Sunday, July 31, 2011

See, listen, learn.

Sunset, Nyanga Mountain Range Foothills (Moz side)
July 30, 2011.

A friend and I were passing bit of time yesterday late afternoon while waiting for the intensive seminar's grad ceremony to start. Turns out we were in the right spot at the right time to see a perfect sunset...except for the tall grass.

I've photographed sunsets here many times over the years. Usually the fields are clear so there's a clean shot of the sun. Not this year though. This summer the fields weren't plowed, and this winter the brush fires haven't swept through yet. So the grass stands tall, proud, and imposing. Rather in the way, depending on how you look at it.

Intensive Seminar week is always just that: intense! With about 50 monitors here there was quite the hum of activity. In the past, I've had more of a support role during these times. I'd make the odd health presentation and help with logistics, when needed. But now that the health course has been fully developed, I teach that.

So this week it was up and out of the house and in the car early to head to where the seminar was being held. One morning, we had to stop along the way to buy bread at the Pina Community Bakery. It was early, and cold!

Cute little Pina onlookers

Pina Community Bakery

Joao and Matthew with one of the bags full of hot buns.
I bet the monitors were anxious for those buns.

By the looks of it, Dwight was too :)

Our vehicle was pretty full, so 4 of the guys had to crawl in the back, two of them in their suits! And still they smile...such good sports.

General session with the monitors. They study the course material at home then attend the seminar to complete the classroom component and write their exam. When these men finish their courses this week they will return home and present the course to other pastors. These 50 monitors represent, and will return home to teach, about 1000 pastors.

Here Bero carries the hot bread rolls to the kitchen. He's a sponsored student in secondary school but doing winter-break volunteer work during the intensive seminar.

Some of the other older sponsored boys, lik Mateus, help in the kitchen and haul water.

The school cook, Pastor Tome.
Kids are off school right now on winter break, so this gives us the opportunity to use the school and school kitchen for the seminar.

Bero chopping firewood. Food is cooked in huge pots on an open fire.

Kitchen and tents.

There aren't enough classrooms to house all the separate sessions, so some are conducted outside under trees.

Boy do we ever need our training center!

Some are held inside where there's cute artwork on the walls.

Leila Frank held a session with the monitors to do some brain-storming
for topics for a future pastoral counseling course.

I got to use the preschool corner for teaching the health course.

Celestino took 2 of the sessions: hygiene and sanitation. He's a good teacher who doesn't pull any punches!

I decided it was a great time mid-week to hand out some glasses that had been donated. I was with my class at the time this elderly gentleman received his, but apparently when he put them on and realized he could read his Bible he literally jumped up and down for joy exclaiming, "I can see! I can read!"

During some between-session down time, Ernesto and I hung curtains in the clinic.

Not perfect yet but it'll keep the hot sun out in summer and limit the "peep-show" from the veranda too.

At the end of a long week of study, when brains are about as saturated as they can get, exams are written and the grad ceremony is held.

This seminar's grads. They've completed 26 courses over 6 years. Congratulations!

This young man was recently selected by a local community church to fill a pastoral role. This week he completed his first 2 courses.

And last but not least of the excitement this week was what happened with Sr. Andreas (below). We've known him for 15 years. In fact, he was probably the very first man I met out here in the "bush" (as we call it here). He helped look after us when we were "newbs", living in tents and contending with bugs, snakes, no water, etc.

This week he came to the clinic saying, "Senhora, I need help with my ears. Some 'junk' needs to be taken out of them so I can hear." A quick look with the otoscope revealed nothing but nice, glistening, healthy ear drums. No "junk" at all. According to him he has progressively become hard of hearing and can hardly hear someone talking 2 meters away.

It was more than coincidence that just a few night previous I'd discovered a pair of hearing aids along with the donated glasses. So yesterday I took them to him to try out...

(hearing aids in, smile on)

After we had the hearing aids in place, I stepped about 6 meters from him and said at normal volume:

"Sr. Andreas, I'm talking to you now. Do you hear me?"

"Yes Senhora! I hear you very well!" He boomed back with a huge smile that went from ear to ear.

"There will be a bit of learning in order for you to use these things. I'll try to find some glasses for you too so you can see those small things better to work with them. Are you up to it over the next week?" I asked.

"Yes! I can hear, so I'm alive again. I will learn to use them!"

So I guess my next week will be a busy teaching week too, albeit minus the pomp and ceremony of grad.

If Sr. Andreas can learn to put his own hearing aids in though, I rather expect a jump or two, a bit more booming, and a few more big smiles, too.

1 comment:

Keren Louise said...

Great photo of Andreas, Lynn, though I must say that my favourite shots from this post are the ones of Bero using his arms!