Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Join us! on September 2, 2010 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Quigley Pastoral Center 835 North Rush Street Chicago, IL
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sometimes I feel like I'm not very grateful for what I have... I believe that working on this blog, has made me a bit of a better person, and also got me thinking about how little Nigeria has, but what joyous spirits all the children have. We complain that we don't ever get what we want, when it really matters about what we need. For example, here in schools, we have books that will help us understand what the teacher is talking about or even books that teach us the concept of the subject: math books, science books, social studies books, etc., etc. In Nigeria, children don't have the books we use. If they even have any school books, they are VERY, VERY outdated. The books are so old, they might even have wrinkles!
Another example is that the children don't have lunch at school. Here, kids whine about not having a long lunch/recess, or that we don't have enough time to talk to each other. Children in Nigeria are there to LEARN, if they choose to interact with each other, it's outside, not during class. Maybe we should get some teachers from Nigeria to come here to our schools and teach us a lesson... WHACK! There goes that stick again!
Now as I finish this post, I really think that I should go to Nigeria soon (and this time, i'm not figuratively speaking...). As I write more for this blog, I feel attached to helping Nigeria. Now is the time for you to start helping too...OR THE STICKS WILL FIND YOU!!!!! (Please do not feel intimidated, it really doesn't hurt that much!)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
If you get into a small space, maybe even with many people, do you get claustrophobic? Let me tell you this, if you DON'T, then you're lucky you don't know how uncomfortable the feeling is... The classrooms in Nigeria are SUPER DUPER small and they hold over 60 children! Maybe you older readers can think back in the days when you were in school and had that many kids in your class. In the classrooms in Nigeria, there's a long narrow desk along with a long narrow bench or multiple chairs next to each other. Even though they may be cramped together, the children still listen to the directions given by the teacher. If not, then WHACK!!! The teacher pulls out her stick and spanks the children! No wonder the children are so obedient (at least most of them)! The ones that don't, well they know what's coming for them... All we have is the "book of responsibility," detention, demerits, or a "conduct book." Keep in mind that here, if a student has to go to detention or write in "the book," that's not painful! Unless of course, you got into some kind of fight and you got a nose bleed, but let's not go THERE. Who ever knew a stick could be so violent?!?!?! Ouch!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Uniforms... The one thing that most students who wear them, dislike about school. If you ask a student that wears a uniform to school, how they feel about wearing one everyday, they will most likely say that they wish they didn't have one or they wish they could wear their own clothes. I must say that I am one of those students... Fortunately, there are kids that don't complain about wearing a uniform and they have it hot everyday of the year! Nigeria, Africa is hot everyday of the year, and for kids there, it's a requirement to wear uniforms in all the schools. Kids go to school on a scooter or by foot in the scorching sun wearing uniforms! Here, we don't even think about walking more than a mile to school, where in Nigeria that's what children do. Also, most schools here have 1 or 2 colors to their uniforms. In Nigeria, every single school has a different uniform, having all different colors! Just imagine, if you line up children from each school in Nigeria next to each other, the line may end up looking like a rainbow! How pretty and awesome would that be?! TOTALLY AWESOME! We complain about wearing uniforms to school, but we don't have to walk to school for miles in the sun everyday. Also, the children in Nigeria have such a good spirit. Their smile just warms your heart... I'm actually jealous of the children in Nigeria for their colorful and beautiful uniforms! Maybe I can order one...?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you were born in another country? I know, difficult to imagine, right? This summer I have an opportunity to find out and so do you. Let's start with why I'm doing this. I'm getting confirmed next year and I needed a service project during the summer. With the help of my lovely neighbor, I've decided to contribute my new knowledge of Nigeria and it's schools to this blog. I may just be an 8th grader, (as my fellow blogger said below) but I have a lot to say about what's happening in a country I've never been to... Also, a big part of why I became a blogger is because a few people have these papers and reports they have to write that are apparently more important than blogging. What's up with that? It's hard to believe, but don't worry, Marta has come to the rescue!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Currently, some of these paintings are on exhibit with numerous other works this month at St. Xavier University. The show "Sister Solina Hicks, A Retrospective" is on exhibit at St. Xavier Galler, 3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago, IL 60655 until April 8, 2010. A conversation with the artist and reception will take place on Wednesday, March 31st at 3:30. If you can't make the reception, please call the Gallery for hours or further information: 773-298-3081.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This is what a typical classroom looks like in Nsukka. Notice the drawings on the walls...this is what the teacher and students use for a chalkboard. This school's uniform color is green...they are not dressed for St. Patrick's Day! Notice there are no individual desks!
If you went to Nsukka to visit our friends, how would you get around? Well, lucky for you, Fr. Willy and Fr. Fidelis would borrow a friend's SUV or a van from one of the schools so that they could take you and your friends all around the city. And then they would have to drive very carefully because the roads are filled with lots of people trying to get somewhere. Many walk everywhere they need to go. School children rise early to walk the long miles to school...often leaving home while it is still dark out. They have to be very careful because the roads are often in poor shape (if you think Chicago has pot holes, wait til you go to Nsukka!). Like in the USA, many use trucks to transport goods (and people) from place to place. Those who don't have a car (and that is by far the majority of people) have to walk. If you don't have a car, but you want to get some place farther away than you can walk, how might you get there? There is no L in Nsukka. What if you have a lot to carry? What if it's more than fits on your head? Well, you just might be in luck. Often you can catch a ride on a motorcycle taxi! When are you coming to Nsukka to see for yourself?
