We had to show our identity cards, and then find our testing numbers. Mine was 238. Our classroom was the only one that had a big leak through the roof in the middle (remember I said it was raining), most of the lights weren't working, and the windows were really little and rain was coming in through them. I was glad there were no fans, or we would have frozen since most everyone was soaking wet from the rain. I took my first exam and everything went just fine. On the second one, my dad's phone started to ring. Actually, it started to croak like a frog, because that is the special ring he has it set on. The teacher asked, "Who has a phone in here?"
I didn't know I wasn't supposed to have a phone, and I thought my daddy had turned the ringers and buzzers off, so I said, "Me. I have a phone." She called me to her desk. I walked up and she asked me to give her the phone until recess, so I did.
When recess finally came, she gave me back the phone and told me to turn it off. I didn't know how, so I went into the bathroom to hide and call my mama. I told her what happened and she explained to me how to turn the phone off. When I went back into the class after recess for the last test that day, the teacher asked, "Did you turn it off?"
I said, "Yes, Maîtresse."
I took the next exam, then went out to wait for Daddy.
My tests continued the next day, too. It went much more smoothly, except that I had a big pit or river of running water flowing underneath my desk. The water from all of the rain from the day before was still finding places to go, and it had carved out the river under my desk. It was a little wierd.
I took my first exam and went out for recess. There were two more tests after that. Then I was finished and free, and stood around waiting for my dad.
The one thing my teacher bothered me about, and the question she kept asking was, "Did you bring the phone?"
Just a word, from the parents' point of view - obviously Rebekah didn't get to take her exams under ideal testing conditions, but we think it was a good experience for her to see what her Nigerien friends have to do, just for the privilege of moving on up into middle school/junior high. Of course, we gave her an incentive to do well, too... If she passed her exams, we'd get her an African Grey parrot, something she has been asking for now for the last 2 or 3 years.
Her exams took place June 25th and 26th and today, July 13th, the results were finally posted. She passed!!! ...so now Mama and Daddy get to make good on their promise, as she has already reminded us several times today. It will probably be several days before we can actually make all of the arrangements, but she is already thinking about names. She's settled on Napolean, if it is a male. The jury is still out if it is a female. Any suggestions?
Thanks to all of you who were praying for Rebekah as she took her exams - and just think of the great story she'll have one of these days to tell her grandkids!(Picture of African Grey is from Wikipedia)
Edited to add - If you'd like to see how the "sky water" pools and pours during a good rain in this usually parched and sandy land, check out the following video posted by Rachel and Sjoerd, over at Life in Niger. It really is quite unbelievable! From what we are hearing, this is the best rainy season in the past 15-20 years, definitely the best one we've experienced while here. Niamey has received over 200 mm of rain already. I believe that is more than the total yearly accumulation they've received in some past years, and Lord willing, these rains will continue until near the end of September.