Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jambo, Jambo Bwana!

Sorry I haven’t posted in several weeks, but these have certainly been busy weeks! I successfully finished my 5th master’s class! It was on ELL Literacy which is something I am definitely getting a lot of practical experience on right now! Also last week was mission’s week which ended in Parade of Nations and International Dinner on Friday! Definitely one of the busiest weeks of the year! We will officially be half way through our second semester this Friday, which is a half day! Furthermore we also have Easter break coming up this next week and we get 10 days off including the weekends!
Here is a glimpse into 4th grade, Mission’s Week 2012:

Our classroom door almost complete!
We added a shadow box to the window!
Our Maasai Princesses

Getting ready
Some of our visitors trying out our landmarks

Our Kenyan Girls about to present!

My girls doing a traditional Paraguayan dance!

You even got to go scuba diving in pop bottles
as you can see in the front right of this pictures! It
was a big hit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Humpty Dumpty Sat On a Wall (exactly 1 m high), Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall, And 2 out of Three Humpties Survived!

Preparing the egg and cup!
Ready, Set,....Drop!
My fourth graders have been learning about types of energy (potential, kinetic, thermal, etc.) and so to finish up our unit on the conservation of energy, we did an egg drop lab! The students worked through the scientific method to develop what they thought would be a good cup protection for their egg to successfully drop 1 meter without breaking. And after experimentation…. two of the three eggs successfully survived! They finished up their lab sheets with pictures of the changes that occurred in types of energy with the lab groups. All in all a wonderful and fun learning experience.
A happy group whose egg survived!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

4th Semester, new changes and beginnings!

        It seems that each time the semester starts it comes and goes faster. It is also crazy to think that I am starting my fourth semester here in Paraguay! With the start of this new semester we have had many new changes. Two of our 4th and 5th graders family had to move back to Taiwan and Korea because of their fathers’ jobs and it was hard to see them leave. Yet we also feel blessed to have a new 4th grader who has been away from the school for a year and was an exciting return to her friends and classmates.

        On the school level we have some teachers leaving, our music teacher (which was a temporary placement), and our high school English teacher who use to be our music teacher. If that isn’t confusing enough our music teacher from this last semester was also an aid for a high school girl and our long time wonderful librarian has also decided to explore other options. Mirta our last librarian had her doctorate, was a sign language instructor and translator, pastor, etc. We are sad to see her go, but know God will use her in great ways. Thankfully most of these positions are being filled at least temporarily with other long term replacements getting their paperwork together from the states to come down.

       Also as our semester is flying away, we are in the swing of preparing for our Parade of Nations! Fourth grade has chosen to research Kenya! They have already squeezed me for as many stories of Kenya as possible and whenever possible. We have learned several phrases in Swahili and are working to learn the song Jambo Bwana. They are also praying specifically for Tenwek Hospital and looking at several of the major challenges in Kenya. Fifth grade is studying Turkey and we are learning more of the very small Christian church in Turkey and all of the challenges that it is facing. Future pictures and information are to follow shortly!

Prayer Requests:
1. That new teachers will be found quickly and those that are coming to have their paperwork and other requirements to go smoothly.
2. For the changes that will be coming for the school.
3. For the new students and new semester.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Andes Trip to Chicoana and Salta, Argentina!

Picasa Web Album of the Trip: https://picasaweb.google.com/webercj2/ArgentinaSaltaAndChicoana?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKeXmN6xuqrFTw&feat=directlink

The trip was incredible!!!!! We were truly surrounded by so much beauty in the landscapes that I can only say it was breath-taking. The pictures don’t do it justice. To get to Salta, Arg. We took two buses and arrived about 1.5 days later. Our first bus went from Asuncion to Resistencia, Arg. This bus took about 7 hours and included a stop at the border for immigration. Then we took a bus from Resistencia to Salta which was about 12 hours!

We got into Salta early on the day before our 5 days of horseback riding and after finding our hostel we explored the city and stumbled on most of the major landmarks of the city! The cathedrals and square were beautiful and we enjoyed slowly strolling through the streets. We were then picked up the next morning at our hostel by a taxi from Chicoana (about 30-40 minutes away). Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, we arrived in Chicoana ready for what we thought was to be an easy day around the city….8 hours of riding later we were located in a small cluster of houses nestled in a valley. We continued at this pace for all 5 days! Thankfully by the third day we were really not that sore anymore : ) ! We explored much of the area during the days that followed as you can see in our top 10 list below!

