Monday was a bizarre day. Certain things happened that were out of our control, that made for a not so typical day. First of all traffic was worse than normal, even for a Monday. We were headed up to teach at one of the schools and were quite late picking up Dannyel our translator because of the traffic being so congested. When we picked him up we were so late, he asked us “what happened?”
Then we got to the road that the school is on and discover it was closed. Turns out they are paving the road. Anyone who has come on a team and has traveled to the schools know that this is a very good thing! The roads in that area are so rough and bumpy and full of pot holes and very hard on a vehicle . It causes a lot of wear and tear that wouldn’t happened just driving around the city. This meant we had to get to the school from another direction.
Of course, due to the road being closed and being re routed, we arrived later than we planned. The entire school was outside on the covered pavement having civica. They were middle of singing the national anthem. They sung ALL the verses, which takes about fifteen minutes. It’s a very long song! Then they did some other activities. Eventually while we were waiting for them to finish so we could teach, we were informed that due to part of the road being closed, they would be dismissing school at 10:30. That gave us roughly an hour to teach five classes. All of them except for the fifth graders. (The grade 5’s are taught the Semitas course by Rosie and Iris.)
Usually we teach class to class, but now our only option if we wanted to get them all in was to do one general session. That is always a challenge with so many children. More so that day however because they had already been standing for a very long time and were antsy. So the teachers had them sit. However, although the pavement is covered, we have had a ton of rain lately with blowing winds, so the ground was wet in places. Some of the kids kind of squatted to avoid getting wet bottoms and others found a place that was dry around the outside edges. There was a of talking going on while we were trying to teach the story of Joseph, and it seemed most of them didn’t listen. Yet, I know when we return the next time they will know the answers to the review questions. That’s always how it goes
After the morning session, we had two and a half hours before we had to return for afternoon classes. We sure didn’t want to sit around and do nothing for that length of time. So we headed over to the near by Mall Premier for a while. It’s a very nice mall and one of the newer ones in the city. The stores have good prices. I’ve only been there a handful of times. Unlike the other malls, I have never seen any other gringos there. The mall itself is safe as there is a ton of security everywhere. It is just located across from a not so great neighbourhood called Villa Cristina. I have been told regarding that particular neighborhood that if you don’t have business in that area, that you don’t set foot in it. You will get stopped by the gangs as to why you are in their territory. It’s dangerous. But they have schools in that neighbourhood with lots of kids. And it ran through my mind that those kids need Jesus too. Also when I asked one of my co-workers about it, she said it was really not any more dangerous than the areas that we are already in, and we are fully aware of the gang presence there, and fully aware it is dangerous territory. We’ve never had any issues. So, who knows…perhaps one day the Lord will open the doors for us to be in schools in that neighbourhood too. And if he does He will go with us. Because he isn’t going to call us somewhere and abandon us or make us go on our own.
Afterwards we headed back to the school to teach our afternoon classes, while Rosie and Iris taught the grade five’s Semitas. We were a bit baffled as to why they would allow the kids to go home so early in the morning and then still have classes in the afternoon. It didn’t make sense to us. They explained it was because of the construction but all that was still going on when we returned after our mall excursion and will be for weeks to come I am sure.
After we were finished with the afternoon classes we began to make our way back down the mountain to the city. We saw something very unusual on the street and something I have never seen here before. I so wished I had my camera ready. You know how you see dogs after they have had surgery with one of those cones of shame? Well we saw a large dog, a Rottweiler with a clothes hanger around his neck! It looked so funny, but I have to wonder, what in the world?? And just how exactly did he manage to get it stuck there? He looked so silly! I was tempted to get out of the car and help the poor dog out. But that probably would not have been a good idea to be messing with a street dog!
So that was our unusual Monday. I guess we should always be prepared to expect the unexpected. Things don’t always go as planned.