Thursday, September 18, 2014
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William Arthur Ward
My wife is an inspirational teacher, is now, always has been. Was honored once as “Teacher of the Year” and given an inscribed, golden bell that now hangs on our front porch as a kind of door bell—it’s a good use for it, she says. Anyway, when you love someone as much as I love her, you hurt when she hurts, you get upset when she’s upset, and you smile when she smiles. She started here with one class for teaching English and now sort of teaches teachers, operates, helps with funding, procures teaching tools, and frets over the operation of eight schools not including her first English class that has been producing good English speakers for over eight years now. Add to this that the schools are spread over a large area with bad roads, and the problems just increase. Still, she is sometimes like the man on the old Ed Sullivan Show who spun plates on sticks and when he got the eighth one up and spinning the first one was about to fall and he would run back—you get the idea. The last couple of days have been “plate spinning” days, but she perseveres when I would have given up, and she doesn’t want me to spin any plates because that’s her gift. She’s got it pretty much in hand and will still be meeting with people tomorrow and Monday, but my money’s on her to get it all sorted, and my nerves will be much calmer. John’s original flight to Mwanza was cancelled for tomorrow, so he is flying first to Dar Es Salaam and then to Mwanza getting in very late, near midnight. Shaban and Karen will be going to Mwanza tomorrow to meet with the teachers and a parent or two from one of her schools near Mwanza and will then stay the night in Mwanza, so when John gets in, Shaban can pick him up at the airport and take him to Karen’s hotel. Karen also wants to pick out a paint color to repaint the inside of our house (every ten years, everyone should repaint the entire house on the inside—my sister swears by it), and John wants to do some shopping in Mwanza, so it all will work out. They will come home to Bunda on Saturday, so Benjy and I will just have to wait one more day. If I’m lucky, John can find some taco shells in Mwanza and Saturday night will be Taco Night at the Casa La Wiggins. Oh, and we may be helping with filming the “Jesus” film in a local language in November, and hosting a bishops’ meeting here in October for Methodist bishops. Last year, we had one group here all year. This year, if the filming thing works out, we will have had ten groups here, all about expanding the kingdom and getting clean, safe drinking water in two other countries. Not bad for a couple in their seventies, I’d say. A friend said that Karen’s work with sweet potatoes was so up in the clouds he thought a better word than “agronomist” would be “agronaut.” God sometimes takes us strange places, but we’re always glad we went.