Back to school! (For the first time)

Mambo!

My sister and I have just entered what some kids call a heart-breaking, soul crushing, time consuming, mind numbing environment .....school.  We have enrolled in our first school ever (we were previously home schooled).  It is an international Christian school in Dar Es Salaam called HOPAC, and we have we have almost survived are first month here!

We joined the school just in time to experience their International Day, which I'll explain in a moment.  My little sister has started at a local pre-school and has been making lots of friends, and my parents are tackling learning Swahili.  In just a few weeks, we will be going on our first trip to South Sudan to visit the missionaries there!

The school has been awesome!  I have to admit, we were both a little nervous to start.  We had millions of really silly questions, such as "what's homeroom?"  But it went smoothly, and now we are loving some super cool aspects of going to school, such as hands-on science, which we never got to experience in homeschool!

 As I said before, we made it just in time for International Day!  This happens once a year and everyone says it is the highlight of the school year!  On this day, all of the students and their entire family come dressed up to represent their nation.  Altogether there were over 30 nations represented!  England, Canada, America, South Africa, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Japan....the list goes on and on!!  There is a parade of nations, where each represented nation walks around the gym to their national anthem.
  This is my friend, Vanessa, and I on International Day. (Guess which country I represented!)

The parents had prepared information booths for all of the countries, with interesting facts and pictures.  After that, there were the food booths for all of the countries.  I ate so much....but it was delicious.  I especially liked the South African booth....yum yum!!  It tasted like home.

At the very end, different countries had prepared special performances.  There was a Ukrainian dance, an Indian song, a Korean karate demonstration, and many more.  It was by far one of the coolest things I have ever seen a school put together.
  This is my sister during the Parade of Nations

Natalie has been enjoying her first experience of school also!  It has been a little comical, though, to watch her see new things and to watch her reaction.  At the school, they have the squatter toilets (you know, the holes in the ground?), so Natalie came home one day and said: "Those kids pee on the floor!!!"
                                This is my youngest sister in her uniform, all ready for school!
                             
My mom tried to explain without laughing, but I had no problem laughing my head off.  She has been quite serious about the "homework" they have been giving her, so it is cute to see her doing her doing her homework along with the rest of us.

We have finally moved into our new house!  We don't have our stuff yet (still on a shipping container coming from South Africa)....but we have moved in!!  Now, granted, two of the toilets leak, the water pressure is weird, two of the showers had plugged drains, and when it rains the kitchen floods.  But that is an African house for you!
          It cracks me up when I hear people complain about having spiders around their house.

The house is a lovely three-bedroom home that is in the perfect location for us.  It's close to church, close to school, and close to language learning.  Plus, there is even a little puppy that runs around the complex.  It's pretty darn cute!

As for the neighbor's cat that knows how to open our window, my dad doesn't really appreciate it, and....well, after a few more attempts, it might not live to see the light of day again.

I will try and keep you updated, but I have now discovered the joys of homework, and I don't know how frequently I will be able to write!!
                                                                  Kwaheri! (Swahili for goodbye)




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