So, it's been another fairly busy week out here in Maun, Botswana. We've spent time in our placements, had ministry opportunities, participated in Setswana class, done construction on the new intern house, and have had several "family meetings" as an intern group (i.e., the events that cause the demise of Ashley Maldonado). It's been a great week, but the exhaustion level that my body is at tells me that it's a good thing we are hitting the weekend. Then I remember that weekends are actually usually busier than weekdays...so, no rest for the weary! That's ok, though...it's why I am out here.
We are nearing the end of the school year for the students in Botswana. I am actually really quite sad about this; not only does this mean that Suhail is leaving for Gabs, but the rest of the kids are all moving up a year. I'll miss them. Actually, I don't even know how I will get through the month of December. I miss the kids after a weekend apart from them!
We have apparently entered the rainy season in Maun. We've had some wonderful thunderstorms this week, and that has really brought the temps down to a much more comfortable level. It's so funny; when the temps drop to the seventies, everyone starts wearing fleece jackets, wool hats, etc. I must admit, though...I pulled out a sweater and jeans today. It made me feel like I was back home for a little while! There are a couple of downfalls to the rain, though. First of all, it brings out the termites, ants, dung beetles, etc in droves. Seriously, it can be quite disgusting. Secondly, the thatch roof leaks. Dietra and I were woken up two nights this week (around 3am both times) to water dripping on our faces. We covered our beds (which are wonderfully protected by bug nets) with sheets, but the rain was coming down so hard that it leaked through the sheets. Poor Dietra had to actually get a bowl to catch the water and do some other stuff to keep from getting soaked...I got up long enough to fix my sheet and crawl back into bed, mumbling something about getting a towel (I do not function normally after be woken up in the middle of the night).
So some other highlights of the week:
- Our mystery ministry this week consisted of washing cars for the missionaries and teachers (and at the last minute, decided to wash some of the dogs, too). Had a blast doing it, but of course that was the first night it rained in weeks. That always happens, doesn't it?
- I received a wonderful care package from home that not only had a travel mug (hallelujah!), but also a copy of The Beginner's Bible, which was one of my favorite childhood things (memories? experiences? books? none of these words seem to fit what it actually is). I have been bringing it to class every day and reading different Bible stories to the kids. They love it. Today I read about Jesus' birth and then the kids all drew a picture of the story- they then gave the pictures to me to take home, but the Miss Susanna wanted to put them up on the bulletin board. I almost came home with 22 pictures of the manger scene.
- I did some substitute teaching again this week. I loved it one day, and was ready to pull my hair out the next. Today, I received apology cards from every kid in Standard 2. Cute :) I am won over so easily.
- An overall highlight is the crazy amount of love I get from the kids here. I have been really blessed in my placement to be able to get to know almost all of the primary school children, and they are all so wonderful to me. I get more hugs and kisses than I thought possible; whenever I am walking on campus I can hear at least one kid screaming out "Hi Miss Ashleeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!" from across the yard. Today we had to use the phrase "No more fighting over Miss Ashley" several times in class.
- We are planning our Thanksgiving celebration for next week. Turkey! Stuffing! Mashed potatoes! Pumpkin pie! It's all gonna be here, and it's gonna be zoppity :)
Suhail :) He asked me for a piggyback ride today, so I let him hop on my back and then we ran around the playground. When we paused to take the picture, he yelled "Miss! I asked for a piggyback ride, not a stopped piggyback! Run!! Run!!"
The kids were really cracking me up this week. I remembered some good ones and some great ones:
- One morning, several of the boys were playing with toy horses. I asked Thobo what his horse's name was, and he just gave me a blank stare. All of a sudden Prince jumps in, saying "Benny!" and cracking up hysterically. What??
- One of the boys in class is...shall I say...sadistic? I have caught him on so many occasions pulling the legs off of ants one by one. Well, today when we were in chapel I noticed that he was going after some bugs. I whispered to him to stop, and so of course he decides to stomp all the ants he can see. Poor Kent, who was sitting right next to him, looked horrified. "Those are God's creatures!!!!"
- The other day I wore a knee-length dress and my anti-snake bite boots to school, and when I walked in to class, Thobo (age 4) looked me up and down with a mischievous grin on his face. "Oh, Miss!" in a way that led me to believe he approved of my outfit. Flirt.
- On Wednesday, I read the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den to the students who didn't go swimming that day. After reading it, I had them draw pictures of the story. The kids wanted an example of how to draw a lion, so I drew one on the chalkboard for them. It actually turned out to be quite a cute lion, so I was kind of proud of it. When the other kids returned from swimming, I pointed the picture out to a couple of them and asked if they liked it (I am teaching them to give compliments...right?) Later on, Suhail was sitting on my lap, so I pointed to the board and said, "do you see that lion?" He looked at me with a sly grin and replied, "You mean that big ugly shape?" I laughed so hard. What a little punk.
Well, it's about that time...gotta hit the sack. We get to sleep in until 8:30am tomorrow! Love to all of my family and friends. Special shout out to Uncle Bud! Love ya :)