Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner

It might be a week after the 'real' Thanksgiving but....
We had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. 

With some Australians, Kenyans, and Europeans
I was the only American :)

We had chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and....
not to forget the pumpkin pie

I am Thankful for the people God has placed around me. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


This is a normal occurrence in my office....
Lots of people doing lots of things: 
- documenting
- writing worksheets
- making presentations
- writing lesson plans
- finding materials
- organizing

Students and staff all together  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vitamin C

Bella has been a bit sick lately. 
I called a vet in America and she recommended Bella to take a small dose of human vitamin C.

So I gave Bella a 16th of 500mg of my vitamin C and I ate the rest. 
I hope with this Bella will get better and we will both stay healthy. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


My alarm is set for 5am. 

This morning about 7 minutes before my alarm went off a rooster had found my 5 hens...
He was crowing so loud way before I wanted to get out of bed. I was not very happy. After about 15 minutes of him crowing I went outside and chased it out of my yard. 

Oh, country life in the middle of the city....

Monday, October 21, 2013


Sunday I ran a race. 
David (in yellow) ran a half marathon and Brian (in black) and I ran a half of the half marathon. 
Before the run. 

It was a long hot run but we all finished
After the run
Now it's time for a shower 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Mornings

- wake up
- open the windows and let the dog off the leash
- make banana bread
- cut Bella's food (she is a picky eater and only eats certain parts of vegetables)
- fed the bunnies the part of veggies Bella does not eat (and pet them)
- got eggs from the chicken's cage
- weed the garden

I live on a farm in the middle of the city :)
I love it

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bring and Take

I called someone and said:

"Please bring the computer to the classroom and take the keys to the office."
Meaning: computer to classroom and keys to office.

All said and done... the computer was in the office and the keys were in the classroom....

I realized that take means away and bring me here.

After we clarified the confusion the computer and keys got to the right spots.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Concert and Play

This is Leila and her brother. They put together a song and sang it. 

 This is a dance crew. 
It contains three of my staff and their siblings. 
They were great. 

Three of my staff were in a play and it was great!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tr. Patrick

This is Patrick. 
He was one of my staff. 
I trained him to be a teacher working with a student with special needs. 

He saw a job opening last week for a teacher at a school by his house. 
Together we practiced interviewing. 

There were 20 other trained teachers and him all interviewing for one position. 

He was the one that got the job! 
Way to go Patrick!! You are a great teacher! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I found out there were 10 horses in Rwanda. 
So, I found where 4 of them lived and went horse back riding!

Brian had never seen a horse that close before and he got right on. 

We even trotted a bit...up and down, up and down. 

It was so cool. I love horse back riding!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I work hard to train my staff to be prepared. 
You never know what will happen so you need a plan A, B, C and a just in case plan D. 

Vicky has learned to be every aspect of life. 
Her students are never sitting still because they are always doing something fun. 

She even is prepared in other parts of her life...

Her sandals broke and it was no problem because she had extra ones in her bag...she did not even need to use my extra shoes I have in the office. 

Way to go Vicky! 

Monday, August 26, 2013


This is Liz, Joel and Dingo. 
They are from Australia and I live with them. 

It was Joel's birthday yesterday so we had a big celebration. 
Was so much fun. 

I am very blessed to have them here in Rwanda with me! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back To School

Last week was our first week with students. It was a bit busy but it went well. 

The start of our second week of school will bring new students and the need to find more TAs. 

Beginning of school is always a big crazy and will still be crazy as long as new kids come. 

Monday, August 12, 2013


It is beautiful. 
The sun set over the hills

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back in Kigali

I am back in Rwanda and back to school.

The start of the school year is always a bit nerve recking but with support of family and friends and knowledge that God knows what He is doing....I think I will be just fine.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Me and my Mom

My mom and I took a day together!
It was full of butterflies, shopping, ice cream and hugs. 

It is always hard to leave my mom but I have to remember that she raised me to be a child of God and I am just following what He has asked me to do. 

I love my mom 

Monday, July 1, 2013


The June Newsletter is out!

Check your email

If you did not get it and want it send me your email address


Monday, June 24, 2013


It is always great to come back to America and see friends. 

There is one friend, in particular, I always look forward to see...


She is growing up so much. 
Emily is going to high school next year! 

Was so fun to talk, play and catch up. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa

It was exciting to be picked up by my grandparents!
(Mallory and Lily too)

They took my to the best Chicago style hotdogs in town, Portillo's...mmmm. 

They are the best. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Heading to Chicago

A week holiday in Rwanda. 

Was so nice to spend the time here.

Now I am heading to Chicago to see friends and family. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cassandra Graduated

Big smiles all around!
Cassandra has worked very hard to get to this point. 

She is taking a year to apply to university and work. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Primary Graduation

Elvis graduated from primary school. 
That is grade 6. 
Next year he will be in secondary school. 

He is way excited but a bit nervous too. 

He will be just fine :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Home Grown Lettuce

I picked some lettuce from my garden and gave it to Bella. 

She loved it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Leila's Graduation

This is Leila. She just graduated from secondary school. 
One chapter has closed and another has open for her. It is scary but very exciting. 

For the next year she will be working with me in the Panoramic Program, helping kids with learning disabilities. Oh, and college searching...

I am grateful God put her in my path. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Green Bean!

My garden is growing big! 
Lettuce and carrots and...

I found a green bean!

Bella is going to be so happy

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Only 3 minutes

We had the secondary teacher put on scarves, glasses and belts all in funny ways. 

We gave them colored pencils that were poorly sharpened and swiggled lined paper

And we told them to do this assignment...

As we blasted the chicken dance song
Lite candles and shook music shakers
My staff walked around 'encouraging' them to do the assignment. 

One person stood in front saying 'The sky is green and the grass is blue' in a low voice.

And at the end no teacher did the assignment correctly...they said it was too distracting.

We then told only felt that way for 3 minutes (one song). People with autism feel like that all the time. Their senses are heightened and it feels like so much is going on. 

We just need to be patient and love them they way they are. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April for Autism

April is autism awareness month. 

All month we have been wearing blue puzzle piece pins.
(the sign for autism is a puzzle piece and the color is blue)
Autism: always unique totally interesting sometimes mysterious
Today we all wore blue to raise awareness. 

You can wear blue this month to raise awareness too. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


He can read!!

I have a student that has learned all his letters, sounds, and started reading with pictures.

This week he was brave enough to read without pictures.

He read the whole book by himself without looking at pictures!

It was so exciting.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stacey in Rwanda

One of my college roommates came to visit me in Rwanda! 
I was so excited I was jumping up and down at the airport waiting for her

We drank lots of tea. 

We also saw Gorillas! 23 of them - it was awesome. 

I am very thankful Stacey was able to come. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


The entire primary school is having a concert. 

Each class is doing their own song but there is one song the whole school will sing together. 

This is them practicing the song

Over 600 students in the gym singing (and then add teachers)...that is a lot of bodies

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Bella eats a lot of vegetables. I thought to help Bella out a bit I would plant some for her. 

I planted green beans, carrots, and lettuce. (well I put the seeds and worms in but Brian did the rest...thank Brian) 

After just one week this is what it looks like. 

I might be a city girl but I can learn to garden...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Students were being vaccinated at school today.

We talked about it with one student and he did not seem to mind...I don't think he really understood what was going to happen.

He walked into the room and sat down. I put my hand over his eyes and held his arm. Then the nurse quickly gave him the shot.

Afterwards he looked at me and said, 'The pen bit me.'

It is true...the needle looked like a pen and it felt like a little bite :) I could not help but giggle a little and say 'kind of'.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Where is Tr. Maddy?

Today, I found the best place to work! 

My office is so busy: students and teacher coming in all the time, getting materials, asking for a pen, getting rewards for good behavior, asking for paper, taking a test, getting keys...

I get so distracted and often I go through the whole day without getting any paper work done.

Today I tried something new. I had so much work to be done, I just had to hide....

Under my desk was the only place I could go. I could be part of the action of the office but no one knew I was here.

My butt may hurt from sitting on the tile ground for 3 hours but what I needed to finished is now done!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Wall....

Last night I got a phone call saying the wall around the house fell down and it was a big problem. I thought it was the bamboo one that we can just prop back up so I did not rush home. 

But when I got home I saw that it was 'a big problem'...
It was the brick wall and it fell right where I park my car. 

The entire wall fell on to the driving way and we could see right into the neighbors yard. 

No one was home and the dog was tied up when it happened. 
I thanked God for the extra work I had to do last night so I was not home when this happened. 
(my car would have been smushed!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I had an old football: it had bulges and was coming apart but that did not matter of the students, they just wanted to play. 

Over the weekend I got a new football...
Oh my were the students excited :) 

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I have one student that likes to ask a lot of questions.

Over the holiday he went shopping with his mom and he asked a lot of questions while they were out. At one point his mom asked why he asked so many questions.

He turned to mom and said, 'Tr. Maddy likes when I ask questions.'

His mom called me after the holiday to thank me for always answering all his questions :)

(It is true, I encourage students to ask questions because that is how they learn)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bella and Technology

Bella decided she wanted to be more technologically inclined. 

So Brian is teaching her how to use the computer :) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentines Flowers

Kwame came to my office door, when he should be in homeroom. 
I tell him to go back to class. 

He said, 'but teacher, I have something for you' with his hand behind his back. 
I walk to him.

He hands me flowers and says, 'Happy Valentine's Day!' and runs away. 

The day before. I was making Kwame do his science that he did not want to do and he looked at me and said, 'I hate you, Tr. Maddy.' 

I said, 'That's ok, we still have to finish.' 

Turns out he doesn't really hate me; 
deep down I am his favorite teacher :) 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

So Cold

So it might not be snowing but it is really cold. 
I have a sweater, a zippy, a jacket and a scarf on. 

And who said Africa is hot....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

White to Black

After spending lots of time at swim lessons I started to get tanner and tanner.

About a week into swimming one of my TAs said that if I keep this up I will turn black by the end of the school year.

I tried to tell him that this is as dark as I am going to get. He gets blacker in the sun.... He was convinced that the longer I stay in the sun, I will turn black.

After a long discussion to the fact that white people cannot turn black, he finally realized that I was just tan.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Swim Lessons

We are learning to swim! 

Shekina learned how to float and went to the deep end.

Manzi swam by himself for 3 seconds! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Staff Members

As the special education program grows we are in need of new TAs.

The current staff took it upon themselves to train the new TAs. 

They did a great job and I think the new TAs are ready for the job. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Traditional Wedding

In Rwanda you have two big wedding ceremonies (among all the little ones). 

There is a traditional wedding called: Gusaba. 
That is Linda and her new husband. 

 At these weddings girls wear traditional outfits called: Mushanana.
It was a beautiful ceremony. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Thank you to all who got together to give me my awesome binoculars! 

I can see all the birds now! 

Today I found one with a yellow butt :) 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This is George. 

George loves to have fun. He always makes you smile. 
(He is the one with his arms in the air) 

This weekend George's dad passed away. 
For those of you that have been following for a while, you might remember that George's mom past away March 2012. 

Please pray George stays strong and knows that God loves him and has a plan for his life. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to School

One of my students came running down the hall so fast that he almost missed the door to my room and had to jump sideways through the opening.

He jumped in and did a little dance as he walked to my desk; jumping and skipping and swaying

He was so excited to be back at school.

Only moments after greeting me he had to run over and greet Bella.

We started back in a great mood :)