I have some random thoughts and things to share that I haven't posted before on what it's like living here in Botswana. Enjoy the randomness...hopefully it will help you in getting a clearer picture of day to day life here.
1. I recently stopped to think about the friends I have here. I live in a very multi-cultural environment and you can really see that by looking at my friendships. My friends here represent these countries: Botswana; Guyana (South America); Zimbabwe, South Africa, and America. My co-workers represent these: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Scotland, Ghana, the U.K., Malawi, Sweden, and America. Wow!! During a recent domino night, we tried out a "multi-lingual conversation". Within two minutes, we had a conversation where you could hear Setswana, Shona, Creole, and even a bit of Spanish!
2. Each day in class we have a devotional/prayer time where we read a Bible story, discuss it, and then share prayer requests. In the past, I would pray over all the requests, but this term I have begun having students volunteer to pray. It is absolutely beautiful to hear these 9, 10, and 11 year olds pray aloud for people who are sick and injured, for safe traveling, for help on upcoming tests, for our troubled neighbors Zimbabwe and South Africa, and for our friends at Giddens Elementary in America (who sent us great books and games!). My heart was incredibly moved recently as one of my students raised his hand and asked if he could pray for all the schools in America so that they could pray in school again. His heartfelt prayer was amazing as he prayed not only for the students at these schools, but also for the teachers and principals to love God and help teach the students about Him. This is now a daily part of our prayer time.
3. Someone asked me recently what my typical day is like. Here is a brief description: Alarm goes off at 5:30 and the girls are already up and going. We have breakfast at 6:50 am and then I go off to my daily teachers' meeting at school (only a short walk from the dorm) at 7:20. After the 15-20 minute meeting, I go to class and teach until 10:05 when the whole school goes on a break for 25 minutes. Teachers typically meet in the "tea area" for tea, coffee, snacks, and conversation while the students are scattered throughout the school grounds eating their snacks. After break time, I teach until 1:00 and then we have lunch, where I return to the hostel to eat. I only teach after 1:00 twice a week. The other three days I am finished with my teaching at 1:00. I typically use the afternoon to rest, write e-mails, plan lessons, visit friends at the offices, go to town, etc. The boarders return to the dorm around 4:00. From 5-5:30 I am giving rides to people from the offices to the main road, a time that I have grown to love. I return to the hostel at 5:30 for dinner and chill time. The kids have study time from 6:30-7:30, and I typically use this time to work on my Bible study or e-mails. From 7:30-9:30 is coffee and snack time with the kids and we usually sit around and chat, watch t.v., play games, color, etc. Lights-out is at 9:30 and then I usually stay up for about another hour and usually chat with friends in America, read, or work on website updates. So, there you have one of my typical days!
4. Living in a different country introduces you to all kinds of new ways of saying things. Here are a few new phrases and words I've had to get used to saying: tomato sauce instead of ketchup, petrol instead of gas, biscuits instead of cookies, torch instead of flashlight, "this side" instead of right or left directions, "I am touched" can mean a good thing or a bad thing, "rub out the board" instead of "erase the board", tackies instead of tennis shoes, braii instead of barbeque, "yes, miss" instead of "yes, ma'am", SMS instead of text messaging, football instead of soccer. Give me some time and I'll think of others to share!
Ok, that's all for today. I'll be sure to post some more randomness soon!