The past few days have been so much fun. I wish I could re-live them! Except in the natural course of life, there is nothing like turning back the time machine. In the movies maybe, but certainly not in real life! Last Friday was The Mad Hatters Ball at Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church. It is an annual event that brings together women to share about their faith, shop and share a meal together. This year it wasn’t a meal though. The menu consisted entirely of desserts and the function was thus aptly themed “The Sweet Shoppe”. I can proudly say I helped Chef Don with the baking. (Sorry people if there were burned cookies. I am an amateur at this stuff!). Also, we said goodbye to Melanie. Friday was her last day of work at the Church. I think it was befitting that 450 women turned up for the event. A resounding success(in my opinion) and I think Melanie and everybody else at the church did an incredible job in getting this event to be as successful as it was. The speaker for the evening, Tasha Levert also gave us a few pointers to think about as Christians. The word of God which she delivered was powerful. 1. God. 2.Jesus. 3. Be Grateful/thankful. 4. Surrender/Take back. I am certainly going to implement those in my life. The Soda Jerks(Dustin, Sean, Dennis, Kenny and the rest of the band) were cool. We women got groovy and shook a few bones before going in for the worship session. We will definitely miss Melanie(I want to be like her when I grow up 🙂 ).
Did I also tell you that for the Mad Hatters Ball we had to wear distinctive hats? There were prizes for the best hats. Yours truly had no hat so I just fidgeted around with a scarf and tied it like a head-wrap(It’s not as sloppy as I thought it would turn out! Good for me!) Also, I won a prize for having travelled the longest distance to be here. I am yet to pamper myself with the said prize.
Today, I had the opportunity to speak to kids at an Elementary school in Dayton, Ohio. It was an eye-opening and life changing experience. Standing infront of 4-5 year olds is one of the most daunting tasks I’ve had to perform as an adult. It was rewarding in the end though. These children are the cutest things ever! There was a little girl called Maggie in the Pre-Kindergarten class, a lovely 4-year old that clung onto me as if she had known me all her life. She was the sweetest, cutest thing ever! When I was leaving, she was so sad and kept telling me, “Don’t go Miss Sarah”. She’s definitely ebbed on my heart!
For all my Communications training, I’d never anticipated it would be so challenging to try to capture( and retain) the attention of Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th grade kids. I appreciated teachers more today. Teachers, you’re awesome. You do an incredible job! Sometimes I wonder if I would be a good mum because I get very impatient with children that are naughty, or rude or just disinterested in learning. Today, I learned humility, grace and how to love unconditionally from the teachers I encountered. It makes me feel horrible for all the times I laughed at my Biology teacher in high school when her wig got stuck in the branches of a bougainvillea plant infront of our classroom and another male Biology teacher had to rescue her by literally pulling all her hair off. Or the times we laughed at a certain male Physics teacher because he kept dozing and coughing infront of us and giggling at another male Physics teacher who was so fat that his trousers never seemed to fit and were always tight fitting on him. I feel horrible that I did those things. It takes such grace and humility to teach I’ve come to realize.
I met a little boy called Steven that has just moved to the US from the Central African Republic. He told us that an alligator attacked him but he fought back with a log and then the alligator ended up swallowing the log.(I don’t understand the imagination of 4-year olds! 🙂 Maybe things happen to them that don’t happen to the rest of us adults!
On a lighter note, I got the kids to dance to Eddy Kenzo(Ugandan artiste’s) new song, “Sitya Loss”. They mimicked the dance moves the kids in the video were pulling. That was hilarious. Here are a few snippets!
I showed the kids power point slides of schools in my village; of school children with no shoes and no desks and no crayons and coloring books. This was an eye-opener to them to realize how blessed they are to have the things and the opportunities that they do! We all need that reminder at some point in our lives so we do not take what we have for granted! In my lesson plan, I included a shot of Karimojong warriors dancing. These young men jump so high it’s unbelievable! I had some of the little ones get up to try and jump like Karimojong. It was an interesting sight I tell you!
I had a wonderful time today with the children and their teachers. Mostly, it was a learning experience for me. When the teachers back home in Uganda strike for salary increment, I understand their plight. They do so much and they are unrecognized for it! Today, I want to say kudos to all the teachers at Ruskin Elementary School. Like all teachers around the world, you do an amazing job! It’s a tough job but you do it well! And that has inspired me. Even though I do not think I have the special grace to be a teacher(I am too strict and impatient), I highly applaud your efforts. I made new little friends. I do hope I sowed a seed in one of their little lives today with my presentation. It would be neat to meet a grown up somebody 20+ years from now telling me that I inspired them.
This Sunday, the preacher spoke about leaving a legacy. It’s been etched on my memory since yesterday. I have been thinking about the mark I will leave when I die. Would I have stood for justice and fairness, would I have loved and shared within the resources that life has given me? Am I living a life that’s worthy of my call? Am I being the daughter, sister, friend, colleague, student that God has called me to be? Will people remember me for the value of life I lived or the discord I sowed? These are things that I am thinking about.
As I go to bed tonight, I will pray to God that life will not treat little Blayer badly! That she will remain the cool, bubbly Type-A little girl that she is, that no bullies in school will make her doubt her self-worth. I will also say a little prayer for my sweet little Maggie, that life will not harden her to make her forget her love of people or to shrink her big beautiful heart. And for all those innocent souls that shared their day with me today to find joy and fulfillment wherever they go in life.