This Tuesday was the last day of school. Most of the students had already gone as the Seniors (year 11-13) finish early to take exams. So, we had prize giving for the Juniors and Intermediates (year 7-12). The speaker opened with the following motivational story. I thought it was a really good message, so I’ll share it here:
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.
A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. No one in the crowd really believed the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
Heard throughout the race were statements such as, “Oh, way too difficult”, “They will never make it to the top”, “Not a chance they will succeed”, and “The tower is too high”.
The tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one – except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult! No one will make it”!
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But one continued to climb higher and higher. This one refused to give up!
At the end of the race, all had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!
All of the other tiny frogs wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it. They asked him how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal.
It turned out that the winning frog was deaf!
I like this story because it demonstrates how important it is to be deaf to the discouraging things that others will say about what you know you are capable of and about what you believe. We should be listening to God for our value and for what we can do through Him.
It’s been really great to be here even for the last 3 weeks of school as it’s given me a chance to ask questions and get to know the other teachers a bit. Last week I went on the year 9 camping trip to Tolaga Bay on the East Coast. It was a great experience and helped me to feel a bit more confident around the students. I was in charge of taking role and making sure everyone was accounted for. I also confiscated a cell phone, which were not allowed during the week.
During the trip we had several activities to try to teach the students about service and being unselfish. We paired them up with other students that they didn’t usually hang out with and had them feed each other a piece of cake. It was interesting to watch. Some of them did very well, and others didn’t. Some of the students practically shoved the cake in their partners mouth and it was obvious that they only really cared about how they didn’t really want to be doing the activity. We gave them a chance to try again the next day during a rest stop on our tramp (hike in NZ) They did much better, with some of the worst offenders the day before excelling to be much more caring. The last evening we discussed footwashing and what it means. 80% of the students at the school are not Adventist and so this was something brand new for them to do. It wasn’t a mandatory activity, but even though many had said they weren’t going to do it, all of them did come and participate. It was a really cool to see them growing.
I’ve posted some new pictures of the trip on Flickr. You can click here to see them, or click ‘More Photos’ on the right of the blog. Be sure to click the title of this blog if you are reading this in an email so you can see the link. I’m still working on finding a car. But, overall feel pretty good about being here. I had a bit of culture shock during the first week. It surprised me because it happened so fast. I was doubting everything and felt very alone. But, thankfully that was over in a few days.
I’ve also put together a video of some footage I took when I flew to New Zealand, as well as from the Tolaga Bay trip. Enjoy! And be sure to click the bottom right corner of the video for full screen. Then press escape to return to normal after it’s over.