Showing posts from September, 2016

Island Learning

Michael was buzzing with excitement.  He’d be attending the local primary school here in Aneityum and could hardly wait!   Meanwhile, Elizabeth was fighting off flu-like symptoms (Mark and I still aren’t sure if this was psychologically-induced illness at the idea of having to attend school or if she was legitimately sick).  She didn’t eat much and stayed in her bed all day. When Michael got to his class, he saw all the snowflakes we’d made with them the past Friday hanging up to decorate.  The teacher told him that the kids had spent the rest of the day that day perfecting their snowflake design skills!  Mrs. Grace started the handwriting lesson on the board, and the kids pulled notebooks and pencils from their schoolbags and started copying the days of the week in English.  (I’m not sure if this is normally their lesson, or if they were adapting everything to English solely for Michael’s benefit.  I’d hoped she would teach in Bislama so he could tune his ear toward translating.  H

Tropical Snow

Everyone piled in the dinghy and went back to the primary school here in Aneityum, Vanuatu. The grade 1 teacher, Grace, had invited us back to show the kids how to make paper snowflakes like the one Michael had made for our Colorado presentation. When we arrived, the teacher wasn’t yet there, but the kids were all seated and eager to hear from us, so we killed some time writing out our names on the board and asking the kids to say “good morning” to each of us as a way to practice saying our names. Funny enough, it was the pronunciation of “Mark” that turned out to be most challenging for them because the r sound isn’t used in their language at all. Before getting to the craft, Michael modeled some of the clothing that we have to wear in Colorado when it gets cold - a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf. Then we taught them the song “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” in which the lyrics talk of being washed “white as snow”. I was thrilled to find that they didn’t yet know the song, after

Show and Tell

The kids and I have been putting together something to ‘show and tell’ the local kids about our travels and our home state.  Elizabeth picked out some photos and helped create a slideshow, while Michael looked up the meanings of the Colorado flag design.  We all looked around the boat to find anything we could bring with us to share bits of the countries we’ve visited:  a wooden blue- footed booby from Galapagos, a colorful woven bag from Colombia, a hand-stitched mola from Panama, a boomerang from Australia, and many more.  The school children loved touching these special items that had traveled so far. We also brought peanut butter for them to taste, placing a dollop on nearly 90 kids’ fingers!  Some tasted it and wiped it on their shirts in disgust, while others savored every bit or gobbled it up in one lick.  Elizabeth and Michael were wonderful presenters.  E narrated the photos in a confident and clear voice.  M surprised us all by belting out an a cappella solo of a Mao