Monday, October 13, 2014

Tan Lines in October!

It's about time for an update!  So much has been happening in the past couple weeks and I will do my best to recap the highlights!

October is the end of rainy season and the beginning of a mini hot season.  Therefore, I have reached a new level of sweat.  For instance, perspiring so much that my fingers begin to prune.  And soaking my clothes straight through with sweat.  The heat in combination with the dry sand makes sweat brown.  But nothing a cold shower can't remedy for a few minutes!

Fortunately, there is more to talk about than the heat. This past week, although a short one, was Spirit Week at Sahel Academy!  Student Council assigns a creative theme for each day, and the students parade the courtyard each morning in their attire, competing for best costume.  The themed schedule is as follows:

Monday:                    No school (Tabaski)
Tuesday:                 Mismatch Day (Wear clothes that don’t match.)
Wednesday:         Cultural Day (Dress like a country.)
Thursday:                   Fantasy Day (Be a super hero or a princess or prince.)
Friday:      Sahel Day (Wear yellow and black.)

While it is difficult to choose, I think my favorite day was Cultural Day.  The parade that morning consisted of colorful garbs from MANY different countries, including Korea, Niger, Cameroon, America, Canada, and more!  Overall, the students did an excellent job of showing their spirit for Sahel Academy by coming up with some great get-ups!  Check out Second Grade:
Mismatch Day!
Fantasy Day!
Cultural Day!

Sahel Day!

At the end of the week, we had an all-school Pep Rally!  The students put together dances, cheers, chants, and songs to get people excited for the Softball Tournament called N.U.T.S., just in time for the week long October break!  Second grade reluctantly led the entire school in a "repeat-after-me" chant taken from the movie "Remember the Titans."  And in the middle of the Pep Rally, the teachers caught everyone off guard with a FLASH MOB!  It was great fun and quite entertaining, choreographed and led by yours truly :)  And after a crazy week of school, and two straight months of teaching with only one day off, I was ready for October break!

I wasn't sure if I would be able to conjure enough gusto for an entire weekend of softball, but boy, I am glad that I did!  NUTS stands for Niamey Universal Tournament of Softball, an entire weekend of Niamey's favorite sport!  The Tournament started Friday afternoon and lasts all weekend.  Imagine crowds of families, students, parents, young and old camped out with snacks and blankets and bleachers, all there to watch and participate!  Teams consist of students, parents, adults, teachers, and whomever else wants to join the fun (even a couple teams from Burkina Faso!)!  I played in the social league with mostly Sahel teachers on a team called the "One Hit Wonders!"

The "One Hit Wonders!"
While softball is not my sport of choice, I can honestly say that after an entire weekend of games, I played 6 total, I thoroughly enjoy softball!  I learned much more about the sport and even had a few good catches, RBIs, and hits!  In one of the first games, I was ready to make a catch for an out, but missed it.  After the play, I looked down and realized that the reason I missed the ball was because it actually went straight through my glove, breaking the strings completely!  Our team had a rocky start, but improved immensely by Sunday and ended up winning in a final game against the "Social Suns," a team consisting of students at Sahel Academy.  I am so impressed with the students here at Sahel Academy.  It was an honor to be able to play ball with them!

The Sahel Suns and the One Hit Wonders after a great game!
We ended the weekend with a banquet at the Rec. Center with chicken enchiladas and cake.  It was a nice way to celebrate everyone's achievements.  I am so proud of our team and the kids at Sahel Academy!  Way to go, guys!

Overall, it's been an awesome weekend of socializing, sweating, swimming in between games, eating oranges, dancing in between innings, and getting tan lines in October!

Here are some pictures with the students at the banquet:


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