These very sweet children (mashahallah) are not the actual kids in this post.
Today is a bright, breezy day in Egypt. I've eaten birthday cake for breakfast. I've laughed and played and enjoyed a relaxing start to my Friday. Alhumdulillah.
While I know I have to start packing for my trip to America, I'm going to be sharing a story with you first.
This was my last week with a group of really wonderful people; my kindergarten class. Together we hugged out problems and learned how to communicate fears, anger and joy. I love them more than any other people in Egypt. Yet, I loved them as a teacher loves her class----somewhat from a distance, as if on a hill which she is encouraging them to climb.
For those who don't know Egyptians, I want to point out that some of those loveys were Muslim and some were Christian. We played in the sand and worked together at the tables regardless of religion. Parents trusted me with their child and more than that---those parents really loved me for how much I loved their child.
Allhumdulillah, I believe those children and those families are better for my efforts. Inshahallah, I did the most I could. May Allah forgive me for any time I could have done better.
May Allah protect them all.
I do love teaching.
On Wednesday morning, I was feeling absolutely void of energy. We'd spent the entire day before rehearsing our show in the theatre. It was therefore, that much more welcomed when I received two very nice notes of thanks from parents (which is always the best gift teachers can get). One note mentioned that a little brother was on the list to come to me next year.
No name was written down for the little brother.
So, I had to ask his big brother in my class. During role call, I asked my student, "Mom wrote to me that your brother wants to be in my KG class next year. What's your brother's name?"
I started to smile, but submerged it as I rephrased and used some hand gestures. "No, that's the big man in your house," I said putting my hand up high. "Who is the little boy at your house?" and I moved my hand down.
I started to laugh and the other children started to titter along.
I decided that I had to switch to Arabic, which I do on occasion for brief moments of clarification.
"Ahuick samahu eh?" What's your brother's name.
"Marafs." He didn't know.
He didn't know. I must not have asked him right, so I asked my Egyptian assistant to step in and say it all right. She asked him and he still didn't know his brother's name. It was hysterically funny!
The class was all laughing. I covered up my face with the attendance book because I was really cracking up.
"You don't know your brother's name?"
He shook his head, "no."
I tried a different tack.
"OK, when your mom has food ready on the table and she wants him to come eat, she yells, 'TA-ALLAH, YA..."
I laughed. "Then 'Ahmed' is your brother's name."
What a funny time.