So I don't know about you guys, but in my head, in my internal calendar, I set up landmarks to work towards. Typically the weekend is an easy landmark, but I like to have bigger more exciting things in mind. Well, when I don't have those, I have to make little events the most exciting things in the world. That way, I look forward to getting to them.
Well, this week I reach my "exciting" event I've been slogging through the past few weeks towards.
Finals week.
WOO! Made it! And I only had to send a few students to the principals office in the process.
You see, for finals week, we have a special finals schedule.
Two hours a day.
Sleeping in.
No teaching.
Basically, a week of winning.
At least when the next foreseeable exciting event (spring break) just got moved back another month. To May. ouch.
So for now, I am enjoying my spare hours of sleep and creative time, soaking it up as much as possible before jumping back into the hum-drum world of waking up at 7am for classes next week.
This weekend was pretty fun, but as mentioned, I didn't do much of anything. I did snap some pictures of students at church on Saturday though, which I thought I would share. 

Christine, Mimi, and Amar are so stunning! I am amazed by how pretty the girls are here. 

Mimi, Meron, Lin, Achol, and Nyachol at church.  
Nyachol after church. She is one of my psychology students, and such a sweetheart!

This is Bagy, one of the seniors and another of my psychology students. He is great!

Officially the cutest family ever. Nyasha is our computer/tech staff, Mtha you all already know, and Felly is our school librarian. They are so great! 
Our new SM got here! Meet Jordan. He is a friend of Sara and Chris's already, but has fit in super well with our group. And look, has already bonded with the students ;) 
So Saturday night we had two events that took place: our SM Christmas party and then a social for a local holiday with the students.
The Christmas party was hosted by the Deckers, and was pretty laid back but still really enjoyable. Mary made Mexican food (yum!) and Bethany and I both baked some desserts. We did a gift exchange, talked, and just enjoyed each others company.

I baked all the guys cookies for their gift. I gave them on Saturday, each guy got three dozen, and there are now no more left. I think that means they were good... haha

I brought back all the girls pretty things from  Paris! I got Sara a pair of vintage turquoise earrings, Mary got a green amber ring, and Bethany got some yummy French tea. They all really liked them, so my trip was a success!

Phil went to Croatia over the holiday, and while he was there got all of us gifts. He didn't know what to get any of us girls, so the shopkeeper told him to buy these ornament things. Well, it turns out that they are traditional in Croatia to give to your love on Christmas... so we each got one. haha. This is Sara lovingly giving her thanks for the thoughtful gift ;)

Mary played her Ukulele for us, and we just sat around and laughed. It was a good night :)
So apparently there is some local holiday on January 19th every year at which you eat sugarcane. I still don't know the name of the holiday or the purpose of the sugarcane, but I was excited by the prospect! The students built a big bonfire and brought in a cart of sugarcane, which they showed us how to eat. Let me tell you, it was quite entertaining.

So, I had never eaten nor had I encountered sugarcane before. It looks like a big bamboo shoot, which we would break into smaller sections. You would use your teeth to rip strips of the outside bark off, and then gnaw on the stringy core on the inside and suck out all the juice. 

Sara got a lesson from two of our ESL students on how to eat it. She did it before when she was here last time, so she was a bit better than the rest of us. 

I had a hard time with sugarcane. It took me forever to get the bark off, and when I finally did, I would just drip the juice everywhere. I came out of it a giant sticky mess haha. 

Getting fierce. 
After watching us all and laughing, some students finally came to our rescue by giving us pieces of sugarcane that they peeled for us. So all we had to do was enjoy the sugar juice. Well, turns out we can't even do that right haha. It just ended up all over our clothes, faces, and hands. Sara's face here epitomizes the way I think we all felt about sugarcane. 
So I am going to continue on with finals week, attempting to enjoy the bit of extra free time we have. This Friday is January 25th, which is Revolution Day. It is the day two years ago that the revolution really started here, so we have cancelled classes. There may be some rioting around Cairo to commemorate the event, so we are keeping all the students on campus. Instead of classes though, Austin is planning a field day! I'm pretty stoked. Water balloon toss and three-legged race included. It's gonna be good. Also, we are starting "Week of Prayer" on Friday, and have some special guests including SMs from previous years who have flown all the way here to speak for it. Hopefully it will all be enough to keep me distracted from boredom, and we will get some good messages from the week of prayer. I'll keep you posted :)
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