Sunday, January 13, 2013

International Christian Schools

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Just feels like  few short weeks ago, I was singing the praises of Sahel Academy. It is still a bit unbelievable that we moved all the way across the world. School is such a huge and vital part of a child’s life and now my three are all diving into their second international school experience. We are so thankful to live less than 5 Km from Faith Academy. One of the kid’s favorite things about school is that it is international, they have friends from all over. It is nice because many of the kids know what it feels like to move and are very welcoming to new students. Faith Academy is about 40 percent Korean, 40 American and 20 other nationalities. This school is about the same size as Sahel, maybe slightly smaller (150 students). The kids also like the Christian emphasis at school, they all have bible classes. Although the campus is different in may ways, the “feel” of it is very familiar. very bright  and welcoming.

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Drew will continue his French studies, but it will have to be independent. His supervising teacher is from Quebec and Drew is looking forward to working with him. Ben and Becca  have a class that is called Heritage. The class focuses on learning about the culture and history of the Philippines. They will learn to speak a bit of Tagalog. Ben and Becca are also required to take band, so they have already been practicing their instruments. Ben the saxophone and Becca the clarinet. Another new thing on their list as Middle Schoolers is Outdoor Education. On the 3rd of February they will both board a plane to Manila where hey will join with the bigger campus of Faith Academy and will embark on a 5 day trip to Corregidor and Bataan. This area of the Philippines is rich with history and the trip will not only focus on that but also on conservation, outdoor cooking, evangelism,  spiritual renewal and growth.  One of the nights will be spent camping on the beach!! The rest of the time they will stay at a Baptist camp. They are both thrilled as they have already been meeting with their teams and leaders. I would love to tag a long, but no parents allowed!

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Having only finished a week of school, it seems as though they have not missed a beat. All three of the kids are continuing in their studies and it is so great that Drew’s course work is exactly what the 10th grade (my concerns were biology and geometry) here is doing. Ben is continuing with Algebra and Becca pre Algebra. They are being challenged but are happy.  They did not even baulk, too much, at the uniform requirement. They have a choice of white, light blue or dark blue polo shirts  and khaki or bark blue bottoms (shorts and pants for the boys and capris, pants or skirts for girls). The kids great attitude about school is a  big relief and is making the transition smoother.

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All three of the kids have decided not to participate in this year’s school musical, Solomon. BIG SURPRISE. I am thrilled that they all want to try out for sports teams. Basketball season starts at the end of January for the boys and Becca will try out for soccer. If Drew makes the team, he will be busy. Looks like they have lots of games and even a tournament that would require him traveling to Manila (a short 1 1/2 hr plane ride). There are still so many new things, but we are taking it all in stride. So nice to have a great school to help the kids focus.

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Of course, the kids are missing their friends from Niger. We love them and they will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts.  We are so thankful for many people who made an  investment in our lives. So many of those people are at Sahel. I am grateful for international Christian schools….they are unique and sooooo vital to what we do. If you ever get the itch to teach abroad, do, Go….well, there is my “plug” and my attempt at answering some questions about our new school.

Adding a few more tidbits that I missed. Yes, they can buy a great hot lunch everyday.

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The menu is quite extensive and has an “optional” option when they do not like the main meal. They serve fresh fruit and veggies with the meal. Becca had mango the other day. mmmmmmm, can’t get enough of the fresh fruits!  The students eat outside under a covered area and can play ping pong or basketball. The school colors are blue and white…they are “The Knights.” The school pet is a python. Sorry but ICK!

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We are sort of carpooling, but nothing  set daily. There are lots of options, we are taking time to find the best one. So there you have it. Keep the questions coming, I love to share about this. Here is the school’s website if you need even more info.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

For ALL of your Cock-Fighting Needs

What??? Yep, you did not misread…I said Cock Fighting. Many of you know that we recently relocated from Niamey, Niger to Davao City, Philippines. People have asked about the differences. Very hard to sum it up, I will write about things as they strike me. So today, when we were out & about we kept seeing these little supplies stands……

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Upon closer inspection, we noticed they were selling feed & various supplies, everything you need to raise a nice strong fighting cock….”chick booster”. They even sold the leashes that they attach to the ankle. So well, that’s new and different! I have to admit I am intrigued.   I have to admit, I prefer trips to spot giraffes & hippos. I miss Niger but think it is truly wonderful exploring a new culture & trying new things. Not sure I even want to go to an actual fight and I am pretty sure you will not be reading a post where we have adopted any sort of fowl, but hey, ya never know? I have learned not to say that I will “never” do anything….but this is really a long long long long shot, don’t think I could watch or even be a part of that.

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