May 30

30 05 2009

Woooohooooo! After five months of no espresso, we were given a small cappuccino/espresso machine and have had lattes and mochas the past few days. Yum…what a treat!!

This week I (Kimberly) had the privilege of helping in a masters course on cross-cultural psychology at the University of Jos (Unijos). The teacher wanted a western mother’s perspective on child rearing and was given my name. For two hours we discussed “how different parenting practices across cultures influence different developmental outcomes”. That was what the professor called it. Basically, we discussed parenting. It was eye opening for both Nigerian students (80% were also parents) and for myself. Here are some things we learned…

I estimated my children spend 30 minutes to 1 hour on chores per day. An average Nigerian child will spend anywhere from 2 hours to all day doing chores, helping with the parents livelihood, collecting water, preparing food, etc.

I have just begun allowing my 11 year old to be responsible for her sisters for short periods of time. Nigerian children are responsible for their younger siblings as young as five. You see many young kids carrying babies on their backs. The difference is they live in communities, so if parents are not around other family, neighbors, other kids are around so they are not ‘alone’. In the West, we are secluded in our houses, nervous of who might live down the street or around the corner.

Another question asked was “What are the consequences if your child does poorly on a test or in a class? I answered that it depended on why they did poorly. If they didn’t understand the material, I would help them figure out what they needed to do to improve. If they neglected to do their homework or study, then they would be disciplined for that by removing privileges. Typical Nigerian response was the child would be beaten. Education is of utmost importance and the kids are expected to do well, no excuses.

One student shared about his polygamous family and how he shares time with his wives and children. I didn’t participate in that discussion!

The outside of the college building was impressive, however the inside was dark, dingy and rundown with broken windows. Very few buildings here have the aesthetic appeal we are used to in the West.

The semester went by quickly and now summer vacation is here. The past two weeks have been packed with events and activities: graduation was Thursday evening, there were elementary, middle and high school concerts and award ceremonies to attend, along with the end of the year art show featuring student art work and numerous events for departing school staff and area missionaries. Now the school campus is quickly quieting down, and many families are departing for furlough, some for just the summer, some for longer, some for good. Many of the girls friends will be gone, but there are some new families who have recently arrived, so we’ll be making some more new friends and look forward to spending time welcoming them here and helping them to adjust, now that we are no longer the newest family in town!

As always, thank you for your ongoing encouragement, prayers and support as we continue to adjust to Nigeria, see how God is working through the school and many ministries here, and focus on loving and glorifying Him through our lives.




4 responses

5 06 2009
Berna Michl

Good to catch up a little with you guys. The elephants must be amazing up close! Good to hear you got an espresso machine – I know how much you love good coffee! Hopefully you can have some down time this summer.
We miss you! Give our love to the girls!!

3 06 2009
Erika Callies

Hey Payne Family, Great video, feels like we are there with you. I can’t believe the difference in raising our kids. I knew our kids had it easy, but wow. Maybe your kind spirit and grace you show your children will inspire the same there. We continue to pray for you and always read along in what you are up to. Hope you are all doing well, as well as Jordan’s friend.
Missing you all- The Callies

30 05 2009
Clem family

As always, great pictures and so good to read the details of what’s happening in your lives. 🙂 Loved the elephant video- wow. The university discussion sounded really interesting- kind of like a cross-cultural MOPS discussion panel! Thanks for the updates!

30 05 2009
Kris Kramer

It sure is enjoyable to get my “Paynes Update” on Saturday mornings. Kind of my weekly ritual.

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