Good grief, I can't believe it's been almost 10 days since i've had a chance to put up an update! So this week was the 2nd week of school for Seth and Cole. Seth is in Kindergarten and Cole is in preschool.
So our mornings start off around 5:30-6:00am. Randy, the boys and I leave the house around 7:20 to walk a little over ...well....I'm horrible at trying to guess distances, but I would guess about a mile and a half. About the last ¼ mile is through a street that is closed from 4:00am-7:00am as a big market. Now we arrive at this portion of the walk about 7:45 and the people are still there trying to sell their things and the police men are obsessively tweeting their whistles trying to clear a path way for, not only people, but cars, trucks and taxe-bes to get through. So our walk sounds something like this. “Boys don't let go of my hands. Stay close here comes a big truck. Look out Seth! Don't step on the basket of chickens! Oh Cole, you almost stepped on that pile of fish! Boys watch your step, you're going to have to take a big step over these papayas. Look out here come a heard of Zebu!” “Mommy are they selling those bunnies as pets?” “No Cole they're not.” “Well, what are they selling them for?” “Can we buy one of those ducks as a pet Mommy?” All that AND in the back ground there are people shouting from every directions how much they are selling things for.... like you shouting at me is going to make me want to further your business by buying from you. Sorry, I'm just NOT a morning person, shouting in my face makes me want to punch you in yours.... Although, I must admit, there is something quite entertaining about the whole scene and, though I won't admit it during the morning walks, I do rather enjoy the challenge of the whole scenario! Somewhere in the midst of the chaos Randy gets on a taxi-be and heads for work. Now that we've been participating in the madness of the morning market for two weeks, we are getting quite used to it and the kids actually like to weave in and out of the somehow controlled, chaos.
Cole's class has 8 children, an aide, and a teacher. Most of the children just know Malagasy and are learning English as they attend school. Cole seems to be doing well though. Apparently each morning they go around the table and say, “My name is _____. I am 4 years old. I am a girl/boy. I live in _____(town).” The third day that they had to do this the teacher spoke to me after class. It went something like this.
Mrs. Mina- “I can't believe how well Cole reasons with me”.
Me- “ How do you mean?”
Mrs. Mina- “Well, it was Cole's turn to tell the class about himself and he decided to crawl under the table. When I asked him why he wouldn't say his name he said, 'I don't feel like it. I've already told them my name several days in a row now.'”
Me- “Oh, I'm sorry Mrs. Mina, I'll talk to him about that.”
Mrs. Mina- “Oh, you can talk to him about it that's fine. I was just impressed that he told me why he was under the table and not sharing about himself with his friends. Usually the kids just stay under the table and don't talk! He really has quite the vocabulary and ability to reason with adults!”
Me- “Yeah, I know that all too well. He's either talking or asleep.”
Seth's class on the other hand is quite different. There are 15 children in his class. Now I know that in the States a classroom with that many children would be like a dream come true. However, you must understand that these 15 children and one teacher are in a classroom that is about 10' x 20' (give or take). Seth is having a bit of a rough time as some of the children come from very, how shall I put it, “hard” homes and therefore can be quite aggressive and hurtful. We keep encouraging him each day that they are not trying to be mean to him but that they don't come from a family that knows how to show love in kind and gentle ways. It's hard to explain such things to a 5 year old.....it's hard to understand such things as an adult.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, after I drop the kids off at school I usually walk back home and have language study from 9:00-10:00. Tuesdays and Thursdays I stay at MCA (Madagascar Christian Academy) and help out in classrooms where there are children with special needs. There is such a need for special education teachers here. There are literally NO sources to pull from for teachers who have special needs children in their classrooms. So, I really feel like I can be a help at MCA. I'm really thankful to be able to get back into this specialty area. Then at 12:15 pm our school day ends and we spend the afternoon doing other adventurous things.