Back to School/Work

This past week marked the beginning of the school year for the boys. Late last week, we registered the boys and walked through their classes to meet the teachers. After reviewing the curriculum in the 2nd grade class for Brodie and praying about what was best, we decided to approach
First day of school (for Brodie & Jonah)...as you can see, the only way to keep all three close enough together for a picture is to get Jonah to put the other two in a headlock!
the principal about moving Brodie forward into the 3rd grade. She was ok with the idea, but wanted Brodie to take the 2nd grade end of the year assessments to be sure he was where we thought he was.
So we went home and got him, and brought him down to the school where he sat through a 2 1/2 hour test usually given over 3 days at the end of 2nd grade. By far, the hardest part of the test was keeping him engaged the whole time, but he was able to fight through it and did well enough to satisfy all parties involved. Alisha said he was fading fast at the end.
But the first week went very well. We started out thinking that Alisha would go with him for the first couple of days to get him settled, and then we'd transition Dani into the role of his aide. (Actually, it was a big confirmation to all of us as to why Dani was here, as we never could have considered doing this if she wasn't around since Alisha couldn't be
Graysen's first day of school - Junior Kindergarten
'on-call' to help him in the room with Graysen at home most days.) But he did much better than we were expecting, and by midday on Monday, Alisha left him there by himself. For the rest of the week, she checked in on him periodically and with the teacher, but he really had no problems. Dani also went in a few times to be in there with him too, so she'll be ready to be the on-call aide if he's having a tough day. She also has a couple of set times where she will be in his class, and she plans to help out in Jonah's class as well.
Brodie's teacher is a Ugandan woman who is a really good teacher and actually has some training with special needs children and autism, so that definitely played into our decision. Also, Brodie has always done better behaviorally with older kids, and so far that is playing out as well.
Brodie's 3rd grade classroom - Brodie the little tike in the front left


Jonah started 'real' school this year too - kindergarten! It was sad for Alisha to have him going everyday, even though it's just half-day. Another kid entering into the school years - man does time fly. Jonah is doing well, though he's still not convinced that he needs to go everyday.
Graysen is going to 'junior kindergarten' two days a week, which he loves - especially since his friend Liana next door goes the same two days.

Graysen on his new bike Grandma and Grandpa bought him - he's been off the training wheels for a couple months now.


I also returned to work this week after a few weeks off visiting with Alisha's parents and brother and family. It was good to be back, even though the eMi office is very quiet these days. No interns, and a couple of people are on vacation now, so what was an office of 14 just a month ago is now an office of 3 or 4. But I've been able to get a lot done, mainly as it relates to my upcoming project trip in September. I've been working on recruiting volunteers from the States to come on the trip,

A shot of the 'Heart of a Child' project site. The ministry plans to build a medical clinic, primary and secondary schools, and a children's village for orphans on this plot of land (about 20 acres).

but it's been challenging to find people. It seems the Fall season is always the hardest to recruit for since everyone has just taken vacation time during the Summer and aren't really in the mood to take 2 weeks off for a missions trip.
I also visited a site for a future project and helped the ministry do some preliminary planning for some work they'll be doing before the eMi team arrives. I'll include a couple of pictures from the site so you can see

eMi staff member Janet walking the site with the ministry representative Kenneth

what some projects look like here before we help them build their vision.
In other news, I got my boda (i.e. motorcycle) license finalized, so in a couple of weeks I should have my official license. For now, I have a 3 month permit so I am finally legitimate on the streets of Kampala in both car and boda.

Before he left, Grandpa and Jonah built a birdhouse from scratch. It was Jonah's idea and he planned it all out and picked out the paint. Grandpa provided the know-how.

Graysen turned 4 on August 9th.
Also, we are tentatively planning a furlough to return to the states towards the latter part of January for 4 or 5 weeks. We still have to work out the logistics of getting plane tickets and all that, but we're hoping to work that out in the coming few weeks! We are so excited to actually have a tentative date in mind for when we will get to come home and see our friends and family! I think it will also be a good opportunity for us to go home and get our minds regrounded, then come back here and see if we feel any different about our future here.

Jonah and the finished project

Comments

Traci Morrow said…
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT ALL!! :)

I love when you update, Brad. :)

But...it does make me miss you guys more.

xoxoxo
Aunt Ta! :) +7
Heather said…
Hey Y'all!

Oh, it was so nice to read your blog and "feel at home"! It sounds like the boys have transitioned well to the new school year. It's kinda sad to not be there, but I know God has me where he wants. I'm still teaching first grade - in Dillon, SC. Take care and tell everyone I said HI!
~ Heather
Emilie said…
So, I got an new email address. Yahoo ate my old one. :(
It is emiliesampson@yahoo.com. I think we need to skype this week. We miss you something fierce! ;)

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