Top 10 List for Trip to Andes in Argentina

# 10
10. Exploring Salta= unplanned and beautiful places

9. Riding through the tall grass about 2 ft. above our heads on horseback (about 10-11 feet tall)

8. Eating fruit from all sorts of trees and plants (We probably had about dozen different fruits off of cacti, trees along the road, and other plants along our path. All in all quite tasty)

# 7
7. Music by Tono (Tono our fearless guia(guide) would serenade us with a flute by day and a guitar by night)

6. Riding through the mountains (going up and down the mountains was full of thin very steep little paths, quick drop offs, tons of rocks of all sizes, and all together pretty dangerous at times. Thankfully our horses were great, being raised in these mountains)
# 6

5. The unexpected with friends

4. The incredible number, beauty, and vastness of the stars

3. Galloping on the last day
# 3

2. The clearing in the mountains at the end of the 3rd day (Tono’s gaucho friend’s pasture)

1. The views on the 4th day at the top on the highest mountain in the region “el Alto”

# 2

# 1

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It’s beginning to sound, look, smell, and taste a lot like Christmas: El concierto de Navidad, frutas y flores nuevas, y galletas de Navidad!

The small gathering after the
Christmas Concert!

Sounds of Christmas: Last week we had our yearly Christmas concert. The night was full of sounds of laughter, singing, instruments, and “Oooops”. As with many children productions there are often little Ooopses that occur. Although in Paraguay there are also the other unexpected surprises. For instance, the wind blowing the projection screen over, the sound system failing several times, and few other mishaps. Still the sounds of Christmas songs from the voices of children, in different accents rose up that night.

The decorated the courtyard of the highschool!
 It had art exhibits food for sale and other displays!

Sights of Christmas: With the season has come the coconut flower being sold in all of the streets. While at first I thought that it must have been a miscommunication that this strange looking brown felt like bat was a flower, I was shown otherwise as some of them that were open had a shower of flowers inside. Unfortunately mine never opened, but it did fill our apartment with a pleasant “Paraguayan Christmas” smell.

       Also I was able to try some new fruits that are sold here in Paraguay. One of my new favorites is that of the lichi chinesis. A small tree fruit that is very sweet. While it has a purplish pink rough exterior the inside is white and looks somewhat like a hardboiled egg. The seed is brown, hard and smooth like a little bullet. I also got to buy a little baby watermelon, which is just my size for by eating and carrying the 10+ blocks back from the store!

Smells and Tastes of Christmas: This Sunday, I had the privilege of teaching in Spanish some of the ladies at my church how to make my Aunt Lyn’s snickerdoodles. The ladies have been asking for months how to make some our US recipes. So for our Christmas party this year, we had a cooking workshop. We had a wonderful time cooking together and sharing.

- First time teaching how to make sugar cookies in Spanish
- First time eating lichi chinesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lychee )
- First time buying a little baby watermelon

Prayer Requests:
- I am traveling to the states in two days! Please pray for safe travel.
- Please pray for all of the teachers that are traveling over the next few months.

I think that I am becoming  a true Paraguayan
with my 4 thermos!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Familia Baez: a broken and hurting family in desperate need of prayer!

One of the new missionaries that works at my church posted this about a family (well the children) that attend Oansa (Spanish version of Awana) and our church.

She really does a great job explaining alot of what is going on in this family. While they have a mother, these children are basically orphans working to survive. I remember one of the first times that I went to the church I met these children and was told that the one girl (Jessica) was just told several times this week by her mother that she needed to go and become a prostitute to help support the family... because it was implied that she was not doing her share.

Three of the Baez girls

Today I found out that a few people from the church went to their house/shack yesterday and worked to scrub at least some of the dirt and filth away. They also worked to hand wash all of their clothes which had just been piles of dirt. These 5 children share a double and a single mattress between the two of them and which are dirty, foul, and nasty. Yet the children were so thankful for this and said that they would sleep so much better that night.

Please keep this family in your prayers. These are truly wonderful children that are each beautiful and unique. They are all sweet and caring, and excited to learn more about Christ.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Crazy, Packed-Full, Busy, Challenging, Exciting Three Weeks!

Where to begin….. Over the past two weeks I have worn many hats and my head still seems to be spinning!

