It’s been a great first 1 (almost 2) week(s) here in Niamey. It’s also been a relatively busy few weeks. I’ve gone out to eat at three different restaurants, four if you include getting ice cream at Amandine’s. I have purchased some African fabric (although I haven’t taken it to a tailor yet…). I’ve been grocery shopping multiple times. I almost swam in the pool at the American embassy recreational center; it rained that day. I’ve also worn every skirt that I brought at least once. 🙂 (Thanks for helping me pack, Sisser!) I’ve been able to use Viber or Skype to talk with my family and boyfriend back home. I have also learned to cope with the heat. Haha. That last one’s a joke. I’m still learning that. 🙂
And today, I had my first full day of school as a Student Teacher! It was a great first day. The high school at Sahel is on block schedules with a “Schedule A” for Monday and Wednesday and a “Schedule B” for Tuesday and Thursday. On Fridays, all classes meet for only 40 minutes each. Consequently, I only met half of my students today. The other half, I’ll meet tomorrow! But I do have some repeat students who are in an English class with me and in the Information Technology class or the Yearbook class.
I just want to say a huge thank you to my friends, family, and supporters. It has been an amazing experience so far. I’m loving working with the other Sahel staff members, getting to know them, figuring out what it’s really like being a teacher, and basically doing my own personal case study on being a missionary. And today was just so cool actually meeting the students. There are so many different cultures and backgrounds represented in this student body. It’s a beautiful picture of the diversity and complexity that God creates and that He will have in Heaven.
Not all of the students at Sahel are Christians, though. In fact, only a certain percentage of them come from missionary families. This puts me in the amazing position of being allowed and required to share my faith and God’s truth with a class that is not necessarily full of already-believers. Such a humbling privilege.
A quick summary so far
Reasons to praise God:
- He is so good and faithful.
- The Sahel staff- everyone has been so welcoming and helpful and willing to collaborate, which is really cool.
- I just finished my first day of student teaching!?!?
- I’ve been able to have some great conversations (via Skype, Viber, and good ole email) with Stephen, my mom, and my sister.
Points for Prayer:
- For continued wisdom and discipline as I work on lesson plans.
- For connections with the students. I want to be a good teacher and a good model for them this semester.
- That I will grow in my personal devotions and prayer time.
Also, as I was filling out a journal entry for my student teaching assignments, I realized that one of the topics would be great for the blog. So, although this is a tad off-topic, here you are:
What I know now that I didn’t know before:
- The two s’s in “Aussie” are pronounced like a zed (the letter z). (Thank you, Susan)
- You can’t take pictures of Nigerien policemen, military personnel, government buildings, or the airport.
- The Nigerien franc compares to the US dollar at about 500 to 1.
- The British exams are called IGCSE and occur at the ends of 9th and 10th
- I should be really grateful for speedy internet in the States. It can be really slow or spotty here. 🙂
- Cows and goats really do just wander around in some places.
- African rains are the best kind of rains. Ever.
- You can freeze almost any food. (Thank you, Kathy 🙂 )
- I like teaching at a Christian school. I thought that I would feel trapped and stifled at a Christian school. But I love this. I love the staff and the community and the theme this year at Sahel: Kneeling we shine. It’s all about prayer.
- Peanut butter is only hard to find in Europe. It’s everywhere here. Get with the program, Europe.
I’m sure that there’s more that I’ve learned, but these are the highlights so far. 🙂 Also, here’s at least one picture: