Hoof in Mouth...otherwise known as Mad Rachel disease

5:46 AM

   






    There is a disease, known mainly to cows and others of the bovine condition, as "Hoof and Mouth", or, as I like to call it, "Hoof in Mouth". Today I became the perfect human specimen of this malady.

      Just about every Monday, the other interns and I have the privilege of speaking at a local school assembly. The children are adorable and incredibly well-behaved. Many of them we know from Fisherwick's Friday night youth club. As the kids file past us, the girls giggle and stare at Frank, and the boys clap hands with Alan, while shy smiles are hesitantly directed toward "the Californian"!

     Generally, the boys dress up in some ridiculous Hebrew costume made primarily from dish towels and bath robes and battle it out as David and Goliath, or run into each other's arms as though they were the Prodigal returning home. This morning we decided to switch things up and give a little talk having to do with upcoming Easter. Dave, our resident youth leader and pretty much the most hilarious person around, gave a short talk about God healing our relationship with Him through the cross, and I was to give the talk about healing our relationship with others.

      Now I was quite proud of the little script I had come up with to talk to the children about. Dave had read it and declared it, "Brilliant, brilliant". Being pretty "chuffed" with myself, as the Nirish would say, I decided to go slightly off book when talking to children. It all went pretty well, until I was in the middle of the talk and I forgot the latter half of a Bible verse.

      It went something like this: "As you can see, Jesus wanted to heal not just our relationship with God and Himself, but also with each other! Now, Jesus was quite the trouble maker and went around saying things like, if someone makes you walk one mile, you should walk with him two. And if someone takes your cloak, then you should give him your other clothes too!"  ( The kids stared blankly: other clothes???)  "Not that I'm advocating stripping!" At this the kids started to giggle, the teacher's jaws went slack and I gathered what was left of my wits and hurriedly moved on.

      " Ahem...and He also said if someone slapped you on one cheek, you should turn the other to him, also.  Now, I don't know about you kids, but if someone slapped me, I would be like, ' BRING IT!!!'" Commence nervous chuckles. About this point, Dave thankfully managed to save me from my strikingly Creepy Uncle-like situation.

     Schools in Nireland seem to be much more different than the States. The kids sit in their perfect rows and sweetly call out, "Good morning, Mr.Amrstrong", before their singing teacher comes and sits at the piano and directs them in their morning song. For the first few months of our visits, there was a lovely music teacher who sat sweetly at her music bench and beckoned the children in song in a very sweet, Disney-like manner.

     But, recently, she was exchanged for the teacher from Hades. Mrs. Finster (as we shall call her), has flaming red hair and a vicious temper to match. Her voice has the grating sound of enhanced emphysema, thundering in her stormy depths. Her eyes are wild and fierce and she attacks the wee keyboard in front of her mercilessly, as if she would beat its keys to death. She screamed, or rather croaked, at the children to sing "louder, LOUDER!!!" The woman is truly horrifying. If ever I didn't believe in the dark side, I sure as heck do now!

      In my next blog I hope to tell you a bit more about my tiny getaway to Germany :). Take care, my fellow Americans.

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