Sunday, September 27, 2009


Ok, I've been sitting on this for almost a month, sworn to secrecy, but I just got the go-ahead and I'm BUSTING to tell everybody I possibly can.....

Soooo.... This is my mom, Patt.

She's awesome... of course, anyone who knows her knows that already! My mom is a preschool teacher. And, seeing as she's awesome, she's also an awesome preschool teacher. In fact, she's won a number of awards for her awesomeness, including a particularly awesome award that they don't even give out every year, only when someone especially awesome comes along who deserves it. (It's official name is the Goldie Maycock Award, the highest honour presented by the Council of Parent Participation Preschools in our Province.)

But right about now, she's packing her bags and will be headed here to see this dude. And why? Oh, because HE thinks she's awesome, too.

Next weekend, my parents are headed to Ottawa so the my mom can accept the... wait for it, the

Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in

Early Childhood Education!

Let's add a few more exclamation points to that, shall we?


The parents in her school nominated her earlier this year, and SHE WON! Not just in her preschool's organization. Not just in the province... this covers all preschools Canada wide. Only 10 people in the entire COUNTRY are receiving this award, and MY MOM is one of them! She gets an expenses-paid trip to Ottawa and, in addition to the awards ceremony will be taking part in seminars and round table discussions, will be taken on some VIP tours of some of Ottawa's historical sites and points of interest, and will we welcomed to a reception at 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister's official residence. (She was musing in an email, "What DO you wear to the Prime Minster's house???")

So, GO, MOM!!! This is so freaking cool!!!!!

Oh, and lest you think this honour will go to her head, here's a picture to show you her silly side is alive and well. (This is her dressed up for preschool's infamous "Backwards Silly Day.")

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Watch It Weekends - Hillary Learns Stones

Stones is a game that a lot of the kids in Korr play. Just take five small rocks and throw them up in the air, catch them, put some down, throw the others, pick them up... sounds easy, right? Wrong! Ann, a girl in my class six class, was playing one day at lunch. I stopped to watch her and was amazed! My particular favourite move was hen she held five stones in her fingers, threw them up, and caught them ALL on the back of her hand. Go ahead... try it! I filmed her, then had one of the students filming me trying it for the first time. It's pretty entertaining. And also? Wow, I squawk a lot, apparently! Ah, good fun hanging out with my kids! :)

There's more Stones fun on my Youtube channel.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grant and Loki are another of the missionary couples working in Korr. About two and a half years ago, they adopted these two beautiful gilries from an orphanage in Nairobi, and the adoption process has been creeeeping along since then. They have a court hearing tomorrow, September 25, to find out if Kenya will allow them to finalize their adoption. It's a big day with lots of emotion involved. And while I won't get into specifics, I'll just say that the situation really really needs to be absolutely smothered in prayer.

Please, please pray for Grant and Loki, Abbey and Caity as tomorrow, the court determines the future of their family! May God's will be done and his name be lifted up!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Watch it Weekends - Turning Thirty

Two days after arriving in Korr, it was my birthday! There was a team of about 18 Canadian ladies who were in Korr visiting, too, so we wended up driving out to visit a literacy class and see a goob. I couldn't help but laugh at the contrast between my 29th and 30th birthdays!

Kawkawa Work Day Feb 2 129 Playing with the kids from the goobs

There are ALWAYS tons of kids around, and we spent probably a good half hour or fourty-five minutes playing with them. I SO wish I had longer clips, and maybe less of them, but here's what I've got. They're no more than 10 seconds each, most are shorter. but it'll give you a good idea! :)

In the following video at the end, you can see that things were starting to get a little crazy... there were SO many kids YARDING on my arm. Hehehe... I'm trying to escape! :)

This one's my favourite! :)

In the evening, Lynne planned a surprise party for me! We had cake, they sang me happy birthday, and - SO sweet! - they even had gifts for me! It was wonderful! :)

Definitely a birthday to remember!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Watch it Weekends - Animal Central!

While I was aiting to go to Korr in January, I did a lot of different things, sone if it a little bit of sightseeing around Nairobi. One day I went to the Sheldrick's Wildlife Trust - essentially an orphanage for baby elephants. SO cute. Seriously.

Then I went to the giraffe center. You walk up onto this platform and the rangers give you pellets to feed the giraffes with. The love to eat the pellets out of your hands or....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stuck in the middle

*tap tap tap* ... hello? Is this thing on? Welcome to the deserted wasteland that is my blog these days!

