Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our First Trip to the Beach

When we arrived in Quelimane the other IMB workers told us about a beautiful secluded beach about 1 hour outside of town. This past Saturday we decide to venture out and see if we could find it on our own...with just a few simple instructions. We made it without getting lost and had a great time. We all agreed that the drive was as much fun as the beach. There is always something to see when you go on a drive around here.

The road to the beach

Village market we went through

Village homes

We made it!!
The only other car here. 
Testing the water
It is indeed secluded! And beautiful!
These sweet children came out with trays of apples to sell to us.
Then they stayed and played beside us. 
These men are fishermen on this beach.
My cuties!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Girls' School in Quelimane

The girls are enrolled in a small private school around the corner from our house. Late last summer as the plan for our language study in Quelimane was unfolding, it was strongly suggested to Lee and I that we consider having the girls attend this school. Lee and I very much wanted then and still now for the girls to learn Portuguese and have friends here. The best way for that to happen is for them to be with other kids. I must admit, when this idea was put on the table I almost threw up thinking about dropping my girls off at a classroom where they would NOT be able to communicate with anyone. I prayed and prayed. God's said, "Trust Me". I did. However, when the day came to leave them there.....I almost threw up again! My heart hurt leaving them there!! That was almost 2 weeks ago. Those first days were so hard!

The plan from the very beginning was that the girls would not be expected to perform academically. They were to be at the school for culture and language learning. We have a full homeschool curriculum that we are doing when they are not in school for their academics. This is where our first big problem came into play. You see, there was no "open house". You meet your teacher as you show-up on the first day. AND, I did not get to talk to the teachers and make sure that their expectations matched our expectations.

The schedule for the school has Emma and Lilly going from 7am-12pm. Meghan goes 1pm-5:30. On the first day everyone got up and got ready because we were all going to take the younger girls. 

Here they are ready to go!

We got there and got everyone to their class. Sweet Wanne, the other IMB wife here, went with us to translate. The problem was that all the other parents were there too so it was next to impossible to communicate. 

Here is Emma in her room.

Not so sure about things!
Then, we took them to the "assembly". This is what they do everyday. They line up by height in the classes and hear announcements. (Problem is my kids can't understand anything that is said! And neither can I!!!)

Here is assembly.
Really not so sure of things!!

We walked with them back to their classrooms. And soon made ourselves leave.

Here is the school from the outside.

This the drive going out of the school. 
When we picked them up that first day. We praised them and gave all the glory to the Lord for giving them the strength! Then we went and got ice-cream ($15 for half-gallon).

At 1:00 it was time to take Meghan. Here she is with Sally. She was scared to death! They do the same assembly/announcement time and then off to their classes.

And we left her.....

The next several days were some of the most difficult of my life. All of them cried and cried....I stayed strong for a while, then I lost it! The girls really just wanted to be a fly-on-the-wall and figure out what to do by watching what other kids were doing. The teachers wanted to help them by talking in Portuguese to them and pointing and pointing and talking in Portuguese some more. All the while drawing more and more attention to the girls and making them feel extremely uncomfortable. 

Lilly teacher very much wanted her to participate in all academics. This usually entailed copying long passages of cursive Portuguese into her notebook. 

This was Thursday of that week and I had had enough. Wanne was able to get a meeting with the director on Friday morning. We sat down and explained to her that the girls need time to observe and that we did not expect the school to teach them academics, we are doing that at home. We let her know that they have a Portuguese tutor at home and that we are striving for them to learn the language as quickly as possible. Until then, they are only going to do what they can. We decided to move Lilly to 1st grade. They are just learning to write and read there. (We said that all the girls need to go there!) 

By the end of that first week both Meghan and Emma had made some friends and were adjusting well.

Because of the cyclone this past week there was no school until Thursday. Meghan and Emma were both ready to get back to school. They realized that sitting in the house with no friends while Mom and Dad have language class all day for a year would be terribly boring! We took Lilly to her new class and it was wonderful. She has the most precious soft-spoken, smiling teacher and there is a 7-year old girl that speak very good English that she now sits beside. She had a terrific Thursday and Friday! Praise God!!

Here is Lilly in her new class.

In her "Laura Ingles" desk
Our first 2 weeks of school are behind us. Lee has continued to remind all of us that God will never leave us nor forsake us. And the Lord has proven that. the girls have really dug into God's word and looked to Him for protection and guidance. Better yet, they already see how they can be a witness to the Muslim children they are around. 

As the Lord prompts you to pray, please do. This will be a year of tremendous growth for them, and for Lee and I, as we let them grow some wings and fly a little. We have no idea the trials ahead, but God does. Pray for us to hold fast to Him as we try to figure out how to serve Him in this place He has brought us to.

Praise God!!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tour of Our House in Quelimane

We are about as settled in as we are going to get so I thought I would take a few pictures and show you around our house.

This is the back of our house.
On the left (where the gate is) is the drive going out to the street
and to the gate you see in the 1st picture.

This is the front of the house. We live in a duplex.
You can see a dividing line down the front of the building.
We live in the right side. Our gate is on the far right.
This is our truck and the side of the building that is adjacent to our yard.
This is our living and dining room.
I am standing at the front corner of the house looking back.
Sally and Lilly are working at the school desk and Lee is studying before his language class.
Through the arch is the office.
The kitchen is beyond Sally's head through the doorway you can barely see.


Scary, but huge pantry

Full Bath
Yes....that is a bidet....I guess left over from the Portuguese!!
We had this table built to go over it, which we use for storage.

Meghan's room w/ Lilly's mattress on the floor.
We have AC units in the bedrooms that we use at night.
Lilly's is broken so she is sleeping with her sisters until it is fixed.
Master bedroom :)

Emma's room
Not too bad!!! It's home to us!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meet Riley and Odie

Our house in Quelimane came with 2 young dogs. Riley is a beagle mix and Odie is a Maltese mix. Lilly claims that Odie is hers and she carries it around like a baby. Emma is proud to have Riley as her own.

All last week Emma and Lilly begged to give the dogs a bath. They certainly needed it! Finally on Friday Lee had time to help them. The humans had a blast….the K-9s….not so much! However, they do love all the attention!!

 Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. I was trying to use less bandwidth for the upload (we pay for that).


The Trip to Quelimane

We traveled from Nampula to Quelimane on January 9. It was about a 9-hour journey that we all really enjoyed. There were so many new things to look at and things to talk about with the Turners and the 2 journey-girls, Jessica and Sally. 

Here are some pictures from the front seat of the truck....

These are granite outcroppings outside of Nampula.

Meghan...heading to take a bathroom break.


Picnic Lunch

Waiting for a ride into town