Saturday, November 3, 2007

Scrabble tiles & short-termers

Thankfully Kauna didn’t suffer too badly with the chicken pox – she made it to the Program on Tuesday, although she wasn’t feeling too well, but by Wednesday she was fine and seemed back to normal by the end of the week.

Too often we think that we need expensive books or games or learning aids to help the kids, when really all that’s needed is a bit of imagination.

Scrabble tiles
Kauna proved this on Wednesday when she brought along some old Scrabble tiles (I don’t know whose set she took them from…) and let the kids play a spelling game. They were divided into a girls’ team and a boys’ team and each given tiles. Then they had to spell out the words Kauna gave them, and the first team to get it right got a point. She made it a bit more complicated by not just giving them words but telling them to spell “the opposite of tall” or “the past tense of read”. And they loved it! It sounded so exciting that the kids who were studying with me suddenly decided they’d learned all they could and begged to go and join in. The boys’ team was the clear winner, much to the chagrin of the girls.
The boys' team technique was interesting

Spelling is a big problem – and I guess we all admit that English is a tricky language that way. Some of the kids can express themselves very well and know how to do their homework, but when it comes to putting the words on paper then it’s a different story. So if anyone has other ideas for simple games, please let me know!

The girls' team - a bit confused?

My Wednesday morning was taken up with doing orientation on HIV/AIDS in Namibia for five new short-term missionaries with AIM (Africa Inland Mission), something I do about once every 2 to 3 months. It’s something I particularly enjoy, finding out what these (mainly) young people know about HIV and AIDS, and then helping them to understand the different situation and context there is here, compared to what they’ve known in their home countries (in this case all of them were from Canada, but this year the arrivals have also been from the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Germany).

After I do the facts and statistics then Pelgrina, a Namibian who along with her six-year-old son is living with HIV, comes and shares her story in the afternoon. It’s important that we don’t stop at the figures, but understand what HIV means for real people.

On the home front: the end is near!
…the end of the year, that is. Which means that Christmas ads are on tv, Christmas decorations are in the stores, and Samara is practising for Christmas concerts both at pre-school and at Sunday School. She’s already mastered her memory verse for the Sunday School concert (Luke 2:51), hopefully she doesn’t get stage-fright like she did last year! Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us.

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