Can you see the red clay roads? These roads are very difficult to travel. When it rains, like it did yesterday, the clay washes away from the road and leaves very big holes. Sometimes these holes are as deep as 3 feet. Do you know what happens to a car when it accidentally falls into that size hole?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
St. Victor's students sing a song "Walking in the Lord" as a song of welcome to the Delegation in May 2008. Can you see the various instruments they are using to keep time? What songs might Archdiocese of Chicago students sing as a song of welcome should we be blessed to have a visit from our friend in Nsukka? What instruments would we use to show our joyful celebration? What songs would we want to sing?
Monday, March 15, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The group enjoyed a Nigerian supper and were on their way to the RELIANCE Hotel with Emmanuel and Fr. Willy. The convent they originally planned to stay in was booked for a retreat, but with a name like Reliance, we are sure they are sleeping peacefully!
Tomorrow they will get up early and catch an 8:30 plane and will be meet by Fr. Fidelis and Azubika. Two wonderful drivers with large hearts and smiles who will continue the journey with them to Nsukka.
Until we hear more, know that your people are in good company and having a great adventure!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Office of Catholic Schools
In Partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Nigeria
Catholic School Leadership Delegation
March 11 – 20, 2010
Itinerary and Schedule
March 12 (Friday) Depart for Lagos AF0584 at 10:55. Arrive at Murtala Muhammed International at 3:10 Greeted by Fr. Wilfred Odo and transported to the Eucharistic Sisters Convent and Hostel. 7:30 Dinner
March 13 (Saturday) 5:15 Depart for Regional Airport (breakfast at airport) Leave by regional plane for Enugu, Nigeria, in the morning (TBA).Welcome by Fr. Fidelis Ikpe, Diocesan Director of Education. Transport to Nsukka, Nigeria. Arrival at Mt. Tabor Carmelite Monastery for week’s residence
6:30 Welcome and Meeting with Bishop Francis Okobo
8:00 Supper (Bishop Okobo’s residence)
March 14 (Sunday) 7:30 Breakfast (monastery)
9:00 Mass at St. Victor Parish (St. Mary Station)
1:00 Lunch (monastery)
2:30 Excursion into Nsukka
5:00 Conversation about Education in Nigeria (UNN)
7:00 Supper (monastery)
8:00 Evening Reflection and Planning
March 15 (Monday) 7:30 Breakfast
9:30 Site Visit: Holy Infants Nursery and Primary School Meeting of Head Administrator (at St. Victor Parish House)
1:30 Lunch (monastery)
2:30 Site Visit: St. Patrick’s Nursery/ Primary, Obollo Afor and St. Patrick’s Secondary School
8:30 Evening Reflection: Land Proposed for Model School Project Meeting with Project Manager Rev. Wilfred Odo and Planning
March 16 (Tuesday) 7:30 Breakfast
9:30 Site Visits: St. Paul Nursery/ Primary School, Aguamede, Ikem and Neke
3:00 Site Visit to St. John Cross Seminary School Nsukka
7:00 Supper (monastery)
8:30 Evening Reflection (led by Fr. John Igwebueze and Mrs.Veronica Obi, Future Search Conference) and Planning
March 17 (Wednesday) 7:30 Breakfast
9:30 Site Visits: St. Mary Nursery / Primary School, Ehalumona, St. Charles College, Opi, and Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka
2:30 Site Visit: St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Ibagwa Aka and St. Mary Nursery/ Primary School, Ibagwa Aka
8:30 Evening Reflection (led by Fr. George Dine “Igbo Culture and Spirituality”) and Planning
March 18 (Thursday) 7:30 Breakfast
9:30 Site Visits to McGlade Secondary School, Ogurute and St. Mary Nursery/ Primary School, Ogurute
1:00 Lunch (monastery)
2:30 Site Visit: Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Fr. Bernard Eze, Director (Conversation about health issues in Nigeria and tour of hospital)
7:00 Supper (St. Victor Parish House) Upper Balcony
8:30 Evening Reflection (Q & A with Director of Education, University of Nigeria “Future of Education in Nigeria”) and Planning
March 19 (Friday) 7:30 Breakfast
9:30 Site Visit: Santa Maria Nursery/ Primary School, Nsukka, and St. Francis College, Ovoko
3:00 Site Visit: Bus Tour of University of Nigeria and St. Peter Church) and Okunerere Adoration Umu Oshene
7:00 Closing Gathering with Bishop Francis Okobo
March 20 (Saturday) 7:30 Breakfast and Final Preparations for Leaving
9:30 Leave Nsukka for Enugu and depart for Lagos
2:30 Lunch at Eucharistic Sisters Convent and Hostel Depart for Paris AF0855 at 23:35 Depart for Chicago AF0664 at 10:35 Arrive Chicago at 12:55
March 25 10:00 Future Search Conference II
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
- Sr. Barbara Jean Ciszek, CSJ, Principal, Cardinal Bernadin Early Childhood Center
- Ms. Stephanie Clausell, Principal, St. Albie School
- Mr. Vito De Frisco. Principal, St. Hubert School (Hoffman Estates)
- Mrs. Bernadette Felicione, Immaculate Conception School (Talcott)
- Sr. Marie Michelle Hackett, OP, Principal, St. Edward School
- Mrs. Jeanne Henry, Teacher, Holy Family Catholic Academy (Inverness)
- Dr. Gretchen Ludwig, Principal, , Holy Family Catholic Academy (Inverness)
- Mrs. Brenna O'Hearn, Teacher, St. James School (Arlington Heights)
- Sr. Mary Zachary Sergeena, OP, Principal, St. John the Evangelist School, (Streamwood)
- Ms. Esther Hicks, Director of Catholic School Mission