Camp Moto: God first, Others Second,
I'm third
Director’s Hat: I started out with being a camp director for our elementary overnight week camp in the countryside of Paraguay. It was beautiful and our time was wonderful! From chapels and games to meals, free time, and pool, we worked on putting GOD FIRST, OTHERS SECOND, and I’M THIRD. The students learned and grew so much! It was such a blessing to watch and help these students have such a wonderful Christian overnight camp experience. During the camp I was also wore the hats of:

- Nurse and Lifeguard: I was the camp’s “nurse” and lifeguard. Praise the Lord, most injuries were minor and treated easily.

Wet Clothes Relay!

Fun at Camp!
- Referee: There of course were a lot of wonderful games (including water balloon volleyball, guess the teacher, wet clothes relay (adult clothes had to be put on over their suits (one of my favorites)), find the counselor (we were hiding around the camp at night (I hide in a dry storm drain : )), etc.

- Marshmallow cooking instructor: Most of the kids 1st or second time cooking a marshmallow!
Camp: Water Balloon Volleyball!

- Team Leader: Sadly red team didn’t win this time. But we sure had fun!

Scholar’s Hat: Then I switched to my master’s class, which had started the same night as our elementary camp. So I had 3 days to catch up on. It was good 2 week class and I really enjoyed learning more about data, analysis, etc. as it applies to the classroom and school. I am still not done with all of the course work, but hope to finish up soon! One of my big class projects is actually really helping with my responsibilities as my accreditation committee leader for Health, Safety, and Nutrition.

Water Balloon Launch!
Teacher’s Hat: Of course all the while I was also teaching both my students and my student teacher. We have had a lot of fun with plenty of projects! Look through the link for the pictures to see some of them!

the Human Knot (A classic :)
Safety Supervisor’s Hat (Accreditation committee leader): Drills, drills, and more drills : ). We are finally finished with our 4 drills for this semester. Needless to say this is 4 times as many as we had for the whole last year combined. So we have had a long way to go. Still things are looking good. Another 5+ more next semester and we should be meeting the requirements! Plus the awareness and attitude of the students is becoming far more serious about the drill, which is also a benefit.

Sugar Cookies with Art Club

Cook’s Hat: From lunches and outreaches at my church, to planning for thanksgiving, to making sugar cookies in Art Club, I was also been busy with cooking and preparing.

Genetic Family Tree Project
Construction Hat: We have a new roof on our apartment building! While it was being removed much of the old roof came through the holes in our ceiling (tar, concrete, tiles, etc.) and landed in our apartment. Thankfully after the first day, my roomate and I learned to tar/tile proof our rooms. We did have some laughs seeing the sky through our ceiling and even some stars at night as we went to bed. Though praise the Lord it has now rained three times since the new roof and no water has come in! This is the first time it has not flooded when it rained since I have been in Paraguay!

Crime Scene Investigators with
matching DNA of samples to suspects!
(really it was bar codes, but we had fun)
Impatient Patient’s Hat: My ankle is still struggling : (. But hopefully in another week, I might start to be able to do some exercise on it. This would make it 5 weeks since the accident. Thanks for your prayers as it is healing slowly. I was able/for my own safety went off the crutches after 1.5 weeks, which was in the middle of camp and pretty dangerous to use crutches at the campsite. While I am still wrapping, icing, and using a brace, soon I hope to be able to use it more!

Sugar Cookie madness!
So I guess this is a brief :) overview of the last few weeks, I promise more will follow. We are rushing ahead to the end of the semester with only 13 more days of school left! We will be having a nice little thanksgiving vacation and then the end of the semester and summer vacation! It is hard to believe that I will be back in the states in 24 days! I hope to see as many of you as possible!

The Crime, one stolen backpack,
the task, match the DNA.
Well things are still crazy so I do need to end now, and get back to work!


Intense investigators
- First time not having my apartment roof leak when it rained since I got here! (we got a new roof!) Also first time during a re-roofing project where so much of the roof came through the holes in our ceiling!
- First time having master’s class start the same day as our overnight camp
- First time being a camp director
- First time going to a Field Hockey game in Paraguay ( I went to watch one of my fellow teachers compete!)
- First time making sugar cookies with my art club!
Virtual Cell Field Trip

Prayer Requests:
- For a smooth ending to the year
- To bless the ministries in Paraguay
Picture Day :)
- For speed and accuracy with all the work I need to accomplish.

Learning about echolocation!