Friday, September 16, 2022

One Crazy Morning at ESL Class

     It was a hot and sticky morning. (That's like a dark and stormy night, right?)

     I arrived at the church where we hold English classes to find construction equipment and men all over the roof over where we normally hold classes. I had been warned that they were eventually going to begin fixing the roof, but since it had been expected for several months I had been lulled into complacency. Maybe they were just up there and we could still be in the rooms? 

     No. The noises from overhead were terrifying enough that I wasn't comfortable in the rooms, let alone my more sensitive and traumatized refugee women. As black debris began trickling through the ceiling tiles like the sand in a sinister hourglass I made my decision... we couldn't have classes in those rooms! 

     So I called my director, considered having class outside but it was 90 degrees and humid (see, there was a point to that first sentence!), and finally ended up setting up class in a nearby hallway. It wasn't ideal and it wasn't quiet, but it would do. 

     That was the first adventure of the day. You that would be crazy enough didn't you! 

     I rushed to test new incoming students, welcome ladies in, and direct them where to go (since it wasn't our normals space). Several volunteers were out for illness, other obligations, or hospitalization! Then, one student's husband ran into the fence damaging it. While dealing with that (he was very apologetic) the construction crew approached saying a car had been parked where they needed access and could it get moved right away, please? 

     My volunteers stepped in to greet at the doorway, give registration tests, find the driver of the car that needed moved, and combined classes to give every student a place to be.

     When classes were fully underway and all the testing had been finished, I went and found the room of kids, most of whom were crying. So I sat and held a few of them for the remaining class time and thought, yeah, some days are rough and just I want my mom, too. But we all survived and are doing well... even the one who was in the hospital!