Friday, February 20, 2009

66 vs. 1

The son of one of our woodshop workers (Marco)- he looks just like his dad! This Wednesday I (Heather) took a trip down the driveway to Mucombeze community to visit our new preschool. I had heard there were A LOT of kids going, and wanted to check it out for myself. For those of you who dont know I worked for many years in Daycare and Preschool setting's, in particular with special needs children, when we lived in Canada, and I have a passion for preschool aged kids!

Excerise time - "upwards"
When I arrived, 66 five and six year old kids had nicely organised themselves along the walls and were waiting patiently for the teacher to come. Teacher Simon has to help the children cross the HIGHWAY in order to get to class, and due to a high number of child fatalities and injuries in our area every year, we felt it would be best to have a crossing guard on duty.
Simon organizing the kids- in his nice new crossing guard vest.
Once Teacher Simon arrived, he arranged his pupils into some fashion of rows, and began by telling a Bible Story. He used the book I brought with me, purchased with funds donated from Grunthal Abundant Life Kids Church, and an Awana Group in Charlettetown PEI. We then had excersise and stretching time, roll call( which was another brand of fun... three "Eva's" and not one of them knew which Eva she was!), coloring, writing practice and a game. It was amazing what Simon managed to accomplish with a box of crayons, one coloring book, four tennis balls and a donated story book! As I watched Simon work all by himself with 66 children I was amazed and humbled. I remember stressing out in Canada when staff members called in sick and suddenly I was called upon to be "in ratio" (1 adult to every 4 or 8 children depending on age) instead of one-on-one with my special needs child. And the crazy part is- 50 -60 kids is considered NORMAL class size in Mozambique!!!!
Reading about creation from a Portuguese Children's Bible.
Please join with us in Praying for the Preschool as well as our other Bushschool which has over 200 children attending daily! These children are eager to learn, and we are eager to teach! It is hard however, without books, toys, supplies and adequate help for the teacher. Not only that, but many of these children are not recieving adequate food, medicine or even sleep.
This poor little girl was so tired..she couldnt keep her eyes open.. she struggled to stay upright!
As I said before I was humbled and AMAZED, when I visited. I have never in my life seen such a well behaved group of children. Aside from the expected wiggling and whispering ( perhaps somewhat amplified by the presence of a "muzungu" in the room), they sat wonderfully, listened carefully and followed every instruction given! Not bad for a group of kids who only started formal education last week!
Eventually she lost the battle and rested on a friend's back.
Thank you all for your prayers for safe travel back home from South Africa. We made it thru the border, and up the LONG LONG drive without any problems, and even took time to slow the drive down enough to catch another milestone- 300,000 African Highway KM's for our Bakkie! This picture was taken right after we stopped videotaping the rollover (of the odometer not the truck) .. so its actually 300,001, but close enough right???
These next few weeks are going to be very busy for us- we are expecting two seperate groups of visitors, and we are expecting the arrival of .... OUR PUPPY!!!! We decided to get a large breed dog to help out a bit with "security" around the house and I'm sure he will help chase lizards too! He is flying up with Ron and Barb from Mercy Air on Tuesday (if all goes well getting his papers), and is a South African BoerBoel- (think really big Mastiff kinda dog)- with a bit of Great Dane in him. Aparently he is gonna be a BIG dog. Thanks to Barb who went out of her way to find us a puppy, knowing we wanted one, without even being asked- God Bless her!!!
Also in the next few weeks, we say goodbye to our mentors and team leaders Dwight and Lynn, as they are heading back for a short furlough to Canada. It will be hard to see them go, but Im sure we will survive!
Again, Thanks for all your prayers, until next time, God Bless, Rick & Heather

for those who said they wanted to see my hair from the front.. here it is!

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