Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to school

Well, term 3 has started with a bang. Conn is teaching the class here that I used to teach, and I travel to Betio with Laae and teach the juniors there. We got the scheme for the term last Thursday and spent our weekend planning and preparing for the first week. It went rather well. Seemed like the kids enjoyed our lessons and were learning. We worked on setting up incentives for the kids (those who come to class on time, bring their exercise books, library books, and those who come to the library on the scheduled days), what activities we'll do this term and how we'll assess the students and report to the parents. This week we worked on the 'b' and 'p' sounds (which are practically the same and children here, and adults, have trouble with); nouns; learned a good morning song; read stories and wrote summaries; and wrote about what the children did during the term break. We'll continue with these skills and build on them for next week. We're looking forward to doing puppet shows, songs, skits, reading sight words and key words from our readings, math word problems, and writing sentences leading into paragraphs. (I feel like I'm writing a beginning of the school year letter to parents!) I usually take the bus to Betio, which is an hour long ride, so I get daily reflecting time. The boys stay here with Conn so they get time to play with their friends before class. We found that Parker really likes a couple of marbles he found so we've incorporated them into his therapy to get him to turn his hand over and reach up and out to pass them back and forth with us. He also likes stickers and has made several sticker pictures with them.
Healthwise, we are getting better with only minimal setbacks. Parker's diarrhea seems to be getting better, but he threw up in the night this week, and Tanielu threw up six times yesterday morning. We did go back to the American doctors for a follow up. Since Tanielu was still wheezing some and we had been giving albuterol every 4 hours, he got some steroids to help out. They really did and he's doing much better. His antibiotic worked wonders and almost all his sores are healed. We also got a couple more bottles of children's multi-vitamins. The kids make sure they take them every day, even Parker asks for them. We're hoping and praying that we keep getting better and that this is making us stronger for the rest of our stay. We're taking it term by term, so we're aiming for December. It's hard to justify staying in a place so dirty and contaminated when your kids are so sick... but who wants to travel with vomit and diarrhea? We're instilling the importance of keeping their hands out of their faces and washing themselves with soap twice daily.
Hope all is well Stateside and everyone enjoys your Labor Day weekend. Have a hot dog for us!


  1. Ahhhh, back to school. I am happy Conn is teaching, he's a natural with kids. I am so sorry the kids are not bouncing back as quickly as you had hoped but they seem on the mend now. I pray for you all each day, I hope you can feel them. We will be so happy to see you in December, it already seems so long.

    Love and hugs, Cheryle

  2. Hey Jennifer,
    You guys have been on my mind all summer. I am so glad I found your blog. It has been great reading through your entries. Wow, it sounds like adventures have been had in Kiribati. Tell James that Mitchell had to get stitches this summer too. He was cleaning some fish that he caught and cut his finger. Hailey's Birthday is tomorrow, she's thirteen. Tell the boys Hello from Mitchell and Hailey. We will keep you all in our prayers. I hope you all get well soon. Keep bloging!
    PS Are you missing getting my grocery list and misc messages via email?

  3. So sad to hear that y'all have been sick again. I was hoping that you were "on the mend" and not getting as sick these days. Glad that the American doctor's have been there to help.

    Lindsay has been sick here too with high fevers for 9 days now. She was finally diagnosed with pneumonia yesterday and we hope that she will be feeling better soon. She has missed 6 out of the first 9 days of school:(

    As for us, school has started here too and it is going well for Lukas and Ginny! This year has presented new challenges for me, but the issues are getting worked out and things should be getting better by next week. I am excited to be teaching students who need a little bit more this year, but I am concerned about the logistics of it all since I am their main teacher for core subjects. Please have prayers for us all- we pray for you continually!

    I look forward to hearing more as you can. I hope that you had a Happy Birthday and that Parker will have a Happy Birthday soon as well:) We miss you SO MUCH! Please Take Care and God Bless<><

    Love, Michele