Hello again everyone,
Trusting that all has been well, things have continued to progress as positively as possible on this side of the world. Each of the children we’ve worked with has continued to show incredible progress in the display of emotions, English language skills, and the skills and concepts which we’ve continued to pursue both collectively and individually. The two little girls I often mention continue to flourish and have even started getting into a bit of mischief here, which is always a good sign for children. This week, for the first time, the little girl who would keep her eyes shut stayed in the pool for longer than five minutes without kicking, screaming, and crying. After a while, she opened her eyes back up and began to toss the balls around with the other children, as she kicked, laughed, and splashed. Although I was surprised, I was overjoyed to see her conquer another one of the things she seemed to fear. The other little girl continues to blossom into a little chatterbox, talking, singing, and carrying on basic conversations. With those two, I think the impact of our presence here has been incredibly evident on personal and professional levels.
The rest of the school-age children continued to progress through the basics, especially with learning conversational English, phonics skills, and basic mathematical concepts. Documenting their progress and the positive changes has been pretty remarkable and definitely goes to show the effects of consistent and meaningful instruction. The progress we’ve been able to make through the use of play-doh here has been fantastic. Each night, we’d spend some time molding various objects to fit into a theme that we’d selected -- one day food, maybe animals another day -- and the children and staff were simply amazed by each day's creations. By captivating their interests, we were able to drive home certain points and concepts within the context of education, and that made play-doh seem so much more meaningful that we’d ever viewed it before. Here, the smallest things really do seem to make the greatest impact.
We've officially completed our formal teaching experiences, as summer camp began today. With the rest of this week planned, we’ll be facilitating more activities along the lines of our summer camps at home. Today, we painted Easter eggs to share some of the Easter traditions with the children who will soon be departing for America. The volunteer from Germany, Stella, shared some of her traditions at home and we seemingly combined the two. We painted hollowed eggs, instead of boiled, and then attached string to hang them from a tree, which is believed to bring good fortune. The small tree we hung them from will be planted in the courtyard to remain at BSSK for years to come. The children absolutely loved painting the eggs and then hanging them from the tree, and I think we enjoyed seeing their expressions just as much. The rest of this week will consist of t-shirt painting, cooking small dishes, a day of recreational swimming, and more. With the excitement that accompanies this week, a twinge of sadness also arises as we prepare to return home. The excitement of seeing our families and graduation is incredible but we’re certainly going to miss the children and staff who have become like family during the last six weeks. The journey has been magical, to say the least, and I believe God has used us to help fulfill just a small portion of His plan in the lives of these children.
The final update for this blog will be offered once we touch down and settle back into our routines at home. Thank you for your support and continued encouragement. We hope that you have enjoyed sharing this experience just as much as we have.
Blessings to All
|I learned a new technique for dying eggs --- very messy but equally as unique|
|Stella's finished egg|
|Our tree, to bring good fortune|
|A part of our food theme|
|As you probably guessed, Animals|
|Proud of my little turtle|
|Fletch, proud of her duck|