As a substitute teacher, I have the joy of working with children of all ages every day. One day I may be working in 9th grade, and the next I may find myself in 3rd grade. It always keeps me on my toes. On one particular day, I was working in a 3rd grade classroom. The teacher I was in for happened to have a student teacher. It was only her second day, but the teacher had left her the plans so I assisted whenever I could. She started the spelling lesson, and at the end she started giving out the spelling list. As she read the words aloud for the students to spell she came to one of the last words. She said, "Number 9 - Duty" which resulted in high pitched giggles. She repeated the word. "Duty." To which they responded with chuckles. The student teacher looked at me puzzled, probably because I too had a smirk on my face. She asked, "Why are they laughing?" And I replied, "Because they're 8 years old and you just said doody...twice."
Wasn't that a nice story? It has very little to do with what I'll be doing in Uganda, and very much to do with the fact that this is a series of blog posts and I want to make sure you're entertaining your inner child whenever you see the post title. Come on, admit it. You know you at least cracked a smile.
I'm going to start with the work that I'm most excited about: working with children.
Since I will be living at a house at Upendo Christian School, I won't have to walk very far to get to work each day. At this time, it's my understanding that I will be working alongside the teachers to help the students improve in their studies. Many of the children are struggling academically and the Headmaster has expressed a need for starting a remedial program at the school. I will be completely honest and say that I have no idea what a remedial program looks like in Uganda, so I have much to learn. But I also hope to be able to bring some of my own experience and knowledge to the table.
Upendo just recently opened a nursery school for these youngsters so I hope to spend some time with them, but I will have to make sure I'm well rested because boy do these kids have energy!
Upendo also has a boarding section with kids ranging in age from about 9-18 who stay there 24/7. Many, but not all, of these children are orphaned due to AIDS. So I will have a great opportunity to spend time with these kids having fun, playing games, joking around, helping them with their school work, while also providing important Biblical counseling and guidance, with special care given to the girls.
So in a nutshell, I'll be doing a whole lot of what I love to do. Of course there will be challenges: cultural differences, language barriers, classroom challenges that go along with great needs and little to no funds, working with children who have been abused, abandoned, and so much more, but I know that the Lord will give me the strength to keep going.