The Tea House
Our team consists of houseparents and young single men and ladies.
We’ve rented a house that we call the “Tea House”. This is where the young men teach their men’s English classes. They teach morning and afternoon classes 5 days a week, and have an evening class a couple evenings a week. The young ladies have a bit different schedule. They travel to the apartments of the students and have English classes with the ladies and children.
Class attendance varies. It can be as low as 5 classes a day, and 10 students, or up to 10 classes a day with 30 students. Since the refugees are still adjusting to life here in America, they have the responsibilities of finding jobs, getting driver’s licenses, getting their children enrolled in school, and more. This means they can’t always attend the classes, but it also gives us an opportunity to walk with them through these stresses.
The ARC Hive
Following is a glimpse into daily life in the ARC Hive (the apartment where our staff lives) and the teaching routine.
Times of rising differ greatly from teacher to teacher. For some, it could be 6:30 a.m. For others, 6:47. And yet for others, 7:29. Group devotional and singing is at 7:30.
The ladies have two morning classes. One class is with a mom of 7 children. A second girl accompanies the teacher to help keep the children happy and well. Challenge of the day for the babysitter: keep young boy from shooting everyone in sight with his lego gun, or pinching baby sister till tears begin to roll. The second morning class is with a 23 yr old young lady. She is the sweetest, most attentive student. She serves the best tea, and a lovely snack of pecans, Ritz crackers, cashews, and a KIND bar.
The young men have a busy morning of picking up guys for class, and teaching various levels of English. They do all their teaching at the Tea House, and enjoy various and sundry conversations with the Afghani men. (Quote: Teacher:”Did you have a good weekend?” Student:”Weekend no good. No girlfriend.”)
There are 2 afternoon classes for the women at 2 different apartments. Most of these students are young mothers with at least one child. So many precious little people to love and entertain! Two nights a week, we have evening classes at the Tea House for both men and women. We serve tea and a snack to the students. The girls who do not teach prepare a craft for the children. On days that we have evening class, student numbers range from 11-30.
The young men have 2 afternoon classes as well, and on days that we have evening class, a total of 6 classes. Every now and then, they find themselves at football pizza with some of their students. Somehow one of the new vocab words of the day, being hungry, brought a sudden longing for pizza. Good conversation over pizza is a wonderful way to establish relationships with the men outside of a class setting.
Evening activities vary from spike ball, four-square on the street, taking 3 mile walks to and from Hiawatha Bridge, an excursion to the river with a campfire and smores and bug spray, much-needed chats with family and friends, singing in the hallway of the apartment (the acoustics are so amazing it makes you sound like a talented vocalist even if you aren't.), or having some chill time to yourself to recharge and rejuvenate.
Overall, every day is a good day. On some days stress levels are much higher than others... and if you find it that way, you've met real life. Come join us, experience hive life, and be blessed.
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