When the Teacher Whispers


In Tsonga, the word for “word” as well as “voice” is the same–rito. (So John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Rito.”) Well, this week I had lots of words to say, but no rito. I had complete laryngitis Monday through Wednesday, and only part of a voice the rest of the week. Good practice in self-control! I couldn’t yell at the kids even when I wanted to.

Seth came through for me for Bible and our read-aloud for science, The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad (which title is oxymoronic isn’t it?). I was very grateful since it was all I could do to whisper the phonics lessons for the day. Little pitchers only have big ears when they want to. :/


Caleb and Colin still completed a great amount of work this week in school however. Colin has begun, somewhat unknowingly, to read a few words! He also knows how to form (messily) most of the letters in his name. Today he participated in our drawing lesson when we tried to copy a page from The Carrot Seed. The curved lines on the little boy were harder than I thought, and he hadn’t had the foundation in drawing lessons that Caleb had. Still I thought his goblin-ish sketch was cute.

Caleb's on the left (it was better before he colored it), Colin's in the middle, mine on the right.

Caleb’s on the left (it was better before he colored it), Colin’s in the middle, mine on the right.

IMG_0719This week we were looking for an amphibian to draw for our nature study. We were looking for a frog, but even after a rainy weekend couldn’t find any. So we looked for a lizard, having studied reptiles last week. That might be a hard task for most people, but we have several lizards in our house and often experience a sighting daily. (One time we watched a lizard kill and eat a moth on our window at night.) Of course this week, we didn’t see even one until Thursday, sunning himself in our window. So we caught it, and the boys drew it! Thankfully it wasn’t scared enough to lose its tail. Yuck!


IMG_0687In history, we finished learning about the Punic Wars, including Hannibal and his elephants. I made these Easy Elephant Ears as dessert for our pizza dinner (pizza’s Roman, right?) I joked that the boys needed elephant ears just to hear me–but they didn’t hear my joke. Then we moved on to studying India. Tonight Seth and the boys are going tiger hunting, like the ancient Indian kings.

We have been back from America four weeks, and each week I have concentrated on teaching Callie to do something I normally teach my two-year olds. The first week we took away her pacifier. The second we began toilet training, and the third, to drink from a real cup without a lid. This week I started teaching her to dress herself and was so surprised that she gave the most pushback to this lesson as compared to all the others! We haven’t made much progress with the fourth lesson, but the other three are going well.

Up close and personal!

Up close and personal!

Carson accomplished a cold and two more teeth this week. And to match the status quo, Caleb lost a tooth yesterday.

It tired him out!

It tired him out!

Seth was asked to be a “board member” of a social work starting up here in the village for mentally challenged people. He might have stemmed millions of rands in corruption just in one meeting with the other board members discussing the budget! πŸ™‚

He also was asked to publicly pray for the high school seniors at the government school, as they are about to write their final exams. He had to refuse, because they asked another false teacher known to us to preach beforehand; the prayers are also seen as a fetish to “bless” the kids with good grades, regardless of their study efforts. He took the time to go personally to speak with the principal and a head teacher to try to explain Romans 16’s applications of separation from false teachers. God blessed his efforts, and we hope that rather than being completely misunderstood, we were not only understood for our position, but also supported, and were a testimony to the school’s leaders. One of our youth is in the 12th grade, however, and he was disappointed (yet understanding) that Seth wouldn’t be there.

Finally, we had an encouraging, lengthy time of fellowship Sunday afternoon with an entire family who came to dine with us after our morning service. We would be so blessed if they would join our church. It would be the first time since dear Mzamani’s passing in 2010 that we’d have a husband and wife as members in our church. Seth has a Bible study with them tomorrow. They live a half hour away in town but faithfully drive out every Sunday to church.


How was your week?

About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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8 Responses to When the Teacher Whispers

  1. Looks like a great week, despite the lack of a voice!

  2. Tammy Doiel says:

    Your week was busy as always! I’m glad you’re getting voice back! We will pray for this family.

  3. Lois Ruley says:

    Thank you for your faithful postings ~~ We will pray for this family and that you will continue to enjoy your school lessons together ~~ great drawings~

  4. Kudos to your husband for taking that stand. It is hard to stand against the cultural norms but I’m sure his stand will bring fruit and growth. I pray God blesses your work there!

    On another note I can’t imagine just catching a lizard to observe, a frog, butterfly, dragonfly, yes, but no lizards for us here in Canada! πŸ™‚

    • Amy says:

      Thank you for your kind words and prayers! I knew catching a lizard would be funny to some! We can’t find dragonflies here, though. πŸ˜‰

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