Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Years

It is so crazy to believe that two years ago on August 19, 2008 I left the good ole US of A to serve as a student missionary in Ethiopia. Time flew like a flash while I was there, scattering many countless and cherished memories in its rapid path. I teeter tottered back into the swing of American life, not always sure where I belonged and what I was supposed to be doing.America seemed to have changed drastically, my friends had changed but I realized that it was me who had changed the most. Yes I felt more aware and more appreciative of all I had but I mostly just missed my Ethiopian family and the simple life I had lived during my time there. Before I knew it I had been back for a year and wondered how time had seemingly transported itself faster then ever before. Adjustment sure is an interesting concept.
In honor of my two year mark of, err leaving for Ethiopia, I thought I would post one of my old emails that I sent out before my blogging days. Oh how I long for the day to be with them forever!
Z Hantuuta!!!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
*this story is meant to be humorous :) *

It was another ordinary Saturday night at the Addis Tasfa children’s home. I was just settling down to read a few chapters of The Orion Conspiracy, then go hang out with the kids. Little did I know another conspiracy was brewing just outside my room. I began hearing screaming and yelling, completely normal in a house of 40 people. Before long the yelling became louder so I went out to investigate. Before I could even get out my door, one of the more courageous boys, Dobolesh, came up to me with a surprise in his gloved hand, a little rat!! Now don’t think of me as a sissy when I say that I screamed like a 5 year old little girl. I am quite fond of rodents actually. I loved having my pet hamsters
Sonic and Flash to play with as a kid but here in Ethiopia rats carry so much disease and other grossness, I prefer to stay away. Dobolesh, being Dobolesh then proceed to chase me around the house with his new little friend while all the rest of the kids attempted to pin me down. No such luck for them however, as 8 months of running in the Altitude finally paid off! I quickly escaped their grasp and dashed out to the kitchen to warn Lizzie who was on her phone, of Dobolesh’s silly plot. I barley gasped out the words when I heard the familiar giggle of a boy up to no good. I ran away while Lizzie tried to do the same. FYI Ethiopia is DARK at night, so when Dobolesh eventually chased me back outside forcing me to leap off our porch and run around the garden, it was a miracle I didn’t trip on anything. The excitement eventually went inside where the tables suddenly turned! The house mother, Shega, who was teaming up with dobolesh tried to throw the rat on me, not cool! That is when our other house mother Mebrate pulled out the big guns. She quickly scooped up the now lifeless Hantuuta and proceeded to chase Shega around the house, it was one of the most hilarious sights I have seen yet! Eventually things calmed down and the poor rat was laid to rest out in the field. I had very vivid dreams that night. Yep, just another ordinary Saturday night in Ethiopia :)

Dobolesh, the rat hunter :-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Learning Chinese!

In my first couple days of teaching I have already learned about different languages. For example,during the first week of school the kindergarten kids take turns coming to school (have to learn to share at an early age I guess) to help "phase themselves in" to being a full time student. They learn about nap time, snack time, the rules of the school, and all the other fun stuff like music class and PE of course. So everyday for a week during my 5th rotation I get to go around with a new group of bright shining faces so they can learn about all the "related arts" of Apison Elementary. During music class they learn how to sing a song in Spanish about the music they can make from their bodies. The lovely tune is called "Mi Cuerpo." There is lot's of clapping, la-la-la-ing, and cha-cha-cha-ing. I think after a few more days in kindergarten maybe I will be able to sing the whole song :-)

Apparently my last name is tricky to pronounce for some. Whenever I tell the kids my name for the first time I always get confused stares. Miss Mar-lee-eh...?? What is a Marlier? After the first group or so I decided to quiz them and see if they could guess what language my last name was. I got really interesting responses/guesses....Spanish, English, Canadian (yes!!), German, and the best of all...Chinese!gotta love 1st graders! I have never thought of myself to be of Asian heritage but maybe it could work :-)

P.S.--> for those wondering my last name is not actually Chinese, it is French!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Twas the night before student teaching....

