Saturday, August 31, 2013


I welcomed the weekend, and the chance to rest just a bit before we start school next week. I have to say, of all the classrooms, mine look the worst right now. Both rooms are been worked on, and I haven't had the chance to go in and do anything. On top of that, the other day, I got sick. I'm not sure if it is allergies(mold and dust are everywhere, and happen to be the 2 things I'm most allergic to), or just a little cold. Please pray that this would be something that is passing, that I would heal soon and that it's not an ongoing problem here!

On another note, today we started out the day by making breakfast at Henni's house and invited one of the other South African families over.
After breakfast we did our Saturday food shopping, which consisted of, the markets, 3 "grocery stores" and 1 fruit stand. 
Fruit stand(Lee Anne is in the jeans and ball cap buying our fruits for our house)
I also found a bag of tapioca, which gave me a hankering for some tapioca pudding, so I got it and we'll see if it works!

 On random note, I just found out that tapioca actually comes from the starch from cassava root, which I've seen for sale here. You can also buy cassava flour and other things with cassava. It seems to be one of the staple starches here, in addition to rice.  Now I didn't think that I'd ever tasted cassava, until I also discovered another name for it is yuka root, which is served a lot in Puerto Rico. So I have in fact had cassava/yuka. 

Ok, one last picture, this is a view from the classroom beside mine. You can see the main road outside of our school and the shanty-type buildings beside the school.



Friday, August 30, 2013

A walk around ACA

Let me take you on a walking tour of my new abode... American Christian Academy.

Some things may be a little confusing, because some of the building connect with others and may look completely different depending on where you are coming from. I still don't know what everything is.

Ok, let's start from the very front. To get to the school, you first have to pass through the first gate, with an armed guard

Then you come to a small roundabout and our school.
There are two entrances from here, and another guard on duty 24-7.
If you go through the gate on the right hand side, you will arrive right in front of the auditorium. We will take a big circle, starting to the left. (To get to our house, you would go to the   right)
Te auditorium is on the right and you can see a bit of the preschool(bottom) and high school(top)
Before i head to see the school buildings, let's go through the the secret garden...
Well maybe not quite a secret garden, but this is the old house, and where the school first began. This will be the first year that no classes will be taught here. Karen and Equi used to live here, but now live in a house across the lawn
Their house is somewhere behind that car, on the other side of the fence.
So back to the first house, now it's mostly offices in the front and the cafeteria in the back. Equi's office is in the old garage to the left.
Oh hello little flower... You are very pretty, but slightly spiky. (Not sure why, but in my mind I am saying this in the same voice as the dad on Despicable Me)
Here's the cafeteria...or where it will be in a week.
And a school store/place to buy food... I think?
And a new bamboo fence that is being built to hide some things.
There's our guard and the gate from the inside.
Ok, now I'm back through the gate and this building holds all of the preschool on the lower level, and upstairs you have most of high school. 
As we walk around, the building on the right is going to be my art classroom, but right now it's being fixed up.
The building in front of my art classroom holds all of the classes 1st-6th, which is where my other classroom is!
I just want to show you this part of the railing. So many things are made out if rebar, the towel hanger in my bathroom, curtain rods sometimes, but check out how it's been sculpted into a beautiful design.
Ok, so we're continuing our walk around the buildings. I the left we have the house where the married couples live( one on the bottom floor and the other on the top)
The building to the left is the back of the auditorium and is also the school "bookstore" or where all the books are stored during the summer. 
Now you can see the door that goes to the bookstore. Also, the thing that looks like a bush in the center of the picture is the actually water container to our house and beyond it is the back door to our house. 

And the walkway 
Let's stop and stare at the drainage system for a minute...ew!
Oh hey there Lee Anne! What's for dinner??

And just so you can see, this is the front of our house. 
I apologize for the length, but I hope you enjoyed the picture tour of where I am!



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"I bless the rains down in Africa..."

I know I know... it's such a cliche title... BUUUT  I AM in Africa, and it IS rainy season right now, so how could I resist. Every time I hear the song though, I think of my awesome community group, and since it is Wednesday, and they would be having CG, I need to give a shout out to all of them. When I was praying about going, someone in my community group started singing the song by Toto, and the next thing you know, my entire group was singing it.. no joke, they all broke out into song...and that's why I love them, cause they're awesome like that.

Because of the gently falling rain this morning, our group devotions also had to do with the rain. We looked at this verse from Deuteronomy 32:2

"May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the gentle rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb."

As teachers at a Christian school, this is our prayer. We want to be light showers that water our precious students who are like the tender grass that can so easily wither if not properly taken care of. At my house back home, we've had our fair share of attempting to grow grass(and in the end resorting to sod). If the grass is not sown at just the right time of the year, with just the right amount of water, then it won't grow. If there's too much water, the seed will wash away, but with not enough, it won't grow. My prayer is that my speech would be gentle and my teachings something that nourish and grow the students.

I also learned my first song in Yoruba today, it goes:

O fe mi
O fe mi ye ye
O pe to mo ti mo
P'ofe mi o

and is translated loosely like this:

Oh he loves me
Oh he loves me so much
Oh he has loved me for a long, long time

Check out the video of us singing it (sorry for the shakiness, I was trying not to make it too obvious that I was taking a video...

And one last thing, after our worship and devotions and professional development meetings, we alsways have a coffee/tea break. I got such a kick from the Oreo knock off brand... Noreos!



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting settled

I love the way we've been starting out our days here. All of the teachers gather for a time of worship and singing. Today I got teary-eyed as the voices around me rose in worship. I realized this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now, and I had no idea if it would even happen a week ago. 

