Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hut class update

I was asked to write an article about our hut class, so while I was editing the photos to submit to go with it I thought I would post some of them here and give you all an update!

This class of women continues to be one of the highlights of my week. I love going to the classes twice a week and to meeting with some of the women at other times as well for conversation, tea and good fun!

Here is Miriama, one of the teachers, writing on our little blackboard.

With the help of some of our supporters, Miriama also just recently completed an intensive beginners computer course and she hopes to continue classes soon so she can have marketable skills to work in an office and help support her family!

meand miriamaweb

The joy of working through a short story and realizing that reading is not out of your  reach!

    

Practicing writing the letter of the day, both on their mini-blackboards and in their notebooks.

Sounding out letters in class. Each girl takes a turn at the board and sounds out the letters and words. The class is so supportive, even with those who really struggle. I am so pleased it is a safe place where they are not afraid to try, but they all sound out what they can and the others clap and cheer them on through the hard parts.

Another teacher (Asku – pronounced Ash-koo) volunteers 3-4 times a week with both the women’s class and with the kid’s homework class.

  

Two of the cute little kids who live in the yard where the hut class is built. The boy on the right attends school and gets help with his homework at the kid’s class. Little Tahi on the left is no longer too shy to see us and comes and sits right next to Rebecca and I during class sometimes.

Some of the girls. (It says hutte classe because we are French based!)

 

The whole class!

HUTCLASS01_resize

Every week I look forward to my time teaching these ladies (and learning alongside them!) The class is also great help to learning Tamasheq! After Christmas we are cancelling “hut class” one Monday and having “hut party” at my place! We hope to make a meal, play some Tuareg music and have them show us their dance moves, and to share some photos of our own families (and learn more about theirs) and share what Christmas is all about!!

 

On another note, I have been thinking a lot lately about impact. I have gone to several meetings lately about the upcoming famine in the country and been sitting amongst representative from FAO, World Bank, Unicef and many other huge Aid Organizations. Sometimes I think “wow…i really don’t even deserve to be sitting at the table with this calibre and size of groups!” If they ask about projects and we say we have one canteen feeding program, we are miniscule in their scope of work. Or one literacy project, or one goat loaning program in one village. It is easy to feel small and insignificant, both in size of impact and ability to spread out programs and work with people. But then I also look at it that we may one have one canteen for example, but that one project means a whole lot to that village. And we are learning to speak their language, we camp out with them, share meals and share life. We don’t arrive to see project progress, discuss funds and then leave. We care. We stay. We love. Impact isn’t always in the numbers and it is good for me to always remind myself that God sees the heart. He knows that to this small group of women in the hut class, my “miniscule contribution” in the eyes of others, is very important for them. And they deserve everything I can muster to give them.

As Mother Teresa said “ what we are trying to do may be just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

We may be small, we may be inconsequential to the big players here, but I do believe we are loving these people the best we can. And that’s all God wants from us.

 

Chantelle

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Amen to Mother Teresa's statement. I get excited about what you kids are doing over there. You need to know there's hearts back here that know you are making an eternal difference in this region. One life one family one village - and let's not stop there...One Country! Thank you for the impact you are having in the lives of these impoverished yet soo valuable people. The women look so focused and hard-working. Bless them all. heather

judy said...

I don't know what to say! I feel like there are many things I should say to cheer you guys on in your work, but nothing profound comes to mind! Just be assured that your work is blessed, and you are for sure making a HUGE impact in the lives of those villagers you work with. They are such wonderful looking people, that I am sure they must be even more wonderful in person! God continue to bless you all!

Judy