Each age group arrives at English camp where they meet the members of our team- me, Haley, Deb, Kaley, Laurie, and Carrie. Each of us has planned a few lessons for the kids over things that parents of adoptive children have said would be useful. For example, one of my lessons is teaching the names of rooms of a house, so I show them pictures I drew of each type of room (bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom), then show activities (sleeping, brushing teeth, cooking, etc.) and they say which room that activity belongs in. Then we had them draw what the rooms in their home looks like. All the lessons are formatted in a fairly similar fashion with songs, games, or other activities that pair with the lesson.
What has been most surprising (though it probably shouldn't have been), is the range in English proficiency. All the students that come attend a public school, but since the ages, abilities, and special needs of each child varies, you get quite a sampling. Some have been able to serve as make-shift translators for us, while others we are unable to understand, even when they repeat what we are saying word-by-word.
A few short stories then to sleep because these days have been exhausting and we have pre-schoolers tomorrow!
With the school-girls (who Haley was foster-mom of for four months) I spent a lot of time helping Stephanie, who is completely blind in both eyes. One of our activities is singing and dancing the song "Love the Lord," which is based on Mark 12:30 (also found in the other gospels at various places). During the song I would move Stephanie's arms to the motions of the song as it played. Each time you could see a giant smile form on her face, creating huge dimples in her cheeks as she rocked to the music. It was beautiful.
Alesa, another school-girl with a mental disability, really took to the song, and was able to learn all the words and sing it on her own by the end of the two days. When we walked on our field trip to get ice cream on the last day she and I held hands and sang the song together the whole way.
The differences in boys and girls in America is not so different from the differences between boys and girls in India. With the girls we were able to do side-walk chalk, draw flowers, and finger paint pictures. With the school boys we had to break out the beach balls when they became quickly disinterested with the side-walk chalk and would finger paint words and entire blocks of color. They also ate many more snacks- which is a story I will save for after the pre-schoolers are done.
Sorry I haven't been posting here or putting pictures on Facebook yet. I have been enjoying being here with a group and have been kept busy with English camp, getting situated, and adjusting my sleep schedule. (I will admit I took a two-hour nap today, and woke-up thinking it was time to get ready for school.)
Continue to pray for our team's health and safety. I have been fine, but some other member's have not been feeling 100%. Pray also for the children we have worked with so far- that they would understand the verse and song we taught and know they are loved. Pray for my time after the team leaves, that my work would continue to be meaningful and that plans for my service routine after English camp is over would come together smoothly, that they would be suited to my gifts, and that God will give me a willing heart, whatever that service may be.