling together with their loads of goods, is truly just a snatch of mild pedestrian traffic. Living in this city has instilled in us a better awareness of our fellow-men as they struggle to make their living alongside of us.


Our first African flight with a little one was a thrill!!! Here in London, Mark is happily toting Seth during a layover. (The novelty wears off!)

Ugandan Children

On one of Sarah’s visits to the village, she snapped this shot of some boys peering through the side of the local church (the size of the average bedroom) as they watched food and clothes being presented to the village leaders.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Adventures With Mark... Home Visits!

I have enjoyed a week at home with Sarah and the kids as the students at the school have a three week holiday term break. Every holiday the management team at the school makes it a priority to visit certain students that we know have an extremely difficult situation at home. Staff members are given the opportunity and encouraged to join us on the visits and the vehicle is always full as we visit students in and around Kampala. Let me take you on a brief visit with us to our most recent home visit and hopefully paint a little bit of a picture of the lives of the students we help. Please note that names have been changed to respect the privacy of the students we help and most importantly love.

Robin is a grade five student that has struggled academically since joining the African Children’s Choir. She has done an excellent job improving due to an increased effort and level of discipline. We begin our home visit at her home as there is no father and her mother is back in the village with some issues that have forced her to live with her auntie. Her auntie is a government teacher earning very little and has five other people in her house to feed and care for. She does her best to help Robin over the holidays. We are grateful for this, but visit to make sure that everything is going okay and offer some support as we leave in the form of a food parcel.

Our next stop is the home of a grade six boy (red shirt) who lives with his two siblings and mother. The father died in a car accident when Sam was not even one year old and since then the mother has faced the constant struggle to try and provide for these young ones. The house consists of two rooms and there is a pit latrine nearby. Our main concern during this visit is that last term the house where they were living caught fire and burnt down along with the few possessions they have. We wanted to see how they were functioning in their new house or more accurately ‘shack’ according to western standards (even by Ugandan standards too). I feel humbled by our food parcel as she knew we were coming and provided a very nice meal by Ugandan standards of liver, potatoes and tea. I can’t help but slip her a little money on my way out to make sure that her meal of love is covered as she continues to struggle with the other two children she has. But she has not given up hope and tries to make a living cooking local food at a very simple one room restaurant.

Our third stop is the home of a grade three student with the best smile ever (next to Seth and Jodie). She is so excited to see us that she can’t contain her excitement and begins to jump for joy. She lives with her mother, but once again there is no father. The mother is reluctant to take us to her home and when we arrive we understand. Her one room house is so small it barely fits the five of us who came to visit them. Needless to say we are excited and our food parcel is a nice encouraging touch for Lori and her mom who currently has no job.

We make another stop to see another one of our students and then head out into the country side to an area known as the Luwero triangle where many people died during the years of fighting in the 1980’s. I enjoy the visits out in the villages as there is space and some open areas compared to the overcrowding in the slum-like areas we find most of our kids. It is pineapple season and the turn-off of the main road into the village displays hills of fresh pineapples. Yes, the best pineapple in the whole country and so of course, we stop. Our math teacher negotiates and a pineapple is bought for every member of our team for a grand total of 5000 shillings. $2.50 Canadian for five fresh pineapples would be a great deal in a supermarket back home. Our first stop is Jeff’s home, a very sharp young boy who lives with his mother and three siblings. His mother works in a nearby shop and is very excited to see us. During our visit we learn that when Jeff is on holidays he wakes up early, cleans the simple house and prepares a simple breakfast for his siblings as his mother is already out working at a one room shop. His award certificates from the school are hung with pride and are about the only thing on the wall.

Once we leave we beat the upcoming rains to another nearby house of a grade four student and then I can’t resist a stop to see a former student who is now in high school. He never knew his mother or father and lives with his godly, but very elderly grandpa in a very run down house. Trevor is not there, but the grandpa is very excited to see us and welcomes us in. The rain has subsided, but water continues to leak in the holes in the dilapidated tin room. He offers to sit on the floor and gives us a simple wooden bench that three of us sit on but we insist that he keeps the reaming stool for himself. We chat and thank him for the excellent job he is doing with Trevor and encourage him not to give up. He tells us he is sick, can’t afford the medication and seeing nothing in the house we make sure he is given a food parcel and a little money to buy some medication. As I leave I think about the house being built for Trevor and his grandpa by former choir members who have come through the organization and I am excited to be able to contribute to this project. It is not a fancy house, but the door will lock and the roof will not leak. Regardless of how long or short God keeps us in Uganda, I make up my mind that before we go that house must be finished.

