All right. I realized that my last post was quite heavy, so this time, I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the lighter lessons of mission life. So, these are some of the lessons that my lovely boys have taught me in just the past few weeks.
- If you let them use scissors, they will cut their hair. We now have one boy running around looking as though his head got stuck in a lawn mower because he took my Crayola safety scissors and cut his own hair. The other boys now laugh and say that rats ate his hair in his sleep. (This would be more funny if they did not actually all know what that felt like).
- When all else fails, glue their homework into their notebooks. Because then, they have to lose the whole book in order to lose their homework. Now, some of them will do it, but the number will dramatically decrease. Yes, the other teachers think I am crazy, but my students all finished their homework this week. Results are worth the crazy points.
- Never, ever, accept something to blow your nose in without first checking that there is not a ‘surprise’ inside. And, when you are dealing with Ephrem, it is better not to accept anything at all. That boy has a gift for finding dead animals.
- When you teach kids about new foods, be very careful. I figured that jello was harmless. We feed it to kids and sick people in America, so it should be innocent. Well, apparently the word ‘jello’ in Amharic means something very, very, very different. It has now become a dirty joke among the boys that we have all eaten ‘jello.’ Sigh. Teaching backfire.
- When they say they will bite you, they are not kidding. Enough said.
- You will gain major respect for being able to fake crack your nose. I gained so much that Kamil decided I was worthy to eat dinner with him the other night! Since he is usually antisocial, this was a major win!
- There are six different ways to complete a simple maze puzzle, depending on how you understood the directions. And, once you have finished, you can just choose another random start and finish point, and the fun continues. For three hours. I was so tired of mazes.
- Getting to choose your own library book is a privilege right up there with getting to eat the food of your choice. I mean, seriously, take a look at how many choices you have in a day. The boys here eat from a circular menu, the same things, every week, in the same quantities. But this week, when we started allowing some of the older ones to read in the library and choose their own books, it was as if we had told them to spend $500 at a sports store. They are so excited to see all of the choices that most of them don’t have any time left to actually read!
Please keep us all in your prayers. We have added ten new boys in the last two weeks, and we are very happy, but it always creates new challenges and chaos in our busy home.