Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Tajikistan - We should have been elementary school teachers

Cross Cultural Teaching Experiences

Today was HOT! Not sure how hot, but it was more humid than it's been, and it was quite toasty! The kid's camp team had another neat day with the kids. Once again, we met at a school in the morning and later in the afternoon went to the Lovett's. The kids are very fun and lively, but they're also well behaved. Several of us who have taught in the States have remarked how nice it is to give an instruction and actually have it followed right away! Overall, this has been a stretching experience for Kelley, Eric and Angela as none of us have much experience working with small kids. Situations frequently arise where more experience in this area would come in handy, but we know that your thoughts and the care of our father are helping us make decisions and do our best.

The kids are trying to teach us to count - in German and in Tajik! German is the native language of several families represented in our camp. It's very fun to have them patiently repeat numbers that are so easy to them and that trip us up so easily!! They want us to get those from 1-10 so they can move on to the teens, but so far we haven't been terribly successful!

At the school where we're meeting, a Tajik woman has a bunch of kids that she watches. They like to gather around and watch us when we come out to the playground. Today Angela was taking photos with a digital camera. She took a picture of several of the kids, and then showed them the photo on the camera screen. They thought it was so funny to see themselves right away like that that they laughed out loud!

Shannon spent the day at an Afghan school - we'll get more updates out here for her when we know more!

Making Lesson Plans

After the kids left, Eric spent some time searching the internet for a song we want for a skit tomorrow. Angela and Kelley worked with Andrew on pulling together music for tomorrow. The couple that's been doing music for the morning music time in the camp can't make it tomorrow, so Andrew said he'd play guitar if someone else would lead. We're going to see if we can add some "soul" to a rendition of "I Have Decided", but we're not sure how that will be received! Hopefully the kids will like it and get into it!

Angela and Kelley's electricity was restored during the day today, so for supper they invited everybody else over for dinner. They made an American-Italian meal Tajikistan style! Pasta with tomato sauce from Iran (very acidic!), salad with vegetables soaked in iodine to kill bacteria, garlic bread from nan made without a broiler or a garlic press and juice in boxes! Eric, Ping, Johannes, Rachel and Justin showed up and stayed to watch _The Princess Bride_. No one quite made it through the whole movie - Kelley and Eric fell asleep! But they said they liked the food, so the evening wasn't a waste!

Friday will be a differently-scheduled day, where the kids will be taken to the mountains for swimming. Eric, Angela and Kelley (Shannon and Andrew will be here the entire summer, so they don't need this opportunity right now) will be heading off on a different adventure, so it will be left to the Lovett's and the other volunteers to run the show that day. (Think of them!)

Eric, Angela and Kelley will be taking a day-long relief trip with Ping. We're really excited about this opportunity to see up close a different aspect of CADA's (and our dad's) work in the country.

Good News!

We heard today that the team going into Afghanistan made it safely over the border yesterday. This is not a small thing, so we are very grateful. Apparently getting into the country means an hour wait at each border and even then entrance is by no means a guaranteed thing.

That's all for now, folks! "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as you were forgiven... live a life of love!"
Tajik kids and their caretaker
Tajik girls
Eric with some of his kids
Ki Ann thinking
Kelley with some of her kids
More kids in the playground
Kids in the school playground. Their heads are shaved when they have lice.
View from the school roof
Hydration is a good thing! Eric and Jenny. You can see our guard in the background.

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