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Welcome New Malawi Montessori Project School Teachers!

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Welcome Tisu Mwanza and Gladys Mnunkha Banda! Our new teacher and teaching assistant began on Monday. I am greatly blessed!
Peace and Love, Maribeth

I am truly blessed!

Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dear Friends and Family,

I am truly blessed! Thank you to the beautiful and powerful Malawi Acts III Impact Team that demonstrated such bold love and unwavering commitment to travel with me to Blantyre, Malawi. My heart is full of gratitude for your love in action! The Malawi Montessori School has been established and will begin teaching children in two weeks. I hope to hire two women, Tisu (as a teacher) and Gladys (as a teaching assistant) this week. I observed them teaching the pastor’s children at our school yesterday and I was overwhelmed by their love, gentleness, and true effectiveness as teachers. Team! They remembered even the smallest nuiances and details of Montessori teaching. You all would have been so proud! We begin with the pastor’s children (15 students) and then begin to add children who are orphaned. Many of the pastors and members of this community have adopted children, both their relatives children and other children off the street. That is the spirit of this community. They see a need and they seek to make a difference, even with the smallest amount of personal resources.

Due to the effectiveness of our teacher training, there is a great demand for continued training. Teacher and orphan care center workers would like teacher training, English Language Development Instruction, and computer instruction. I am actively recruiting! Let me say this again. I am actively taking names of those committed to making a difference here in Blantyre, Malawi and the beautiful township of Ndirande. Dates to consider: October, Dec-Jan, March-April or mid June.

We accomplished the establishment of the school and six intensive days of teacher training because of partnership, team, and lots of prayer.

There is a beautiful song that plays on the radio. It is my favorite. It goes like this. “I believe that love is the answer. I believe that love will find the way.” Love in action is the key to making a difference for the future of these children and this community.

Thank you to my beautiful team and to all of our sponsors! Thank you to my amazing friends and family that remind me of who I am. Peace and love from Malawi! I promise pictures of our new teacher and assistant soon. Meredith, the team has pics of our teacher graduation and the team upon completion of the project. Can you add one or two?

New Pictures from School

Posted on Monday, July 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dear Friends and Family,
Take a look at these new pictures from Monday, July 7 of the teacher training here in Malawi. Eileen began instruction in Language Arts in the morning using the sandpaper letters created here in Malawi. Malawi sand! Kim Yeager completed the afternoon with the colorful Botany curriculum she created specifically for Malawi. She gathered flowers, roots, etc from the Children’s Home grounds for her hands-on science instruction. Ladies, never have I seen such loving and creative instruction! Rose, Caitlyn, Kim, and Eileen are preparing for more Language Arts, Zoology, Geology, and Ecology today and tomorrow! Love, your very grateful and outrageously inspired Team Leader, Maribeth P.S. Kim Z, if the President of Malawi comes to the official opening in Oct. you and the girls better come! (smile)

P.S. Everyone is busy creating materials and supporting the training using their special gifts! More pics later!

Malawi Montessori Teacher Training

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dear Family and Friends,
This is one of the most beautiful things we have ever been honored to be a part of! We alternate between crying, laughing, and bursting out with outrageous joy. We are feel honored to be a part of the creation of this Montessori school and to have the opportunity to train these committed teachers.

The classroom is complete and we have finished three days of intensive teacher training. Laura, Lindsay and I taught practical life, sensorial, and math the first three days and Rose, Kim and Eileen will teach cultural studies and language arts next week. We have 14 teachers in the training and each day since we have begun more teachers have come. We have had to turn them away, some in tears, because they hadn’t been clear about the start time.

We promised another training sometime in September or October. Do you hear that my Montessori teaching friends??? My public school teaching friends??? I am not training alone, so you better visit! Resource a school, an educational community, and hang out with me in Malawi, Africa. Hey, I can’t think of a better way for you to spend a couple weeks in September, December, April, or early June. I am taking sign ups right now! Each person on the team is using their special gifts and contributing so much. Brice, Josh, and Josh Yeager are building and wrecking things, depending upon the project (smile). Patty, Rose, and Caitlyn have been irreplaceable as our set up crew. Sarah and Jean have orchestrated all the tasks behind the scene that it takes to put on a six day training. They have prepared the environment, greeted and built relationships with all the teachers, and prepared the meals.

There is such a hunger for teacher training here. Our Malawian teachers in training are so focused, taking detailed notes, and participating fully in all the lessons. I have been shocked at the speed and accuracy of their learning. I still cannot believe we are here, that we brought an entire Montessori classroom with us in our luggage, that we have set it up at the orphanage and are now training in this beautiful classroom. As I type this I am completely moved by how extraordinary this is and the magnitude of what is being accomplished in such a short time. You are all part of this accomplishment. I will share a couple of memories from the training and then you can see the pictures below.

On Thursday we shared some songs that we sing with the children during circle. Then we asked the Malawian teachers in training if they would like to share some traditional songs with us. One of the teachers had Josh’s guitar that he brought and began to lead everyone in song. In 10 seconds we were all on our feet, singing and dancing around the entire classroom to the most heavenly music I have ever heard. I looked at Laura and we both started to cry. Music comes out of their souls here. It was as if the angels in heaven were singing. We sang, clapped, laughed, and danced for 15 minutes together- one community, one people- we became family in that moment. We love you all! We thank you for supporting us to make a difference for these children and our Montessori teacher in training.
P.S. Part of our team went on a short Safari to see the beauty of Malawi. We will add pics soon.

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