Peace Doves: Grade One at Makassed Khalil Shehab School

Click this link to hear the Bridge of Peace Song: "We Are Walking a Bridge of Peace"

We can hardly wait to hear from our new friends in Zambia. Our letters were delivered by John Farrell on October 15 to first grade teacher Kate Bidder at the American International School of Lusaka.

American International School of Lusaka

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An email from our partner class:

American International School, Lusaka
Hi Mrs. Arnett and the grade ones in Colorado,

I met Mr. John Farrell last week while he was working at our school here in Lusaka. He
gave the keynote address to help open our African International Schools Conference. He
spent the better part of two days with a small group of our students giving a workshop
and helping them prepare to support him with a couple of his songs that he performed on
the opening night of the conference. The children enjoyed working with John and learned
a great deal about his newest project Bridges of Hope. He has updated his blog
with some really interesting stories about his time here in Lusaka.

My husband and I attended two of John's workshops on song writing during the conference.
We enjoyed his energy and welcomed the opportunity to become part of his pen pal program.

We are also on our term break and will be back at school on October 26th. I am looking
forward to sharing your letters with our students and will hurry up and get them to
write back to you. I wonder if you are okay with us writing the letters and then I can
scan them and email them to you as jpg's. The post from Zambia is incredibly
unreliable. We could start with the first letters being sent by email then I can try
to have someone post letters in the near future or at the very least will post letters
to you from Canada while we are visiting in December.

Just so you know a little bit more about us. Our school has just over 600 students from
the ages of 3 to 18. We have children from over 40 different countries represented in
our school. Some are Zambian, while the majority come from elsewhere and are generally
living in Zambia for a short while with their parents who work for embassies, aid
agencies and small businesses. In my class this year, there are 12 languages spoken and
only 15 children! This is a little unusual but not completely out of the norm for an
international school like ours. We have fun during circle time counting in these
languages and greeting each other differently each day!

This is the second international school where I have taught. First I went to Moscow,
Russia for three years with my husband and our three girls. Then a year ago we came to
Zambia to teach. Before Russia we were in Canada in the province of British Columbia and
on Baffin Island in the far North. We love to teach and travel and thought teaching
internationally would give us the best of both worlds!

We just completed a unit called Snug as a Bug! During that unit we learned all about
insects, arachnids and molluscs. We found a cocoon while we were visiting a plant
nursery nearby that we kept in our classroom. We witnessed it change from the cocoon in
to a caterpillar then a butterfly. One of our students is really good at finding and
capturing little critters. He brought in different species of praying mantis each week.
We kept them in the class for a couple of days and then would let them go again. We
tried to make an ant farm but it didn't work so well. We have so many ants in Africa
that we decided to observe them in the trees and in the ground where they prefer to live
rather than make our own farm! Maybe we can send you photos of our little critters and
you can send us a photo of the monarch butterfly you raised?

We will be working on two different units after Christmas where we will study shelters
and geography and then another one investigating where our food in Zambia comes from.
The children will likely be going on a field study to some of the local villages around
Lusaka. Here in Zambia many people still live in mud huts with grass roofs that they
construct themselves from the materials they find on the land. We hope to investigate
how they construct their homes in a village. We can maybe share what we find out with
your class.

The children here have not all seen, nor experienced snow. Last year I had a child who
was from Denmark (a place that gets a great deal of snow) but because he has only ever
lived in Zimbabwe and Zambia and has never travelled to Denmark in the winter he has
never experienced what its like to be in snow. Our children here would love to hear more
about the activities you like to do in the snow and what kinds of temperatures you have
during the winter months.

It is well passed my bedtime here in Zambia! Not sure which time zone you are in but I
suspect that you are just waking up. I will sign off now and look forward to getting to
know you all more soon,

Take care,
Mrs. Bidder (grade one teacher, AISL)