Ups and downs

Life here is rollercoaster of ups and downs. Some days we want to stay for ever and other days we are counting sleeps till we go. The last 24 hours have been no different.

Yesterday I hit rock bottom and I couldn’t understand what I was doing here and what God’s plan was for me. I felt I was failing miserably at my primary role of home schooler. I was let down ‘again’ by one of the secondary school students and was angry but not sure at who or what. I was angry that things were tough and that life was not working out as I had planned. I was angry that I was lied to again. I was angry that I didn’t feel useful and appreciated yet it shouldn’t be about me.

But in God’s great mercy He provided me with some supportive ears to listen to me and kind words to advise and encourage. I now have some projects to work on,  I have a purpose. I was reminded again and again that I may never know why God has sent me here but that He knows what seeds are being planted and what affects our lives and actions are having on people here. I still struggle but I am trying to simply ‘Trust in Jesus, everyday’.

Then yesterday afternoon I was invited to join in some netball drills with some of the nursing students at the oval. We often play with the boys but for cultural reasons the girls are usually more timid. It was so good to catch and throw again after months of kicking the ball around. They asked us to take their ball home to pump up and return to them on Friday at the field – so since I hold the ball they will have to let me play again!!!

Then this morning after a particularly harrowing effort as home schooling and some stern words and tears from all, we have agreed if the work is done well we will reduce school days to only Mon – Thursday. We will have two weeks holiday in two weeks and we will cease school altogether at the end of Nov. I guess like me the boys need to have goals to aim for.

Oliver maintains his defiance that he doesn’t need to learn to read because he is going to be a goat boy when he grows up and live in a mud hut. Can’t argue with that but I have reminded him we are leaving at the end of the year. Again this doesn’t seem to phase him at all. He reported today he has NEVER been bored in Africa and would happily play outside ALL day if we didn’t do school.

Then at chai we discovered we have another kuku ndogo (baby chick) our kuku Jojo has been sitting on eggs for weeks and now we are the proud owners of a little black kuku. The boys have named it Peanut. So we have Mama and Toto, Jojo and Peanut and then Georgina who we are keeping firmly away from any passing roosters!!

This morning Rob and mum went to visit Mchungaji Mwema Secondary School. Rob to do a primary survey of their internet and networking needs. He will return after our trip to Mwanza where he needs to get some supplies. Mum was given a tour and again is blown away by the lack of English these students have yet they are taught and examined in English. I have been tasked now with running some basic first aid training at the school and have been timetabled two one hour sessions a week. So that’s Project No.1 for me.

This afternoon I am going up to the Nursing School to handover some new books that arrived in a container from Australia earlier this week. So I am sure that will lead to another Project.

Right now we have 4 Murgwanza Primary School students here playing on our tyre swing and with our football I have loaned them – I hope. In my crude Swahili I tried to explain they could play with the ball here then return it to me and not keep it. I think they understand. Mitchell and Oliver are down there speaking Swanglish with the boys.

I have also been given the idea to research the effects of lack of iodine in your diet and its effects on brain development. Salt is a staple in the African diet but the basic salt is not iodized and the iodized salt is slightly more expensive. So I will research the validity of the claims about brain function and development and the feasibility of introducing iodized salt to schools. Students at the two Diocese Schools, NAPs and Mchungaji Mwama, both receive a midday meal that would be five serves a week of iodine. It’s a start!

Jake has taken up his journal writing again. The spelling is bad and the writing is atrocious but at least he is happy and putting pen to paper.

Mitchell is content with his screens and his books. He and Lucy had a game of Monopoly yesterday afternoon. When I asked who won, he reported that they had both cheated so a winner was not declared.

That’s all for now….I have work to do!!

 

Time Difference

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.~

Ben Sweetland
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