Monday, October 18, 2010

Adverb? Noun. Adjective...? VERB!!! Verb. I knew it was a verb...-Mwansa

Yesterday we went to Mount Mukulu Baptist Church and I loved it. The singing was great and I enjoyed the people there- they were particularly welcoming. James preached and both sermons were great. Being a visitor, I had to stand so everyone could see me and was asked to go to the back after service to be shown hospitality. I didn't go to the back, since the only other visitor escaped and I didn't want to go alone but SILLY ME I'm white. It's apparently not hard to spot the white visitor, so I was ushered to the back anyways. I was glad though, because I met a woman named Mirriam who I liked very much, and I found it easier to talk to her than most people I've met. She peppered me with questions about my life and Christianity and then said if I didn't join at Kabwata I should join there because she wanted me to be in the music ministry with her. She asked if I was married and I said no, so she asked if I was engaged... No. Boyfriend? No. SINGLE!?! She seemed appalled and as I was leaving she whispered that this week she would pray for God to find me a husband. People around here really don't want me to be alone....

Today has been somewhat trying, but in other ways very encouraging. This morning we had only a half day because I went this afternoon to get my fingerprints taken. All morning Richard was being more loud and disruptive than usual. Twice I almost sent him home because he was being so bad. I was really struggling to have patience and understanding, and had to pray under my breath more than once. I tried everything. He was falling out of his chair to make everyone laugh (I have told him not to do this approximately 1,000,000 times because he's going to break the chair and they are the Williamson's- not to mention I have to stop class every time to calm everyone down from laughing). I finally took away the chair, and said “Since you cannot sit in the chair without leaning and falling, you can stand for 15 minutes.” So he went and got a bucket to sit on. I said “Richard, I asked you to stand.”... so then he put the bucket on his head. I prayed to not lose it- and “calmly” said, “Richard- if you do not want to participate in school today, you can go home and rejoin class tomorrow.”

So he said “OH NO! I want to stay Miss Kat!” (which he and Mwansa pronounce (Mrz Khatee) So I said, “Ok, stand there, finish your division problem and lets move on. It was then that I noticed the lead between his teeth- he had eaten half his pencil. So I took away the pencil and said- Now you can just tell me the answers and not write them because Lord knows I can't trust you with a crayon. So on and on all of this went and in the meantime I was scolding Emma and Mwansa for laughing and then I felt like we were getting nowhere and I could feel my tone getting coarser- so I stopped and decided we'd pray right then. I asked for prayer requests. Mwansa asked for “understanding long division”. Emma asked for world peace- and Richard asked for prayer that he'd stop laughing so much at school. (Don't worry, Richard, it's already on the docket for prayer...) So I prayed for all of this and not ten minutes later I noticed that they were barking at each other for things.

We have limited resources and share pencils, crayons, paper and especially the one pencil sharpener and one eraser we have. So I had heard about enough “gimmies” and “I need the's” for one day and so I said- “Ok... put aside the adverbs. We are having a lesson in two very important words in English. PLEASE and THANK YOU. When you need the rubber [which is what they call an eraser here] you say, 'May I have the rubber please.' When someone gives it to you- you should respond with a 'Thank you'.” Well Richard had not been paying attention- was still writing his adverbs- had made a mistake and AS I was saying this said “Who's got the rubber... I need it.” and then reached across the table. So I snatched it up before he got it and said “Honestly Richard, you didn't hear a word of this did you.... say 'please' if you need the rubber.” He just stared blank faced. Finally he got really serious and said “I do not need it” and started just crossing mistakes out- JUST so he wouldn't have to say please. He was so mad at me for calling him out that he stopped talking and for the final two hours of class we had not a peep out of Richard. So while it was for the wrong reasons and he was being disobedient and rude... at least my prayer that he wouldn't disrupt the class was answered- in a mysterious way... :) The whole rest of the day he wouldn't look me in the eye and refused to speak to me.

This afternoon James took me to get my fingerprints so I can get police clearance and get a work permit. We got there at 14 and the woman said it was lunch, and they didn't open until 14:30. We said, well the paper says 14, but apparently things like that are just suggestions rather than rules... So we went on another errand where we waited there too. It was a good chance for us to talk though, and figure out a few things concerning my budget and needs here- more to come on that later. We got back to the Police Headquarters and James saw a man he knew. That guy took us in, showed us where to go and told me it would be 150 pin (30 bucks) On my paper it said it would be 50 pin which is only 10 bucks. We get in there and the guy at the counter says, oh no... it's 400 pin. (80 bucks) So now I'm like... ughhH! BUT the man at the counter said... “wait- are we processing anything?” And I said, “no- really I just am using your ink- this gets mailed to the FBI in the US.” So then he said... “oh, in that case, it's free.” THAT no one can argue with ;) So I had them done, and they were sloppy and awful but there was nothing I could do about it.... We took them to the post office and the woman gave me postage and handed it back to me and I said... well- can't I leave this here... to be mailed...? She looked at me for a second and said “Sure..... yea... yea you can.” She seemed... unsure to say the least. All there is to do now is pray. Pray that they get there, pray that the paperwork is filled out correctly. Pray that the fingerprints are readable and that I get the results soon cause as soon as that comes.... I start over at the immigration office.

So I got home and Richard was in the shower. My kitchen is right next door and you can hear everything through the walls here. He usually bathes when I am preparing supper- so we often have some chats (odd, I know- but he always hears me go in and starts asking questions about the galaxies or bugs or math or any random thing.) Well today I went in and all was quiet. I figured he was still holding a grudge when all of a sudden.
“…. Miss Kat?”
“Yes, Richard...”
“Well...? Did they say yes?”

It took a minute for me to understand what he meant, when all of a sudden it came to me. A while ago he asked me what a visa was and why I would need it, and I told him it was the country telling you whether you could stay or not. Every once in a while when I go on an errand and come back if he thinks I've gone to immigration he'll ask... “Well, what'd they say?” I had told him I was canceling school this afternoon because I was going to work on the visa, and he had been worried that they'd say “no” and I'd never come back again.

I said “Well, they have to check my fingerprints and make sure I have no history of punishing my students too harshly, you know like- making them stand for 15 minutes... then they'll decide...” I decidedly heard a little giggle from the other room. We're friends again.

All's well in my little world.


  1. I hate that I am always laughing when you post these things, but you have a way of doing it that makes it so funny!

  2. I have to add my 2 cents for Richard... sometimes a sensory break is helpful! Kind of just stopping in the middle of a lesson and calling out a word that might be funny (denoting time for a little break; although teacher directed). Perhaps 10 jumping jacks followed by elephant immitation or jogging in place pretending to get to the top of the mountain first.... or even an entire gross motor regimen in the middle of a 3 or 4 hour study.... kind of like that Raffi song: "we're gonna shake shake shake those sillies out..." Alot of children who are hyper for whatever reason benefit greatly with a sensory diet included in their day. BTW - sensory lasts for up to 2 hours in the system. I hope this might find you some solace in your days to come! Good luck!