Through English classes, I usually end with a story. During the story, “Jesus Calms the Storm”, I realized the kids had no context for a boat.
After a toy boat was produced, I had the kids guess at it’s function. “Umm, is it a shoe?!” They held it upside down. I tried to describe a boat’s function. Nothing clicked. So, we pulled out little toy figurines, filled a tub with water and floated our toy boat.
As Jon and I talked, we decided that having a lake only 20 minutes away was a very easy opportunity to let the students not only see a boat but also experience it.
We hadn’t fully thought through the fact that this was also the first time the parents or children had also seen a lake. One child asked as we hiked down to the crater lake, “Is it clouds?” It was so fun.
We barely got the mother to board but as we slowly rowed out, there were huge smiles. We were way more excited than the others about monkey and rare bird sightings. Monkeys here are kind of like seeing something as exotic as a squirrel.
Then we picnicked in a beautiful spot with the sun filtering through the trees and told stories.
The next Saturday, we repeated our adventure with another family. The mother stayed home as (aforementioned naughty) monkeys were getting into their barley crop, so someone had to stay back.
This group was profoundly more nervous.
Loading the boat was met with little exuberance.
We had a fun visitor from Addis who was hanging out with us doing some research while his wife and daughter are in the USA. The girls loved his time with us and monopolized every second of his non-sleeping time.
Zody made it aboard the boat but at it’s first rock, that strong little woman jumped off. Her brother followed her ashore. We talked him back into the boat but Zody would not be convinced so we kept our feet on solid ground.
They held on to their dad the whole time.
Until the oldest son got a chance to “captain” the boat. The mood lightened and relaxed.
We picnicked again
Combine a body of water with a family we love and memories built and I would call it a near perfect Saturday.