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Hello friends, and happy Easter weekend!
We have had a crazy month with two sets of guests visiting, as well as continuing with our Kinyarwanda language class two nights a week, and we are grateful that this is actually a four-day weekend for us, due to the Holiday! Last night, we went to our church's Good Friday service. It's rainy season  now, and just after we arrived a giant storm started, with the rain pounding relentlessly on the tin roof overhead. It was hard to even hear the scripture reading, but as he yelled over the sound of the rain, our pastor pointed out how this was a picture of the relentlessness of our sin that Jesus took on in our place. We look forward to celebrating Jesus' resurrection on Sunday with our church family!
In most of our updates so far, we’ve focused in on something that was a little unique that month (the Parade of Nations, Student-Led Conferences, J-Term, etc.). With all of that, you might be wondering, “do you guys ever even teach?” Well, for those of you are educators and understand how hard it is to fit in everything you're supposed to cover in a year, the answer is probably not as much as we need to (especially for those of us (Will) who are teaching AP courses!). I’m kidding, of course, because having all these things we get to do with our students beyond just academics is one of the things we truly love about working at KICS! But, we figured that this month, we would take you through a normal day at school with us. (Of course, as you’ll see, when you live in Africa there’s often something that makes things not so normal…)

We live about a 5-minute walk from school. (Our house is further down this street on the left, kind of where those people in the background are standing!)

We get to school by 8:00am, and school starts at 8:30am. Often, though, there are kids waiting outside the gate when we get there in the morning.

Each morning at about 8:15, our school director will greet all the students at the front door, ask if there are any birthdays that day, give any important reminders then pray to start the day. This is the school lobby, and all of that is happening to the left while Will is on the right side of the picture grabbing some papers he’ll need for mission time!

We start each morning with mission time. Today was a little different as it was the last day to prepare before the second round of Student-Led Conferences. The students were finishing up goal sheets and self-assessments and making sure they had all the things they needed for that! This was also an odd day, because there was an African Union summit happening in Kigali – meaning that, due to 26 African presidents commuting through the city, many roads were blocked off. A lot of students were late that morning or ended up walking (which, in a city as hilly as Kigali, is no small feat). As my  mission group and I were talking about this, Shannon (on the left), casually goes “Yeah, my mom is in charge of all of that.” 

Mission is only 25 minutes and then the rest of the day starts! The way Will and my schedule works out, whenever one of us has class, the other has a planning period – except for 8th grade Social Studies, which we each teach one section of at the same time! Our school also has a rotating schedule that changes daily. On this day, Will started the day with a planning period followed by AP U.S. History, which is made up of seven 11th and 12th graders. They were just beginning the Cold War.

That morning, I saw both sections of 8th grade for Language Arts. We have been doing a Holocaust Unit and have been reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Here we are recapping the previous night's reading before starting an activity about it!

At lunchtime, we get in the line with the students to get our lunch...
…and then we take it down to the teacher lounge to eat with our coworkers. Due to the rotating schedule, it’s often a different group to eat with on different days. Will and I eat together almost every day, though!

Right after lunch, I had my one high school class, American Lit. I only have three students in this class! We were wrapping up a unit on the Harlem Renaissance with each of them giving a presentation on a specific figure and guiding the class through reading a key piece of work by that author. Here, Vanessa is giving her presentation on poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

After lunch, we had our 8th grade Social Studies classes (two separate classes but at the same time!) and they were taking a quiz on South Asia. 

At this point, I was done with classes for the day and was working on grading and prepping for the next day.

Meanwhile, Will had 6th grade Social Studies to finish out the day. He was doing a fun activity with them where they were simulating the feudal system – based on whether kids were peasants, knights, nobles or the king. The peasants started with all the grain (crackers) they grew on the nobles land, but it quickly dwindled as the taxes, rents, and tithes had to be passed on up each level of the hierarchy. This was followed by a discussion on the fairness of the system. 

And at 3:30, the school day is done! We stay at school until about 4, and then walk back home. Like most houses in Kigali, ours is behind a gate. (Unlike most houses, we have a grassy cliff for a front yard and there are 16 steps down from where Will is standing in this picture to the front door.)
That evening we had our Kinyarwanda class – but it was actually a field trip to the market to practice our numbers and fruit and vegetable names. However with the African Union Summit and closed roads making it incredibly difficult to get anywhere, this turned into a pretty stressful thing (what should have been a 15-minute drive took us an hour!) so we don’t have any pictures from that.

So there you have it! This is a good picture of our life - pretty normal routine with some unpredictability mixed in to keep things interesting. We hoped you enjoyed getting to see what it's like here!

Our biggest prayer request right now is for teachers for KICS next year! There are still several open positions for the 2018-19 school year - specifically Secondary Science, Secondary Social Studies, and Grade 2. (You can see all openings HERE.) Please pray that God would bring the right people to fill these roles! And if you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass this on to them, or send them our way so we can answer any questions they might have!

At our staff meeting this week we both received awards. Caroline received the Staff Member of the Month award! Will received...whatever it is that's on his head. This purple hat/wig is passed on from teacher to teacher each month for doing something creative that really engages the students in learning. The middle school science teacher gave this award to Will after students came into her classroom still excitedly debating the merits of feudalism after the lesson from Will's class mentioned above. Next month, Will will choose another teacher to recognize their creativity.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers!
- Will and Caroline
Copyright © 2018 Kigali International Community School, All rights reserved.

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