Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Jet Lag and more...

And you thought jet lag was bad Day 1! Ha! I slept solid (which is fairly normal for me), and did not get up at 6AM when I had my alarm set for. I had planned on going running, nix that one. I did throw on some clothes, eat, and run over to the primary school, just in time for morning assembly.

Morning assembly is interesting. The children line up with their teachers, all in a row. They sing the Ugandan National Anthem, sing the hymn for the day, and have a time for announcements.

In the Kindergarten class there are 18 students, and usually two teachers in the room. I help them write letters of the alphabet, learn the numbers before and after any number between one and one hundred, and sound out words. You would think that you were in an American classroom, except the students are very quiet and respectful, answer the teacher by saying, “Yes, teacher…,” raise their hands, sing and pray to God frequently (only at appropriate times) and have lots of restroom breaks. Instruction itself is very similar and kids are kids.

At lunch time they served me a tiny portion, I had to ask for more. I am not used to eating so little; I think most “white” people eat much less than myself. The lunch time meal is a native meal. On Tuesday we ate potatoes, peanut butter sauce, and warm sauerkraut. I ate lunch with the students.

In the afternoon I went to the JSS (Junior Secondary School) to help during study hall (this is when the girls do their homework) and then to coach in math. 5th and 6th grade math is not my forte, but it is where the girls need help. Working with them is refreshing. They appreciate and want your help. I have been spending most of the time reviewing multiplication and division facts.

When I went down to Kim and Tylers to charge my computer both of them were out. I enjoyed a nice game of go fish with Maggie (Kim and Tylers 5-yr. old daughter), and read her two or three different stories.

In the evening, after supper and playtime, I went down to Kim and Tyler’s house. They showed us a documentary one of the mini-missionaries, Lesli had created. By profession Lesli is an art teacher at the University of North Texas, on her free time, she is an artist. The documentary was about bark cloth and basket weaving. Bark cloth comes from the bark of a tree. A person takes the bark off, hits it thousands of times with a mallet, and then stretches the bark. Ugandan’s have worked with bark cloth for many years and it is considered a cultural artifact.

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