..." When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me..."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Interesting times :)

“Will you marry me?”
“Um, that’s ok.”
“But I love you.”
“Well, thanks.”
“I am serious, will you marry me?”
“No thanks.”
This conversation took place as we were leaving the market. Don’t worry I did not stop walking, which is probably good, because moments after reaching the car the thought crossed my mind, “what if I had said yes.” I mean seriously, did he really expect me to answer yes? I could image it all, “Why yes I will marry you, now what is your name?” I always find these types of interactions intriguing, because I try to picture the same event happening in the states. It seems normal here to have people shouting oyebo, and not too shocking to have a complete stranger ask you to marry him. Yet, could you imagine this happening in the states. What if people were constantly shouting white person everywhere you went? It would be a much different story. 
Anyways, it has been a good week. I cannot believe that I have already been here a month. While I still find teaching to be tasking, it is nice to begin to get into a routine. This Saturday, October 1st is Nigeria’s liberation day. So we will have next Monday off! Yeah for three day weekends! That however, means that this week I am supposed to teach on Nigeria in social studies. Seriously!!! I will be trying to explain a country I barely know to students who have lived here, either their whole life or at least a few years. Plus it doesn’t help that I still struggle to pronounce the names of tribes, states and foods here. Oh, well. My solution to the problem is to teach about how Nigeria is a democracy, (at least I know about democracies :) and then hopefully bring in a guest speaker :) Oh on another random school related note, I bet you have never attended a school where they buy their own ram and then slaughter it and cook it up to make fresh suya (basically 5 pieces of meat on a stick seasoned with some hot spices). Well, I am proud to say that every Friday ACA does this very thing!
I have also finally gotten all the bookshelves in my classroom, which means I have been able to unpack all the books I brought. Thank you to everyone who gave me children’s books to bring. The students were so excited this morning when they saw all of the books!
This is the building I teach in. My classroom is the
window on the second floor on the right.

The roof right bellow me is my classroom, it is hard to see our
house, but this gives you an idea what is right outside our wall :)

I LOVE the storm clouds here!!

This is the view out of my window. These guys are out
playing almost everyday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Joy of the Lord is my strength!!

“There's a raging sea 
Katie, Lee Anne, and Heather, going for a walk!
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to 
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will swim in the deep
'Cuz You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm
And the calm of the sea
You're never out of reach
God, You know where I've been
You were there with me then
This is the street right in front of our house, you can see
some shops in the background, where we get our veggies!
You were faithful before
You'll be faithful again
I'm holding Your hand.”
I have seriously had this song stuck in my head all week and feel like it pretty much sums up my thoughts right now. I will admit that teaching has its challenges and that I have felt overwhelmed with the work, at times this week. At the same time, I have also been overwhelmed with the nearness of God! He really has blessed me, by putting me in an environment with amazing people, who are all very encouraging. We have also been invited to a bible study at a South African compound. It is wonderful to be among South Africans again, but even more to have the fellowship of other believers. I also have found a church that I will hopefully be able to attend regularly.
It really is so much fun teaching in a international school. Out of my 21 students they have all traveled internationally and as a class represent 9 different countries. These first couple of weeks we are studying different culture’s: food, clothing and housing. I am having a lot of fun having them bring in things that represent their different cultures.
Two of my students Monica and Lily. Monica (the one in
the middle) is the one who lost her hair in class.
Kyle, throwing away a dead rat for us!
The funny moment in the classroom this week, was when one of my students, Monica began to lose her hair. Now most of my African students have fake braids braided into their real hair, so it looks completely natural, until they all start coming out in  class! I turn around and Enbong is using one strand as a mustache, Rida has some strands for a headband and Mridul is just staring at another strand. As I am trying to figure out where all this hair is coming from, one of the students shouts “Monica your hair is falling out!!” Sure enough she had only a half head of hair left. So needless to say, throughout the rest of the day I was continually returning to the group to make sure they weren’t playing with more of Monica’s hair. They really are a great group of kids!

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Days in Ibadan!

        So how do you pronounce these names?? Ayomida, Atofarati, Toniloba, Oyonfunbi??? Wait, Laurren is a boy? Yes, this is pretty much how my first week of teaching began. Last Monday we had our new student orientation, then began classes on Tuesday. My students have slowly been trickling into class as they are returning from their different countries. Most of them return to their original countries over the summer holidays. Also, tonight was “Back to School Night,” so I got to meet more of my students parents, which was nice. 
As far as everyday life here, the driving is rather intimidating, though what scares me more is that I am beginning to become immune to it. Instead of thinking we are always going to crash or scrape our car against another object, I have begun to think it is impossible to hit anyone.  There have been so many close calls and so many tight squeezes. I don’t know how many times I have thought, “there is no way our car is that small.” Yet, somehow we always fit. Plus, I have yet to see a car accident here and the only rule of the road is, do whatever you want as long as you don’t run into anyone. That includes: driving on the wrong side of the road and turning a two lane highway into a five lane highway. So yes, I will hopefully be getting my drivers license, and driving around under the assumption that it is in fact, impossible to crash in Nigeria ;)
“Oyebo, Oyebo!” These are the shouts of people as we drive or walk past. I feel as though it is already very obvious that I am VERY white. Yet, they still feel the need to inform me and those around them that I am in fact much lighter than them. I do really enjoy the times that we go out to the market. Though I am not very good at bargaining, yet. Hopefully that will come with time! I have found so far that this culture is very welcoming and it makes it much easier to fit in and try new things.
Well, my life seems to be consumed right now with lesson planning and classroom stuff! I do really appreciate those of you who have been praying for me though. I really have found that God is my strength through this time of adjusting and learning how to teach. There have been points that have been overwhelming, but I am continually reminded that I serve a God who is bigger, and in control of my situation. With that comes comfort and trust that He knows best and will not let me be overwhelmed beyond what I can manage.