Our day consisted of visits to seven students and we had the opportunity to give a little bit of love in a practical way. We arrive back in Kampala six hours later, tired, but much more grateful for what God has given us than before we left.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Adventures With Seth... New Kitties!

Hey! We got some kitties!!!! One of them is for my Auntie Kristine who lives here in Africa in our town.. so we found that kitty for her and then there was a little sister of that kitty. Well, when I heard that there was another kitty I just snuggled the first kitty on my shoulder at her house where we got her and I wandered all over that place stroking her gently saying, ‘Don’t worry! We’re going to find your sister.’ Of course, mom and dad couldn’t say no to that so I think me and Jodie get to keep the sister one!

I really like the kitties so much! I hold them all the time and tell them what to do and play fun games with them. Dad thinks that the kitties should be afraid of me because I sometimes even carry them upside down and maybe sometimes I squeeze too hard. But they usually don’t run away from me… we’re buds!

Me and Jodie are buds too. Especially when we ride in the car. We start talking to each other and laughing at each other and shouting. She doesn’t always do what I tell her. We have to work on that. But you know what? I kind of like that. She’s lots of fun and likes to do stuff with me. I gotta go! Bye! Love, Seth

Adventures With Jodie... Growing Up Fast!

I’m growing up! And everyone says I’m so cute! I suppose I am. I’ll tell you the new stuff I’m doing.

I can say ‘da-da’ (I think my dad is my favorite person. Except when I need food)…. ‘Boda’ (that’s our little bikes that we race around on)… ‘oh-no’ (that’s what I say when I throw one of my toys)… ‘uh-oh’ (that’s what I say when I throw my toys again or when I fall down) … ‘no’ (that’s what I say even when I mean yes because I can’t say yes and I like to say no!)… ‘no-no’ (that’s what I say when I do something naughty or when Seth is bossing me).

And by the way, Seth likes to boss me. But it doesn’t work on me! I yell at him loud and then if he tries to take my stuff usually I hit him. And sometimes I take his stuff too. I don’t mind being bossy. But mom says I’m so adorable! And I have a tender heart she says. I get my feelings hurt easily and sometimes I can’t forgive people very much.

I really wish I could spend time with my grandmas. I love snuggles and giggles and kisses. And I love story books. (So my grandpas can read to me when I see them the next time!) I will try to come soon! I just have to save up for a airplane ticket. I have to go now and crawl everywhere and pull up on stuff. Good bye! Jodie

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mark… Where are they now?!

Being so far away from many of our friends and family back home we often feel like we are out of the loop. Yes, even with simple things like movies and who is the next big music group. However we can relate with many of you who have been experiencing the constant heat. Currently Kampala is the driest it has been for a very long time (since the 1970s) and even the locals are starting to tell us they can’t remember a time when it was this dry.

However, the biggest thing we wonder is how and what our friends and family are up to. The thought was that you may feel the same about our family and even the students that leave our school. I know I often think about them and wonder how they are doing academically, behaviorally and spiritually… Well even if you are not wondering let me tell you.

Our story begins last year with some of our grade seven students. Last year our discipline committee found ourselves very challenged….in particular with a couple of students. With a constant effort and a measured level of discipline we continued to push forward and work with these children. As the year came to an end they were excited to be heading home on holidays. But soon the realization of a long holiday set in. Not so much food, not much to do and quite a bit of boredom. Tears were shed by many children as they said their goodbyes to fellow classmates, students, staff and even those tough discipline committee members of which I was the head of.

