October 7, 2008

A note from Yorkville IL...

As I sit down to write the clock already reads 10pm- and once again I feel as though the day has slipped away, and the moments I have to spend with my hosts and kids have gone all too quickly. Somehow hours of the evening full of playdough creations, enjoying dinner, and colouring giant sized colouring pages has felt like only a couple minutes.
There is something so heartwarming about having the opportunity to be apart of someone's family- if only for a mere couple days. This past stay, I have truly experienced how quickly you can feel at home somewhere, and just how much you can share with someone in such a short while- and now I must say it is a bittersweet feeling to move on from here after having the chance to more deeply get to know these people. The family I have stayed with has hosted the African Children's Choir before- they bought playdough for the 2 girls I am staying with, and jumbo sized colouring pages. It was the first time the girls had played with playdough- and tonight we all spent an hour making tons of playdough animal creations, and one of the girls made 5 pancakes out of playdough for the animals to eat.....I believe this girl was just feeling really hungry at the time. All those years of studying art have come in handy I guess- the girls were delighted with my cat and hen creations- and because of that now "Auntie Laura is very bright".
Yesterday I taught my second english lesson and am having fun as I try to incorporate creative ways to explain and practice concepts. It is nice that our team has so many chaperones too- it means that the teacher to child ratio is quite small- in my grade 2 english classes I work with only 4 girls. As I continue to work with them and get a better feel for where they are at in school I can begin to use some of our longer bus rides to help them with any concepts they may need more practice with. After seeing how high the standards of the schools in Africa are, I really want to be committed to helping these kids do well in their schooling so that they can succeed in their classes once they are back home.
Today I had my day off- and last night (over good tea I might add!) I made plans with the woman I am staying with for a day out together. She offered for my friend Sarah (who is also a chaperone) to join us- and then the three of us started the day off right at Starbucks. We did some shopping, and then found a thai restaurant for lunch before I had my first experience at Target. It was such a wonderful day together- I am just continually blessed by the generosity and warm hospitality of the people I meet- and I believe that I will walk away from this experience rich in the blessings of friendship.

Before I head off to bed, I have a couple quotes from the kids that I want to share:

Gilbert pulls out carrots from his bagged lunch: "Auntie look! These are my enemy!"

Rose: "Auntie Laura- if your hair is not straight tomorrow I will not smile in the concert."
...and "In tomorrow's concert when we tell the everyone what we want to be I am going to say Hello! My name is Rose. When I grow up I want to be Auntie Laura."

Gilbert: "When I first came to America someone offered me a hot dog. I did not want to eat it because I thought it was made from a dog. But now.....now, I know that is not true and it is okay to eat."

...and finally,

Nelson: "Before I came to America I did not have many clothes. But now I have nice clothes and ay-yi-ay! I look smart!!"

No comments: