I ate chocolate today…

…and I didn’t die:)

Maybe I should let you in on some Bethany Trivia: I don’t like chocolate and haven’t liked it for over half of my life.
I haven’t eaten it for a few years (as far as I remember).

Well today, one of my students sweetly shared a mini, dark-chocolate cube with me.  I politely took it, thanked her, then set it on my desk – to be enjoyed later, of course.

The lesson continued and she raised her hand, “Can I stand up?”
“Yes.”  (Assuming she wanted to throw something away).


my classroom

She walked around to the side of my desk, picked up the chocolate, and again handed it to me, while saying, “Teacher, eat!”

She got me.  My dad would be so impressed by her.
I felt like I had no choice but to eat this detestable sweet.
So I did; all the while trying to keep a straight face and fake enjoyment.


chillin’ in my classroom, pre-chocolate:)

 

much love!

 

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what does it take?

Sometimes in life, we are asked questions to which we don’t have the answers.
Other times, there are questions asked where we have an answer in words and feelings from experience.

So what does it take to learn a new language?
time
practice
lessons
You know, all of the logical answers.  But I the one I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately is passion.
I think it takes passion and desire to learn a new language.  I’m sure there are people who learn without that, but at least in my life and in the students I see, that makes a big difference.

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during one of my Korean classes

 

Last week, I finished the very basic level Korean class.  But I feel like I don’t really know anything; and besides reading, it’s hard for me to implement what I do know.
Although I want to learn Korean to communicate better here, I find it difficult to study, and I easily become distracted.  There are times I even start looking up words in Luganda [the language I learned in Uganda].

 

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my Luganda notebook

 

When I was learning Luganda, it was so much different for me.  I kept wanting to learn more and take more in.  I still become enthralled looking through my notes or learning new words.

In my students, I see passion being important as well.  The ones who don’t care or want to learn English, I don’t see as much progress as the ones who have enthusiasm for it.

I think this is applicable in other parts of life as well, but, recently I have been thinking about languages:)

 

much love

 

i am a champion!

I know I’ve written about my school here many times.  But quite by mistake, I think there are a few details I’ve never explained.

So today, this blog is about schools here, and in particular, Champions Christian Primary School; one of the big reason I came back to Mukono, Uganda.

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Mercy, from when I was on the race 

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and Mercy, just a few months ago

 

Let me first briefly explain schools here.
The school year begins at the beginning of February and goes until late November / mid December.  There are three terms throughout the school year, with a holiday [break] between each term.

Students start in Nursery Section around 3 years old.  Nursery classes are Baby, Middle, and Top (like Pre-school and Kindergarten).  Nursery students graduate into Primary School, which goes from Primary One through Primary Seven (like Elementary and Middle school).  If students pass their P7 [Primary 7] exams, then they go to Secondary School, which is six years.  After Secondary, there is High School for two years, then University.

Many people do not complete Secondary school, but there are career options that don’t require that level of education; or they can get a certificate in a desired field without needing to complete Secondary school.  It is very different from America.

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group of students from Champions

 

Most schools here you have to pay fees; the only schools you don’t have to pay fees to attend are the government schools and the quality of education at those schools tend to be not so good; so most parents try to send their kids to other schools.

The school I am with is a Christian school, but that does not make it elite or special, there are many Christian schools, Muslim schools, and non-religious schools; but in all schools here Religious Education as a subject is taught.  Actually at Champions, the fee is a little bit lower for the quality of education they are offering the students.

In addition to fees, parents also have requirements they have to bring to the school each term, such as sugar, brooms, toilet paper, a ream of paper, etc (these are used by the school throughout the term).

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stack of books – students need to bring new books each term

 

Champions Christian Primary School was started during third term, I think 2009.  They started with 57 students and have now grown to around 300 students.

The school prides itself on providing a quality education while maintaining lower school fees than some of the other schools.  They also have a good work environment, and have a good teacher-retention rate.

The school’s motto of “raising the total man” is more than just a motto.  This school really does want to see these students succeed and to go far.  There is love and acceptance, and just a different environment at this school that isn’t at all schools here.  There is such a difference at Champions that our Christian school has Muslims and children of witch doctors in attendance.

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school emblem or badge

 

I’ve said at different times that I am helping at Champions while I am here in Uganda; I am not paid for this, well maybe in high-fives and hugs:)  But, I am so thankful for this opportunity, to be back here, seeing all of the growth and the changes that are taking place at this school; to learn more about how things work here.  To be a part of this community.

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the other day I was even a Champions student:)

 

This video is not the best quality, but, it is the choir singing our school song; I thought you might enjoy hearing that!

 

 

much love!