Will sleeps through the running this morning. As it happens, today the girls see a man walking down the road carrying a machete in one hand and a sledge hammer in the other. Of all the days for Will not to be there …
Regular slate of classes today, so we gather for a few minutes at the girls’ house and then head out to meet our students. In one of my morning classes we have a pretty significant discipline problem. Cross-cultural discipline is really difficult. For example, here young people will not look an older person in the eyes; they look down, and their tendency is to shut down completely, not answering any questions. It’s difficult in that situation to tell whether the child is refusing to obey, or doing his best to obey. Fortunately, since my class meets on Beth’s porch, she overhears the whole thing and is able to help steer us to a reasonably informed conclusion. It’s good to have backup. 🙂
In the teachers’ lounge (the girls’ house) after lunch, Jon delivers the line of the day. He walks in, sets his materials down dejectedly, and says, “I had this great idea to stamp the back of their hands. Then I realized, they’re black.”
By the end of the day, the kids are feeling pretty tired; so tired, in fact, that they ask if maybe we can cancel classes for the afternoon Friday and next Wednesday, in the middle of the week, to get a mid-week break. Since they ask, I know they mean it. During game time Beth actually asks how they’re holding up, and I tell her about their request and suggest we give them some help. She quickly agrees; she had told me at the beginning of the week that we could scale back the schedule if it was too rigorous. So at supper at Dan & Jana’s house later that afternoon, I pass the word along. The kids are overjoyed. Then Beth says, “Just Wednesday afternoon? I thought you meant every afternoon next week.” In other words, morning classes only for the rest of our time here. Did I say overjoyed?
Supper is great, and for more than just that reason. Chili, cole slaw, pineapple, corn muffins. We’re feeling pretty good.
Singing in team devotions tonight is unusually fervent. We let it run on for a while. Prayer time is powerful as well, as we pray for our students and the spiritual battles they’re facing.