Monday, September 10, 2012

Adventures With Mark...Lots Going On At The School!

It is hard to believe that my last and final term is under way here at the African Children’s Choir Primary School.  All of the students returned on time and surprisingly healthy. 

Over the holidays we had a work team at the school that focused on plastering the school block, putting facia on and completing the top portion of the fence for our property.  All three things are looking good and will benefit the school in years to come.  I was also part of the paint work team that painted the assembly room with some of the staff.  Instead of hiring an expensive painter I gave some of the staff members the opportunity to help out and earn some much needed extra money to prepare for upcoming school fees.  It was nice to spend some time with these guys with a paint brush in my hand working together.  The place looks great and all the staff is excited with the colours that Sarah picked out.
It was also exciting to have five teams of staff go out and spend some time visiting the homes.  Each student’s home visited received a nice food hamper that contained rice, posho, beans, soap, sugar, tea and cooking oil. Most teams consisted of three to five staff members who took a full day to travel and take an interest in our students.  I have truly been blessed with a great staff to work with over the years.
As the term began we received some exciting news that our grade seven students did very well on their mock exams.  This is a big test that is given to all students in preparation for their final national exams in early November.  Most of the graders mark very hard and yet our students performed extremely well.  If the students continue to focus and work hard until the end of the year this may very well be our best class ever and could even place us as a top ten school in the country. 
We are blessed to have so many people behind us over the years and are grateful for the support that has been extended to the school.  The food hampers for students and staff, the fence and painting were all made possible by the generous donations of many.  Those of you who gave we continue to pray that God will bless you tenfold.
This term is different than any other as I begin a term of training in a new headmaster.  On one hand I am a little sad as I will not be seeing the staff on a daily basis but I’m also happy to launch the school under the leadership of their first Ugandan headmaster.  I am also excited to see what God has for our family down the road.  Please pray that things will go well in this process and in the discovering of what is next for us.
Blessings, Mark

Adventures With Sarah... Yahoo For School!

It is hard to believe that when we first arrived in Uganda we were only planning to stay for two years and start a family back in Canada after that.  Now we’ve spent seven years in Africa and are blessed with three children.  Term three not only found Mark going to school but Seth and Jodie too! Our two oldest were excited to begin their adventure of schooling after 2 months of tutoring with Mrs. Heinrichs (thank you so much Judy!!! You really launched them and me into home schooling) and two months of every day home schooling with mom. They loved home school but in the last few weeks I’d noticed significant boredom setting in not only with school but in play time as well. So on Sept 4 backpacks and smiles were on the morning menu as they began life in a local kindergarten/preschool.  These two are really chums and watching them do anything together is so adorable. I praise God how their temperaments work well together. They will only go for mornings Tuesday to Fridays. The house is strangely quiet but since this has been the first week I am just basking in the silence (as much as Meggie allows)! I also find I’m just dying to see them when lunch time rolls around. I’m so glad they’re only going half days.

What will I be doing with my time? I signed up for a correspondence Reflexology course from a University in Kelowna, BC. I am so psyched! I wanted to do massage therapy but a good and wise friend (thank you Mel!) suggested that reflexology is a shorter course and is up and coming these days. I looked into it and Mark and I decided the timing was good. When I phoned to inquire the ‘registration lady’ said, ‘Are you aware of our 50% off enrollment promotion that ends tomorrow?’ J Isn’t God great?!!! I’m diving into a one year course full speed ahead. I asked the ‘registration lady’ what was the fastest time she’d ever seen it done in and she said 4.5 months. Hmm. For a housewife who hasn’t studied since high school I’ve concluded I will probably not break any records. But, every day when I get up I pray that God will sharpen my diaper-duty dulled mind and give me a cutting edge. So far I’m loving it and the info is sticking! I’m pretty excited about where God will take us and happy to be getting in a position where I can help make ends meet. I know I will enjoy it.
Finally, little Meggie is doing great! Two teeth… crawling, pulling up on everything. Saying ‘da-da’ only. (She knows what she’s saying). Loves pizza, spaghetti, and pb and j sandwiches. Still nursing but she has  a hard time sitting still long enough these days. Seth and Jodie are her heroes. She loves to take a bath with them in the big tub and also speed around on her mom or dad powered 4 wheeler with side rails while Seth and Jodie speed on their boda bodas. It’s a very noisy blast.

That’s all from me this month. I hope this summer has been fantastic for all of you. God has been amazingly faithful this year. The visitors that we’ve had have been undoubtedly blessings from Him. I can’t imagine having gone through the transition of planning to leave Uganda without each of you that came and listened to us decompress, and journey through the change. Thank you so much! And for the goodies you brought?... we’re so thankful.
Love you all