I KNOW that I haven't written for ages!
been busy with work for the company in London and trying to do
meetings. It's been busy but I have a few days off at the moment
to catch up with everything.
at night and sleeping in the moment works out OK for getting work
done but it isn't so good for family life. We are currently having
a balcony changed into an extra room to be used as an office-
Once this is finished I hope to work more sociable hours . . .
but to be honest I didn't particularly mind working at night,
teacher's conference in Alexandria went really well. I'm continually
surprised by the way the Egyptians organise these events. It all
seems to be done by word of mouth at short notice. I arrived in
Alex Thursday evening, by then hardly any of the arranging had
been done, the conference was to be on the Friday evening. The
church had been booked but the Sunday School teachers knew nothing
of the conference- I assumed that there would be hardly any there.
On the Friday morning I took a Sunday School class, they listened
well but I was asked to speak for longer than their attention
span could cope with. I should have insisted on finishing earlier
but in Egypt you have to learn to be flexible.
the evening I was surprised to see how many Sunday School teachers
actually turned up, about 100 at a guess- all done at the last
minute. They listened better than the children I had earlier that
day! They were full of enthusiasm for the teaching methods I showed
them; it was a change to the usual methods that they have. I don't
particularly like talking to adults, they don't respond in the
same way as children and often they feel patronised if I paint
simple pictures or show them magic tricks. I shared this with
the teachers and asked them to help me by looking interested and
participating when asked . . . so they did!
typical Sunday School lesson here involves the teacher telling
a story and the children memorising key verses. There is a great
emphasis on the facts but little is taught based on understanding
or application to our lives. What I teach them in comparison is
revolutionary, it is unusual to have lessons that are interesting,
entertaining and fun as well as learning some key truths at the
same time. I have to say that there are a lot good things about
their methods too- the bible knowledge of the children is quite
impressive. I can build on this in the lessons and use what they
already know to make really interesting lessons.
weekend before last Alison and I were in a poor area to attend
the opening of a new nursery school that was connected to a local
church. The area was one of the poorest that I've been to since
I've been here. We had to walk the last part because the roads
were impassable in a car. When I entertained the children it was
obvious that they hadn't seen anything like it before.
comparison with this I went to a Church in one of the richer areas
of the city last Friday. The children responded well here too
but somehow I feel that they don't appreciate it as much as the
children in the poor area!
feel that doing all of these meeting really justifies my time
here. Although I'm usually very busy with work most of the week
I really enjoy taking these meetings and speaking to large numbers
pregnancy continues to go well. She is having practice contractions
on a regular basis and we already have our plans on what to do
when they start coming thick and fast. Hopefully this won't be
until the end of next month. The worst time for it to happen is
during the rush hour on Thursday- we may have difficulties getting
to the hospital . . . in time.
some reason Hannah has taken a sudden dislike to going to our
near-by nursery. We may have to remedy this by one of us staying
with her throughout the session. We'll be leaving her with friends
who live close to us when it is time to have the baby- they have
four children themselves which Hannah likes to play with.
we're both busy we've decided to send our ironing to the local
"mak-woggy" ie someone who does the ironing for you. It's not
too expensive and it works out fine- now that we have a washing
machine we seem to have all the more ironing. The only trouble
with the mak-woggy is the way some of them do the ironing: Often
they put the water in their mouth then spit it out onto the clothes
before proceeding to press it with the iron. I didn't think that
our local mak-woggy did this, but after going there today to pick
up the latest batch I saw others doing this in the shop . . .
I think I'll just have to get used to wearing clothes with dried
saliva pressed therein. Perhaps I should be grateful that we haven't
had a water shortage.
all for this week,
Alison and Hannah
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