Why Am I Here?

I have had a really rough week.  I have been kind of down on myself, nothing has really felt like it has been going right, and I have encountered numerous obstacles that felt steeper than I wanted to overcome.

Today was no different.  I had a rough morning teaching, and I was becoming discouraged.

Right before lunch, I read my students a fun little story to help give them a break from test prep (end of term tests start next week) and give myself a break from a not-so-fun morning.  Lunch is over and I call my students back into class.

“Madam Olivia, we want to keep telling stories,” my students tell me.

I am a little too quick to oblige, because this means that they get to practice their English, and I just get to sit back and listen.  It sounded like a good plan to me, and who doesn’t love a good story, right?  So that’s what we did.  For the next hour, we took turns telling stories, and it was nice, but I was still feeling really stressed about everything that has been happening the last few days.

And then we got to the last story.

It goes like this:

“There once was a teacher with really long hair.  She moved to Zambia because she really liked working with children and warm weather.  She liked to dance and move and shake her arms when people are getting sleepy.  Sometimes she doesn’t understand her pupils.  Sometimes she makes her pupils repeat things a lot.  She is a good teacher.  She likes us.  She is a good teacher because she is beautiful, and smart, and she doesn’t beat us, and she has a good heart.  That is the end of the story.  It is about you.”

I needed that story.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles come into my life, because if my students think that having me in theirs is worthwhile, than I am right where I belong, even if I have bad days or even weeks in this case.

Chewa Proverb:

Pa thindi (or powirira) nkhwali, mkango uli pomwepo.

Meaning: The partridge is in the tall grass, and so is the lion.  If you want something good, do not be put off by the obstacles and difficulties.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Aunt Susie says:

    Well Olivia, this one brought tears to my eyes. You now know that your students love you for who you are. Keep that in your heart and it will carry you through. You chose this journey for a reason and over time I am sure all the answers will become clear. So proud that you have become so important to your students. Love you.


  2. Colleen Ulrich says:

    Olivia…I too cried when I read this. You are DEFINITELY where you need to be. You are teaching them more than reading and writing. You are teaching them about humanity. What a lasting impression you are making with those beautiful children! Stay strong for them.


  3. Susan says:

    Olivia ~ I think your students have told you that you are exactly where you need to be right now. You are making a difference in their lives and that is something to be extremely proud of. Keep up the good work! Prayers and love ~ Susan


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