This is just a quick update on the last week or so:
I doubt that this is a first in World Dep’s long history, but I’m officially the last deputee in the DR. Anna left on Tuesday and Amy left this last Saturday. Steph and Amy J. are still here, recovering, and taking special precautions against more mosquito bites. I’ve used the two bottles of repellent I brought-we’re hopefully getting more this week so we can coat ourselves morning, afternoon, and night. Please continue to pray for our health- Jeff gets his test results back this afternoon and very likely has Dengue as well. Another handful of us have “gripe,” a cold and fever combo. I’ve had a fever on and off for the last week and feel okay, just drained. I’m confused by the sickness here, but we continue to rely on something greater than ourselves, lifting one another up in prayer, and pushing through.
We went to a beautiful river Friday afternoon. We went on a river hike up some waterfalls and swung from some vines. It was really great and one last surprise before Amy left. Saturday a group of us went to PlayaAzul for lunch and a beach day. I played in some tide pools and saw snails, fish, an eel, and urchins. It was a good restful and adventurous weekend amidst the craziness of this last week. I also had good times with my host family. I’m getting more of a hang of it and adjusting more each day to the funny quirks and challenges of my home. I’m playing a lot of chess, checkers, and teaching all my uncles and aunts English on Mondays and Fridays. They are very patient with me and I’m constantly amazed at how they always offer me the best and want me to be at home.
This week was our fist classes in the bateys. I’m teaching in Los Robles with Lisa, David, and Steph. Our first day we were supposed to have about 20 students that needed special help in reading, writing, and math. When we got there, we waited while the pastor rounded up about 50 kids. It was a disaster. I tried to administer an evaluation to see where they needed the most help, but didn’t have another forms and kids actually sitting in desks…and of course they would cheat on a basic eval! In the other room, the kids found scissors and started shredding books. All of us were bewildered and without a plan. We eventually kicked all the kids out of both classrooms and tried to regroup. We spent the rest of the afternoon planning lessons, devotionals, and setting up what Lisa called our “10-pronged plan” to teaching this kids. Pray that we do not get caught up in the details of the lessons and will love them well- whether they are brandishing scissors or not. We had our first English class today and it went well. We had Wanchi, our translator, with us and he helped keep the kids in line and teach. Next time, I’m going to pull out some of the older kids that have had some prior courses and teach a conversational group. It should be great.
We have one more day of classes tomorrow in Los Robles, my English class at the vocational school in the afternoon, and then we are heading for an undisclosed hotel for our midsummer retreat through Saturday. It should be a good time for us to recoup and spend some quality time together. It’s my birthday on Sunday, and although I’m excited to spend it with my new family and friends, I’m getting a more and more homesick. I’m fighting hard my tendency to have my thoughts and heart distracted by my life in Washington and trying to keep centered and focused here.
Okay, I’m off to work on curriculum for this week’s courses and wrap up some sponsorship forms. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Under the Mercy,