Wow. Seems I've been running and running and running ever since I got off my plane. Family time, friends galore, unpacking, organizing, setting up my classroom, concerts, the Fair, more friends, more organizing, more unpacking, first days of school, curriculum planning, photocopying, dinner parties, church events, planning a rush trip to Ottawa in October, and this weekend I'm going camping (so instead of blogging I really should be doing a laundry, packing, cooking dinner, and getting some of the weekend jobs done tonight instead. Right.).

Word of advice for y'all... do NOT leave yourself a mere two and a half weeks between getting back from eight months in Kenya and starting a new school year. Ya know, should you ever find yourself in that situation.

But in it all, life is good. I might be wandering around in a semi-fog, but it's a good fog. It's a "holy cow, what life am I living?" kind of fog. The busyness and demands of all the "gotta do's" of teaching are definitely keeping me here by necessity, but my mind and my heart are still very much in Kenya. That's only in one little way reflected even here on my blog - I'm not finished telling the stories (won't you be confused when the post about my holiday to the coast in April shows up mid-October or something!), but then there is the "here-and-now" life, too. Classroom anecdotes, "re-entry" observations, summer events... I'm very much stuck in the middle.

For example, one of my jobs I've got to get done right away quick is to finish (ok, start) my final update letter that I've been emailing out to people over the duration of my trip. I'll be talking about the last two months in Korr, stories about teaching at Tirrim, about the goodbye and send off I got, and talking about how my ministry wrapped up there. Once that is finished, I'll head to the living room and set out all the little bits for putting together the "survival bags" I give my students at the end of the year, then finish off my math lesson plans for school tomorrow. Maybe it doesn't sound like much, but it blows. my. mind. Then, now. Here, there.

I feel such a need to write stuff down as I go, but am finding it hard to just sit down and collect my thoughts. And so I'm quiet, stuck in the middle of two worlds - one that's very far away but still also very much "here and now," and requires a long, slow 'perculating' process, and the other that's hit me like a freight train and requires me to run just about as fast, demanding nearly all my time and energy. And I don't seem to know how to talk about either! Sooooo.... I'll keep showing you videos!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Watch it Weekends - More Mitumba Kids

Three videos this weekend... why not?

The first is of Jaqueline - the amazing nursery school (pre-school) teacher - giving a lesson. That lady has SO much love for those kids, it's phenominal! In early January, which is the beginning of the school year for them, the kids are learning their letter sounds. This video is brought to you by the letter "N"

I went on a Saturday morning to help with the Bible Club. Turns out I RAN the Bible club that day. Good thing I know lots of camp songs that kept me going! We sang for a long time, then I pulled a lesson out of my hat and we did that, too!

King of Kings

Pharaoh Pharaoh

My house loves me!

Wow. I really HAVE been hit with a whirlwind coming back. I've been trying to not be too busy, but even at that, in the last week I've been home only to sleep every day last week. Don't have time for a full update post right now (waiting for my cell company to call me back, emailing the printers back and forth about some cards I'm having made, got to head out to do a bunch of errands, then heading to the PNE later this afternoon... ACK!) I miss the simple non-busy life of Korr! And school hasn't even started yet!

Anyway, there have been many wonderful things about coming home. But there were a few surprises, too. Some of you know that I sublet my suite while I was gone, so I'm coming back to the same home I left. Apparently even my HOUSE missed me! It left me welcome notes all over the place. Here are my "welcome home" messages.

Hello, Hillary! Welcome Home After all that that time blending in with Africans, come blend with me! Love, Your Blender.

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! It's about time that you got home - I've missed you. Love, Your Clock.

Hello, Hillary! I'm so glad you're home! I missed wearing this nice bedding and having you sleeping in me. Have a great rest - I'll take care of you. Love, Your Bed.

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! You've put me on the shelf for too long - I feel so empty. Please stay and fill me up. Love, Your Bookshelf.

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! I hope there's not too much sand in your clothes - that may hamper our relationship. Love, Your Hamper

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! I'll bet you missed me more than I missed you. :) Happy flushing!! Love, Your Toilet

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! I've heard the Kenyan drives are hard, but I'm a nice hard drive. :) Glad to see you! Love, Your Computer

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! I've been here, waiting and keeping cold while you were so hot. Just stay home a while and chill. Love, Your Refrigerator

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! You've been to so many remote places. It's about time for our relationship to get clicking again. Love, Your Remotes.

Hello, Hillary! Welcome home! I heard you have been "cheating" on me with a bucket. That's ok. I'm glad you're back. Love, Your Shower.
Awwww... ain't it nice to be loved??? :)