Christmas holidays passed and seven of 30 grade seven members were placed together in a secondary school. Here at Music for Life we started another year, welcomed another choir who had returned from touring in the west and got to work. To my surprise and joy one of those difficult students from last year showed up at my office one day and greeted me with a big hug. Yes, I remember the mean things this student had written in a diary about me and others who, were only trying to help her and correct her out of love with good intentions. As we chatted I was shocked to hear that she was one of the top student in her stream along with the six other students from our school (same grade but different classes). I was shocked as she stated who was first and followed through to number seven and how ‘we are the best and the rest begin after us’. All of the students had positions of leadership and were involved in leading praise and worship on Sunday mornings for the school. She made it clear that she had made many mistakes and deserved the firmness that was shown her during her time at our school. My heart jumped for joy as she continued to speak highly of how we had created a strong foundation for her academically and work-wise to be the best in her new school. Spiritually they had also been given what they needed to not just survive, but lead others at their new school. And they have been a testimony to much older students. We are thankful for the direction of these seven and many others year after year who move into secondary school and make us, the staff, the school and the organization proud. Thank you Ruth, Florence, Penny, Isaac, Dorothy, Susan and Gorret for your superb effort and dedication…We love you all still very much…

Well, I thought about going to the school for part of the afternoon and trying to get a picture of the above seven, but I decided that I would include a few pictures of my own children. Yes, these students leave and I always feel like they are in a way my own and I am sad to see them go, but very excited. Before I know it Seth and Jodie will be long gone from home and while they are here I am going to give it all I can just like I try at school. I am proud to be the headmaster of these seven and even more excited to be a dad to my two wonderful little ones. Take care everyone and let’s give all we have in whatever we do in the name of our Lord and Savior.

Sarah… A helping hand or should we say foot!

Man, it’s been a busy summer! My days are a combination of mundane diaper changing and joy-filled fun times with my kids. Life with kids is ‘life abundant’!!! I really love it. But I do find I crash into bed every night exhausted and often have to pray for God to help me gracefully through the last several hours of the day.

There have been a few bouts of sickness these past months because it’s so dry here. The dust billows up and is full of all sorts of yummy stuff for everyone to pass around. Sneezing is nearly as contagious as yawning right now….. no kidding! But we’re all healthy right now and enjoying that!

Just last week I had a challenging experience I want to share with you. We were walking home with the kids from an evening play time at the club where we’re members (there are no public parks… only membership clubs or pay-as-you-go play areas). We came upon our three neighbor boys whom we frequently see fetching water and playing on the road. We’ve known that they have a mother and father who both work but it is obvious they are not going to school and are very ill-kept. My friend and I have discussed many times if there’s anything to be done and have felt it is best to stay uninvolved.

But this time it was obvious that I needed to get involved. The middle boy (age 7) was hobbling a bit trying to carry his jerry can of water. Our road is far from merciful so I thought maybe he had just stepped on a rock. When I greeted him I saw his right foot was severely injured. It was a burn on the top of his foot the size of the palm of my hand and it had obviously not been tended to. It was black, cracked, bleeding, seeping fluids, and (sorry, this is terrible) was starting to smell of rot. I immediately asked some Ugandans I knew nearby if his parents would be angry if we took him to the hospital. I have never known exactly where they live and know that they are usually not home. The neighbors assured me that any help would be appreciated and that I should take him. (It is strange but people here take a very ‘it takes a whole village’ approach to childcare so I didn’t bat an eyelash and carried him home with the permission of only the neighbors. I was very careful not to come into contact with his wound or blood from it). It turns out he had stepped into a pile of burning garbage while playing soccer with his brother a week previously and had had no medical attention.

To make a long story short, my friend and I spent till midnight at the hospital that night and many hours since trying to make sure he gets good care (definitely not to be assumed… for example…. We admitted him to the hospital that night only to find him the next morning sitting on a bench outside the children’s ward with his mother… that is where they had spent the night). All care of patients (besides medical) must be provided by the family so we have been bringing food and things like a flask for tea and blanket … this family is very poor.

