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Monthly Archives: September 2016

(Culinary) Substitutions

I lost my glasses in the ocean this month. So, I thought I was buying parsley in the grocery store. It was fennel. Very. Different. But, with a quick Google search of fennel, I ended up making us some amazing baked potatoes for supper, and even opted to have them as a late night snack one night. I also tried to buy sweet potatoes another night and accidentally bought rutabaga. Ended up with a unique, tasty addition to our roasted veggies. We decided we might even prefer it.

That’s how my month has been. I got something I definitely hadn’t planned on, but it ended up alright, and helped me to find sweetness and nuggets of goodness that I wouldn’t have otherwise stumbled upon.

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Flowers at our new house. They live by the garbage pile. Another chance to take something bad and make it a little lovelier!  🙂

Our house was a disaster when we moved in, so we ended up with an amazing maid named Mariksa. There were several things not working in our house, so we got to know our neighbours’ hospitality. My luggage was gone and I was having zero luck getting it back, so I ended up being able to experience the kindness of five helpful staff members. The storms have been frequent, so I’ve been hugged, loved, and cared for by fellow teachers who eat lunch with me in the workroom instead of outside at the lunch table and beautifully sung to (Christmas carols, nonetheless!) by a very, very patient, sweet roommate who stays up until the last rumblings of thunder pass, my heartrate has returned to normal, and the tears have subsided. My massive class size this year and hugely long list of students with a little extra need for care, love, and accommodation meant that I was granted a full-time classroom aide, as well as extra support from volunteers. We have a tiny house, so we can only invite people over in twos or threes, and thus, we get to know people in smaller, more meaningful ways. My lost glasses allowed me to experience love and sacrifice and allowed me to make a new friend when she gave up her glasses for the week so that I had at least less vision loss.

 

It’s been a month of surprises. None of them started as a, “Woo! This is a great problem!” kind of thing. They were all pesky annoyances, troubles, fears, or challenges. But all of them ended in “substitutions” that were so much more pleasant due to their surprising nature. Like fennel and baked potatoes.

The ocean all pleased with itself for eating my glasses.

 

Praises:

My glasses that were lost and were supposed to be replaced in about two weeks and who knows how much money took only one week and were cheaper than in Canada! So many of you joined in prayer and I know that made a difference! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have an assistant full-time in my classroom, and an amazing support team, and the energy and excitement to take on all of the challenges!

We have not only a Special Ed team and program at school now, we also have really, really great, qualified volunteers and a Speech and Language Pathologist for the year (Nicaragua does not really have or train SLPs, so most kids that need it have never had any support in this area). This Special Ed team is AMAZING and several of my own students use their resources daily. Nicaragua is moving towards inclusive classrooms (don’t get me started on the celebrations and hesitations involved in this…), and our school has been visited by others seeking to learn more about inclusion.

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Our very own tiny home. It’s perfect.

Prayers:

 

Again this year I have students from all walks of life, some of which are dealing with some really serious stuff for 6-year-old kiddos. Please be in prayer for them, and that they might feel love, hope, and peace in our school walls.

This is an election year in Nicaragua. There is much doubt about it being a fair election, and all opposition has been removed already. It is being said that no outside media is allowed in to cover the election.

It is becoming more difficult for humanitarian and religious workers to be granted visas to the country.

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