Sunday, September 27, 2015

This Makes Me Happy

One of the things I love about our school, is the service learning. Students in Grade 5, and up, are asked to take part in at least one community service activity. There's also a lot of service learning, and connections made within the classrooms.

For several years, one of the service learning programs, has been a friendly exchange between our students and students from the Buguruni School for the Deaf. Students from both schools, have enjoyed a special relationship. Our students have been involved with the Buguruni School for several years and a successful exchange programme is in place. IST students enjoy visiting the school, learning some sign language, playing games and football together. Buguruni students also come visit IST and enjoy sharing food, watching Tinga-Tinga tales, creating arts and crafts and...well...playing football!!!

A few years ago, as part of their personal project, one 10th grade student started a Henna Painting initiative. Many girls from Buguruni have joined the Henna Artist Group.

This year, many of these girls will be graduating primary school. This past Friday, they came to IST to have an art sale. The money earned from the sale will go towards either their secondary school education, or even the possibility of starting up small businesses.  I showed up shortly after it began, and was stunned, to see most of the paintings had been sold!!! While sad to miss out on some great art, I did manage to get one (as did Ethan) and the sight of these gorgeous paintings and these beautiful girls made me happy.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Five Greats

1. International Chocolate Day

Sunday was International Chocolate Day.
Our friend, Katy,
celebrated the day with an amazing chocolate-filled

2. Bagamoyo

Ethan had his first overnight field trip.
He had a great time.
And when he came back the next day,
he went on a playdate.
Guess my boy is growing up!

3. Kheer
Once a month,
my mom makes this incredible
Indian rice pudding.
I love it!
Scott thinks it's too sweet,
and Ethan ....
I don't often share it.

4. Chicken Soup
I'm sick.
Which is no fun.
When Scott's sick,
I'm around.
When Ethan's sick,
I'm here.
When I'm sick,
the world continues.
But I went into the Deli
and whined to our dear Sam,
and she informed me she made chicken soup.

5. Licorice Tea
When you're sick,
you don't feel like doing much.
And while I know I should drink a lot of water,
I just don't feel like it.
This is when licorice tea is great.
You stick a tea bag in your mug,
and all day long,
you keep topping it up.

Kiss of a Demon King - Kresley Cole

While it sucks being sick, the upside is all you do all day long, is sit with a cup of tea and read.

And read is exactly what I've been doing for the last couple of days.

Meet Sabine, Queen of Illusions. Her main goal in life is to survive. After dying many times, and being brought back to life by her sister Lanthe, survive seems make sense. Unfortunately, she is also the half-sister to Omort the Deathless (like he cannot die). Sabine and Lanthe are at his service since he has given them a poison that causes a painful death. Asides from the antidote, the only way to stay alive is to take the poison continuously, which he provides, as long as they do what he says.

Omort's latest request, is for Sabine to capture and seduce Rydstrom, the demon king. But Sabine has plans of her own. She plans to use Rydstrom to help her over throw Omort, and gain her freedom.

Meet Rydstron, the deposed demon king. He is finally within reach of his goal, the killing of Omort and recapturing his throne. However, on his way to meet an accomplish for his quest, he is captured by Sabine and her illusions.

And so the battle of wits begins.

Will Rydstron escape? Will he seek revenge? Or will they realize they really have a lot more in common then meets the eye and work together? But, can they trust one another?


Sunday, September 13, 2015

International Chocolate Day

Did you know that September 13th is International Chocolate Day? Not many people know it. But our dear friend, Katy, from Salt, well, she knows. And she loves this day. Her restaurant celebrates Chocolate Day in style!

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt
- Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Salt in probably our favourite restaurant. And Sunday breakfast is the best. But when you add Chocolate Day + breakfast + Salt you get OMG delicious!!

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment.
- Catherine Aitken

Check out some of her chocolaty goodies she offered.

I could give up chocolate but I'm not a quitter.
- Author Unknown

Ethan enjoyed his breakfast of a gooey chocolate brownie. And it had huge chocolate chunks. Heavenly!

Chocolate is a vegetable. 
Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans.
Beans = vegetable.

I opted for a tart. A salted chocolate tart. I mean really, how can you resist? 

I never met a chocolate I didn't like.
- Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Now, with all these chocolaty options, how can one choose? So we didn't. Ethan opted for dessert. Check out these cookies. Aren't they divine?

Nine out of ten people like chocolate.
The tenth person always lies.
- John Q. Tullius

Now that Ethan and I have gorged ourselves on a wonderful chocolate filled breakfast, we would like to wish you all a Happy International Chocolate Day!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Five Greats

I haven't been good with this. 
And I really need to get back
into remembering my
week's greats.
So, without further delay...

1. Coffee with Lara
Sometimes it's nice to get together
with a mate
and just catch up.

2. Flowers
I came home Monday to this arrangement.

I had some roses on the table
that I got for my birthday.
They were slowly dying.
So my housekeeper went into the garden
and picked some fresh ones for me.

3. Dinner with friends

A friend was passing through Dar.
So a few of us got together for a great evening.
Food, wine and company were all

4. Being a music teacher
I spent the last 3 days this week
covering for the music teacher.
while I'm not exactly musically inclined,
I had a great time!

5. Class party
Ethan and his classmates
are off for their very first
overnight field trip.
So I thought it would be nice
to have a little class party.
Kids, parents and siblings
came over for a swim.
Everyone brought some food to share.
It was a fabulous afternoon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Veil - Megan Chance

The Fianna Triology comes to an end in The Veil, and it offers new twists that, really, you didn't see coming.

Grace has found the archdruid who can help her develop her powers as the veleda. She still hopes he'll provide her a spell that will prevent her death. Her working with the archdruid, also means she's kept away. Away from Patrick and the Fomori and away from Diarmid and the Fianna.

In the first two books, I really wasn't a fan of Patrick. But here, he shines. You see a new Patrick, and you like him. Which is horrible, because how can the triangle work if you like all parties involved?

Aiden grows more in this final book. He is a strong brother, that doesn't allow his choosing the Fianna to affect his concern for Grace. In the end, his family matters, not his allegiance.

Diarmid continues to be the torn soul. Torn between his love for Grace and his love for his brothers. But even as Patrick shines, Diarmid still is able to be the hero you fell in love with.

What was really great about this final installment, was seeing both sides of the immigrant story. We see the reasons why Patrick wants to "save" Ireland, and how the Irish see their new life in America. We see the influence of the Fianna on the new immigrants.

While I love myths, mythology and folklore, I've never been interested in Irish folklore, but I do think that's about to change!