There is so much to learn, how to wash dishes by boiling the water first, what to do to get hot water running in the bath, how you turn the AC on ONLY when you are in the room and so much more! Today I also received an overwhelming amount of information about what I will be teaching with my students.

I am the primary teacher for 6th grade and will be teaching them English, spelling, grammar and reading, which are all considered separate subjects. In addition I will also be teaching 4th grade English and art to 4-6 grade, which is the middle school here at ACA. 

Right now my art classroom is being renovated/built
As you can see it does need a lot of work... But guess what?? There's RUNNING water in the building as well as a HUGE storage closet... Yippee!

Now my other classroom needs a lot of work, so I'll be busy trying to get that fixed and figure out what I will be teaching. Please pray for me and my future class!!

Today we also went back to the markets to buy fabric for the bulletin boards in our classrooms. We had a large group of "oyinbos"   ( basically the same thing as a gringo, just means "white person") so we also took several of the Nigerian teachers so they could speak the local Yoruba language an help us barter for better prices. ( a pack of white women in the marketplace screams $$)
I had to sneak most of my pictures in, because apparently you will get yelled at, if the Nigerians think you are taking pictures of them. 
Ahh, I had my eye on the polka dotted fabric, and was finally able to talk the guy down to half of what he originally asked. 
Dirt roads and street vendors. 
Everyone walks around with their goods on their heads
Bimbo, one of the teachers here helped me buy my fabric, and bought this snack which is called cocoro (not sure if spelled correctly) made out of some mashed up root or nut. 


"Now may The Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all" 
II Thes. 3:16

Monday, August 26, 2013

First impressions

There's nothing like a first impression. That moment when something is new, and you're uber observant and trying to store mental images of everything.

I last wrote from Paris where I felt as comfortable as being at home, but the moment that changed was when I headed for my gate and realized I was the only person with white skin. For someone who's always been able to blend in with the crowd, I can't anymore. For the first time I've actually realized I'm the minority.

So, let me list some first impressions, (since I will have a load of work to do to get my room in order before bed):

1. Here you will find many different smells, and I'm not talking about sweet aromas, just smelly smells.
(For instance, I was next to a man in the Lagos airport that smelled as if he hadn't showered in days. Now in the states, that's probably because that person is too poor to afford a shower, but not so here. It ended up that this man was some important looking person, because as soon as we entered the airport, several men in uniform as well as several armed guards came to meet him. )

2. Red dirt is everywhere. 

3. Speaking of dirt, most of the roads are made out of it. Which means that you will always have a bumpy ride since there are many pot holes. 

4. There are absolutely no "rules of the road"... Or at least none that I can find. If you want to drive on the opposite side of the road because traffic is going too slow for you, go right ahead!

5. Either there is no AC, or you have a unit in 1 room and crank it to where it's so cold, you can't stand it. (I was freezing last night, so I slept without it)

6. People like to yell at one another, but their demeanor can change in an instant. 
We (several of the other girls and I) were waiting for our driver to pick us up from the airport and we got to watch the chaos of people trying to pick up their loved ones, while the airport security attempted to bring some order to the chaos. If the car was not parked exactly in the spot that they were satisfied with, they would start shouting at the driver, until he did what they wanted. 

One of these guards was getting ready to shout when this older stopped woman stopped him by saying " oh no, don't get upset, you need to smile. Look it is me, grandma, you smile for grandma. See look how happy you are, you look nice with smile. " and sure enough her words were able to put a giant smile on his face. He turned to me after she left and said "did you see that? Funny lady, I like her!" Still chuckling to himself. Of course the next second he was back to yelling at another car. 

There are so many other things I want I write about, but another time. I need to unpack, because I changed rooms with someone. I was in the basement at first, but there was a lot of mould and I kept sneezing, plus the room was connected with another girl's room by a door with a curtain over it, and being a very light sleeper, I didn't get much last night. So I will show pictures of my room, I'll have to take some in the daylight cause you can't see much. 

I'll end with a couple of pictures from my shopping excursion today 
Most of the time people yell if you try to take a picture at the markets, but the onion seller was nice and let me take one. 

There's not too much at the "supermarket"
You buy the un-refrigerated milk that's been pasteurized and sealed. 
And lastly a view if my art class...still a ways to go before school starts next week, but we'll get there!

God Bless,


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Made it to Paris

My incredibly talented and amazing sister-in-law created these prayer cards for me!

Right now I'm sitting in the Paris Airport. The first leg of my travels is over, now I have yet another 7 hr flight with a couple of hours of driving before I make it to Ibadan. 

The reality that I'm going to be living in Nigeria hasn't really hit yet. Right now it feels like any other of my travels. I started counting te other day and this is the 7th time that I've gone through the Paris airport! I think I've been in this airport more times than any other! 

(Also, sort of a side note, right now I'm sitting next to one of my favorite places to go while in Paris, Laduree, for the most amazing Macarons ever!! I may possibly have to get several since its not every day you're in Paris)

Au Revior, I'll write more when I get to Nigeria!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Well it's here!

Well the day is here and I'm on my way. I am in the airport right now, getting ready to board.

I am so thankful for all of the prayers from so many people, and I ask that you continue to pray for me as I am gone. 
My beautiful mama coming to see me off

Please pray for:
1. Safety
2. My class, and the influence I have on them
3. Grace for my parents at this time that I'm gone. 
4. Safety
5. To be surrounded by people who uphold and support me,
6.  that I would make friends with the other girls there. 
7. Safety
8. Trust and reliance on The Lord and not on myself
9. And of course physical safety but health a against sickness and malaria.