Apr 28, 2011

Of a Newfound Guilty Pleasure

So, I have a confession to make.

For the past few weeks, I've been listening to a lot of . . . country music. I know. You don't even need to say anything for me to electronically feel the judgment pouring in waves from your disbelieving face as you read this.

It started out innocently enough. I put a song by Faith Hill on my "Songs for HIM" mix (the song was, "There is Coming a Day." Really powerful). And then I started to listen to more Faith Hill.

And then that somehow snowballed into me frequently listening to Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum (which is not so bad), Tim McGraw, Randy Montana, Keith Urban, and even (dare I even mention? I must) Shania Twain.

There's just something so . . . American. . . about country music. Hip-hop is duplicated in Nigeria; rock is all over; alternative, folk, jazz - they are all common elsewhere. But not country music. Country music has such great connotations of America and open sky and rolling fields and summer barbecues, that I'm really craving that a lot right now.

Right about now you may be wondering how long you have to keep up this now shambles of a friendship with me, but I want you to know - I still enjoy just about every other genre of music. I can hide my newfound respect for country music while around you.

Apr 24, 2011

Of Easter, Benin, and Other Tid-Bits

I have evidently been a very poor blogger lately. I can't believe how quickly time seems to be going. It's been nearly a month since my last post, and I feel as though it's only been days.

Things to catch up on:

1. My fifth graders and I completed Media-Free Week where we watched no TV or movies, did not go online at all, and did not use the Internet. It was a lot more challenging to do here than it would have been in the States, but I still "survived."

2. We have had elections here in Nigeria, which have been . . . interesting. No violence here (although there was some in the North), but the entire country is on lockdown during the election dates (we have had three election dates so far. One more remains). That means no driving anywhere, and the borders are shut down as well. Remember this for later on.

3. This coming weekend, I am going to be hosting my 5th graders at my home for a 5th grade feast. We have been learning about instructional writing. Because the instructions are for cooking something, we are ending with a feast. Everyone will be bringing a dish, and we are going to have a lot of fun!

4. Today is Easter. This is one of the strangest Easters I have ever had, in that it doesn't feel at all like it usually does. Even last year when I was here, I enjoyed going to Church and then having a decent lunch together. We didn't get to Church today (because of what happened yesterday), and I didn't really get to celebrate Good Friday either. Like I said, just . . . strange. I read some of Pastor Piper's poems and that helped a little. Anways, enough about this. You don't need to hear about my atrophying feelings and traditions.

5. We have 5 days off here. Last Friday to this Tuesday. Kyle and I had been planning on spending Friday-Monday in Benin and Togo. Unfortunately, as we found out once we got to Benin, the border would be closed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (for Easter, then Nigerian elections). Hooray. So we spent all that money on the Benin visa and the return visa for Nigeria, only to discover that we could only spend 24 hours in the country. We spent 8.5 hours getting there on Friday, and 7 hours getting home yesterday (Saturday). Suffice it to say that I was not too thrilled about it all. More on the good parts of Benin to come in a separate post.