Wednesday, November 01, 2006

pregnancy, church, and books

Hey everyone,
It's been a busy week. In English class I've been running my Grade 7s through exercises from last year's exam and my marking has been proceeding slowly but surely. One of my grade 7 learners dropped out of school last week a little less than a month before exams started. She, as they say here, "fell pregnant." Some of my learners are older than their grades might suggest, but she still can't be older than 14 or 15 (the ministry kicks kids out of my school when they hit 16 and sends them to a combined school.) I really worry about my kids sometimes.

Tomorrow the Peace Corps is coming to visit me—my superior and the Country Director for Namibia. I'm betting it's going to be an interesting visit. They're trying to get around to all of the sites. My boss has been here before, of course. But I think the isolation might really shock the country director who lives in Windhoek. The big challenge will be making sure my house stays clean this week.

OK, so I realized that I haven't written about church in a while. I have been meaning to give some numbers to give you an idea of a typical service. These are some numbers for this Sunday. Attendance was about normal. There were 12 women, 6 men, and 60 or so kids and young adults. Between us we had 10 hymn books and 5 Bibles including my own. They always announce how much was given in the offering at the end and they divide it up between the men, the women, the kids, and the money given for petrol for the bakkie (I think to transport a priest up every now and then to perform marriages and baptisms and that sort of stuff.) In total the offering was about N$50 (US$6.60). They are really happy when the offering tops US$5. Still, what are they going to spend lots of money on? I mean the elders take turns preaching, so they don't pay a pastor. They don't have to pay for lots of books or paper since many in the congregation can't read anyway. They don't send money to missionaries. I actually think they're saving up to buy a new church bell (not sure how much that will cost, but with US$5 or less a week I think it'll take a long time.) Oh, and they bought two new candles for the altar a while ago. I can't think of much else that it would go to.

By the way, thank you to all of you who keep me in your prayers. I really appreciate it. Other than that, I've been reading a lot, of course. I finally got around to finishing Robinson Crusoe, I've been reading some Beverly Cleary books from the library, and I'm nearly finished with a book called "Journey through Genius" about various geniuses of mathematics and the theorems they developed. I'm just starting the chapter on Liebniz and Bernoulli. This week I'm hoping to finish the Brothers Karamazov. After reading the first half in less than a week, I slowed down, and finally, just before the fourth volume, I stopped for a while. Not sure why, but I think I'll really get down to it and finish it this week. I'm only 50 pages from the end.

I got 3 M-bags today. One from Darien Book Aid. One from the Scarsdale Women's Group Book project and one from my family. Plus three packages (including a really great birthday present from my grandparents with the ingredients for rice Krispie treats. Also, one with great school supplies and one with fun stuff from my friend Jewell. Thanks guys. OK, that's the news from this neck of the woods. Take care.

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