Well maybe I should wait till the first day of school but that is in less then 12 hours so i think it is soon enough to write a blog. I am not sure what to think of my first day coming up. I am nervous, excited, anxious, and honestly feel rather unprepared actually. You would think that after 4 years of books and lectures you could just jump right off the wagon and teach. I however feel like I should stay on the wagon for a few more minutes, hours, days, weeks........years maybe :-)

I sat through an insightful IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting this afternoon to learn about one of the special needs kids that I will get to teach during my 1st placement. I have always been interested and for inclusion in the classroom so i think it will be a great learning experience I just hope I am able to make PE beneficial for *Charley* and his documented 3 second attention span as well as all the other special needs kids that will be in my classes as well.

Well I suppose it is a "school night" and I suppose teachers need sleep too. Hopefully sleep will prevail tonight because many new adventures await in my new role as Miss Marlier!

*name has been changed due to privacy laws and such...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Road Trip Sing-spiration!!

Want to know how to make a very long car ride go faster? Sing Hymns. That is what Temple and I did for about 7 hours en route from Pennsylvania to Tennessee. We sang in about 1/2 hour stretches and even with breaks for a nap, bathroom stops, and to catch our breath we managed to sing all the way to hymn #475; Balm in Gilead. We would sing the first line of every hymn we knew. Naturally we didn't know all the songs so sometimes we just made up a tune and sang the words to it, other times we just skipped it.

Most of my most favorite hymns were sung in that stretch including a song that I learned very recently, hymn #288 I am going to Calvary! The words are as follows:

I am going to Calvary,
Would you like to come with Me
All the way and back again?
You must follow the Leader then.
You must follow the Leader,
You must follow the Leader,
All the way and back again,
You must follow the Leader.

If I want a thorny crown,
If the soldiers knock me down
Can I really be a king?
Love will answer everything
If you follow the Leader,
If you follow the Leader,
Love will answer everything,
If you follow the Leader.

When I go along the road,
I shall lift a heavy load.
I will carry a cross for you.
You will learn to carry it too
When you follow the Leader,
When you follow the Leader,
You will learn to carry it too
When you follow the Leader.

I am going to stretch My hands,
Reaching out to all the lands.
Can I really be a king?
Love’s the lord of everything,
When you follow the Leader,
When you follow the Leader
Love’s the lord of everything,
When you follow the Leader.

It was definitely one of the more melodious car rides I have been on. Thanks for singing with me Temple!

A Whole New World

The day was Wednesday.

The weather was hot.

The school was Apison Elementary.

The person was me.

Today marked my first day of "student teaching."

To make us more rounded as student teachers, we were instructed by the Education Dept. to attend "professional growth and development seminars" starting today. 'Professional Growth' meant that I got to sit in meetings while people with thick southern accents spat out education lingo that i was roughly familiar with. I got to meet some of my future students as well as meet with my awesome cooperating teacher Mr. Weller and talk about classroom curriculum ans such. Mr Weller is awesome for several reasons:

Reason A: He is very short in stature, like my height short (5'1). Where he lacks in vertical height he has in energy and enthusiasm. Imagine that, a teacher who enjoys teaching.

Reason B: He is a Florida Gators fan!

Reason C: I spied a set of speed stacks in his office!

Reason D: The basketball hoops in the gym are low enough so that I can touch the rim! Okay that isn't a reason why he is cool but maybe it will make teaching more cool!

So with an awesome teacher to work with, a mind full of fresh ideas from working at camp, not to mention all of the knowledge that has been crammed into my brain over the past 4 years, I see a very exciting semester ahead. A semester of teaching that I'm sure will be a challenge and full of opportunities to keep learning and mastering my trade. May God receive all the glory for my positive moments and grant me patience, understanding, kindness, and love to share with each and every student I teach. I will do my best to document my adventures I have while in slave labor, I mean student teaching. I am sure I will have many :-)

On another note, what should my teaching name be?

Miss Jessica?

Miss Marlier?

Coach Jessica?

Coach Marlier?


Something Else?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

On the shores of Gilpin Bay...

Summer has come and gone and my time at Camp Cherokee is done for now. Bitter-sweet, happy-nostalgic memories crowd the floodgates of my heart. It was an AMAZING summer! Being pulled and stretched in more ways then I thought possible was exhausting (as was lack of sleep) but being led by God made it totally and completely worth it!

I sang, I played, I acted (azariah), I swam, ran, hiked, I found my inner 10 yr. old once again, I laughed, I prayed, I smiled, I wondered how i could make it through some days. I was blessed with awesome campers and blessed to work with an awesome staff! The summer brought new friends, new experiences, many new and cherished memories!