The story of his mother is one I was curious about because to tell you the truth, most of me just wanted to slap her when she came to the hospital. How can your son be that miserable with a life threatening injury and you just let him suffer when there is medical care readily available here? I’ve seen these children (3 boys ages 8,7, and 1 year) spend their days on the street and carry water cans up the road every day instead of being in school and being cared for. And I know both parents have jobs so why in creation are the kids not seeing the money? It just seemed like this was one more aspect of neglect… at a whole different level. This injury could very easily have killed the boy and it is simply a miracle that he didn’t have infection or tetanus after a week of filth and dirt in a serious wound. And, may I add…. Simple medical attention is not expensive here. Anyway… I feel sad for her… she is 22 (do the math)…. Has a shiftless husband who works but brings nothing home… apparently he has a few ladies on the side….and her only family is a father living several hours away who is dying of cancer at the moment. They are obviously Muslim which is evident by the names of their children. Her whole posture is defeated, depressed, and almost completely disconnected. It’s as if she gave up a long time ago and she is simply existing. Please pray for her and their whole family. Her name is Judith. ( I wish I had pictures but I may try to get some for next month with an update.)

As it is now the boy needs skin grafts and a week in the hospital minimum. We and our neighbors are paying for it and have no idea how it’s going to turn out at this point. But I am just praying that God leads us in the weeks to come in how to stay involved.. at what level. We can’t fix the shiftless father, we can’t bring the kids into our home and take on their full care, we can’t convince the mother to ditch the deadbeat and get help (although I might try that). Please pray with us about it. I’ll give you an update next month. I need to sign off so there’s room for some pictures. The kids will write next month. We love you all! Sarah

I Love The Rain

‘I woke up early and was so excited because it was raining. So I got all my rain stuff on and played outside with the water hose in the rain!’

Teeter Totter With Jodie

‘Me and daddy playing teeter totter. I really like my dad! Sometimes when I know he’s leaving for work I cry. When he comes home then I wiggle and kick until I jump onto daddy and he gives me a hug!’

Giant Cucumber For Seth

‘Look at this giant cucumber from our patch!!!! I ate that thing like I was a rabbit because it was the best tasting cucumber ever!’

I am A Big Girl Now

‘Look at me! I grab onto everything and pull myself up. I am very busy and often don’t have time to eat… I’m hungry but after 3 bites I see something fun to do and off I go!’

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mark… Not just a colleague, but a friend!

As our four year mark in Uganda approaches there are many things that come to mind after living in this great African country. Yes, another newsletter, but mostly thoughts about the students and staff that I have had the privilege to guide and work with. I believe that the results that God has blessed us with at the school are a due to many things like hard work and integrity, but high up on the list would be teamwork. I remember when I first arrived at the school and began to meet the different staff I was impressed by a man by the name of Mr. Masika.

Yes, I would like to introduce you to not just a colleague of mine, but a man who has become my friend and is a valuable part of the school. Unlike me, Masika Joseph has not only mastered the English language but is fluent in at least another 25 different languages and dialects. As a father of two I am amazed at how he parents his six biological children with the addition of two adopted children in a two bedroom house (two rooms total and a bathroom). This is not an easy task as half of his salary goes toward school fees. Not only do they make do, but they function as a happy family unit and are a testimony to many.

As a young man he faced many challenges during the brutal regimes of Uganda in the 1980’s. As a university student with a huge afro he escaped certain death when the taxi he was riding was pulled over at a road block. Everyone was instructed to get out. Masika could see bodies lying in the ditch and began praying. He was told by a soldier that he would either have to swallow a three inch bullet or have it implanted in his head. He was placed on high ground along the ditch and the soldier laid further back and sighted him with his gun. He sat there for some time holding the huge bullet and waiting to be shot. Miraculously another soldier intervened, insisting that surely Mr. Masika was not a member of the rebel party and he should be released. The two men argued for some time. After what seemed like an eternity, the taxi he had been riding in was waved on he found himself in the next passing truck heading to Mbale. This experience helped shape his life and brought him back on track for the Lord.

Over these four years I have seen such a dedicated man in Mr Masika. And I can say that about the majority of our staff. With no vehicle he is often on the public taxi (a van) by 6:00 am and on his way to school. After a full day of work you find him leaving school between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm and arriving home anywhere between six and eight in the evening depending on traffic at the taxi park and rain. Not only does this happen Monday through Friday, but the same early start on Saturday when we have school for half a day. He is a hardworking family man who rarely complains and helps me stay focused and on top of things as a headmaster. I have been blessed with this Deputy Headmaster who is extremely supportive and a helpful guide in acclimatizing me to the Ugandan culture. Looking back over my time at the school in Uganda, I have come to the conclusion that success is due to strong leadership/support from people like Masika and others who are dedicated to the school and myself. The students and I are indebted to Masika and all those working at the African Children’s Choir Primary School who help make our school such a success.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sarah… Busy living with two great kids!

It seems I should have lots to write because every day is jam packed busy. But upon review most of the stuff I’ve been doing is either work related (I’m so thankful for a low key paperwork job that I can do from home when the kids are sleeping), or kid related. I could honestly go on and on about my kids… I think they’re so interesting and adorable! But I wouldn’t punish you with that. I’ll just write more when I have more intriguing things to write. I hope this finds you all well and inspired by the work you’re doing for the ones you love! Take care. Sarah

Jodie….. things I’ve been sayin’ and doin’

I’ve been saying ‘ma-ma-ma-ma’ lots of times now and I especially say it when mommy’s not in the room and I need something. Then I cry and I say ‘ma-ma, ma-ma’. So mommy thinks I’m talking about her. Daddy’s not sure yet (because that would be my first word!) and I’m not going to tell. I still say ‘da-da-da-da’ but I just say it whenever I want to talk. I spend lots of time just watching people trying to figure them out and carefully observing. I really think it’s best to learn from watching instead of crashing around being dangerous like some people I know.

I tried to crawl for a long time… I would get up on my hands and tippy toes and wobble around and then crash down to scoot on my tummy or my bum where I wanted to go. But now I’m a big girl and I can do it.

My best thing that I’ve been doing is a great story I want to tell you. You know what me and dad did one morning while mom and Seth were sleeping? Well, I woke dad up early (because it was his turn to get up with me because I get up early every day!) and we were just hanging out and then daddy heard a noise in our diaper bag. I knew right away it was a mouse and daddy was really mad at that mouse. Because for lots of days when daddy gets home from work he checks the traps that he and Francis made for getting that mouse who is pooping on our stuff and eating our stuff. I was really excited to see what would happen when daddy saw that mouse! First daddy chased him around the living room and he even moved the dining room table. And then we could see that he wanted to go down the hallway into our bedrooms! So then (this is my best part!) daddy said to me, ‘Jodie, you’re going to have to help daddy!’ And he set me right in the doorway to the hall where I could scare away the mouse! I didn’t think it was going to work because maybe you haven’t seen me but I don’t look very scary! Anyway, you should have seen that mouse when he saw me just sitting there. He was running fast toward me but when he saw me he ran fast the other way!!!!! I was really having fun watching daddy chase that mouse! And then after I scared the mouse daddy could catch him and he whacked him three times with the big broom! That was really, really funny watching daddy whacking him because I think daddy was afraid if he didn’t get the mouse that the mouse would get him! But me and dad took care of the mouse and there’s no more poop in our house!

Seth... Me and my Boda-boda!

Well Jodie did all of the talking this time so I will talk more next time. But here at home I’m the one who talks all the time.

I know all of my colors, a lot of shapes, I can count to ten (when I’m not too busy fooling around), and I help dad say the alphabet when he gets stuck. And I can write the letter X.

My best thing is to ride around the house and our driveway very fast on my boda-boda ( a little bike that I push with my feet). But I can go so fast! One time I crashed it in our driveway and mommy was afraid I broke something. But I just had a huge purple, bloody goose egg on my head (mom says we’re getting a helmet). And then I crashed it in the house one time and put my tooth through my lip. I always cry lots when I get those big bumps and I slow down on my boda for a few days. But then I just can’t stop going fast and crazy! I better go now. Bye. Seth

Monday, May 4, 2009

New School: Kitchen

Check out these pictures! I’ll try to give you an idea of the layout here as we go. At this point it’s our goal (and seems very attainable) to have the students moved to the new school site by the beginning of our third term this year which will be mid September. Our dining hall will not be finished so we will be using two of the extra class rooms together for that. Currently the walls of our kitchen are going up and will more than double the space of our present kitchen.

New School: Girls & Boys Dorms!

Both dorms are coming along nicely and will each contain five large dorm rooms for students, three rooms for staff, a large common bathroom/shower, a staff bathroom and a very large store room. Part of the roof is elevated to allow for more natural light and better ventilation flow. There will be a large common area in the entrance of each dorm so that the staff can also hold meetings with the children periodically.