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New Foci

With the rain comes a bit of life...





A ton has happened since I last wrote, which was a while ago (sorry everyone!).

AT Staff Diner at the end of last semester.

Abaarso Tech Girls

Being sillyIMG_1473.jpg

I’ve officially become the Dean of Students, we’ve had two school fieldtrips, an AT FunDay, stormy weather, floods, Somaliland elections (which were calm and fair! Check out the New York Times article “Rare Haven of Stability in Somalia Faces a Test”), my birthday, a bad stomach bug/parasite which left me ill, dehydrated and famished for about two weeks, a gender battle between the boys and girls in the boarding school, planning for next year, marketing and creating promotional material, discipline (as usual), agriculture projects around campus, organising my trip back home to Canada (working, fundraising, and visiting with friends and family)…so quite a bit!
But I’ve come to a realisation: I must become more organized, in life and work.
As many of you know, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type girl. This has done me extremely well in the past, but here, for the first time, I find that, for my own sanity, I must become a bit more structured. Now there is always a type of organisation amidst the chaos around me…but now I’m planning on taking it to a whole new level (the organisation, not the chaos).

AT Fieldtrip to Sheikh

The Mango that Destroyed my Stomach.

Stinky Camels.

Boys in the Other Bus.

Walking through Sheikh.

Emmett, our Crazy Couch Surfer, and the "Road to Alshabab"

Exploring in the Mountains.

Climbing Trees is Fun.

My plants now

Abaarso Tech Student Designed Flag

So here are some of my goals for the future:

In Life

-Write more often. I enjoy writing, when it comes down to it. Although I feel like it’s a hard balance to strike. The ideal writing environment, in my opinion, is a place of your own (kind of like Virgina Wolf’s a Room of One’s Own), away from everything and everyone else, where you can detach yourself and concentrate for hours at a time on what you’re doing and give priority and a chance to your ideas and imagination (having five hours at a time is ideal). But writing, in my opinion is something very contradicting; when you write, you write about life, so it’s important to be out there experiencing life in order to have something well researched that you are documenting. But in the actual act of writing, you are not “out there” at all; you are sitting quite alone, isolated. So when you are writing, you are not living, and when you are living, you are not writing. This is part of the reason I haven’t written in the last little while, because I’ve been busy with life and thus not busy with writing. But now I believe I will try and write more often – even though it means I’m not out and about – approximately once a week, whether on my blog or an article that can potentially be published.

Birthday Fun at Purple Coffee.


-Exercise more often. I find that when I’m not exercising regularly, my energy and mood plummet. I noticed this when I was having stomach problems and not at all active physically for about two weeks. So now, I plan on doing yoga and sit-ups every day, and some sort of aerobic activity between three and four times a week.

Agriculture Club Fieldtrip to the Tree Nursery.

-Schedule time for the activities that I enjoy doing. I love hiking and walking, drinking tea or coffee while reading a book, watching movies or shows, hanging out with Muuse or Hassan, smoking from the hookah, watching the sunset, gardening, hanging out with the boarding school students to read books and stories aloud, spending quality time with Kiette or other teachers (but especially Kiette), watching the news/getting caught up on news, learning languages (especially here, I should be learning Arabic and Somali), working on sewing projects, building and constructing, meditating and relaxing. The best way to do all these things is to schedule them! So I’ll get a nice organiser or put post-its on my computer to remind me.

Weird Reptile (apparently poisonous) that I Found on my Way to Work.

Sunset after the rain.

-Keep in touch with friends and family through skype and e-mail. It’s nice to hear what’s going on in people’s lives, and living so far away I sometimes feel a little disconnected, which I don’t like. So if you have skype and want to keep in touch, add me! My skype name is odismelodis.

-Eat better. Sometimes I feel like I’m wasting away, or eating food that just doesn’t provide me with much energy. The types of food that make me feel great are: vegetables, fruit and protein. As far as grains (pasta and rice) or dairy are concerned, I find they just don’t do much for me. If this means starting to cook for myself, so be it. I enjoy cooking anyways.

In Work:

-Correct assignments, quizzes, projects, and all class-work ahead of time and over a few days, instead of all in one go. Correcting 50 writing assignments at one time is excruciating and time consuming; poor grammar, incomplete sentences, unclear ideas and bad handwriting just become that much more prevalent when you’ve been correcting for 12 hours, which is the time it takes to correct so many imperfect and ambiguous assignments. My approach to the problem, until now, was to correct them all at once because I disliked doing it so much that I didn’t want to correct over a few days…but rather all in one. But that always ended up leaving me exhausted the next day, annoyed, and frustrated…so a change in technique is preferable. Better to correct over a few days, at different intervals. I can also make it a more enjoyable experience by correcting in my room, while listening to music and drinking coffee and having quality Ode time.

AT Funday
On the Way to Gabiley


Hanging Out in a Huge Tire, No Big Deal.

-Think more long-term and try to anticipate future problems and come up with solutions before they arise. As Jonathan has told me, I’m good at finding solutions to problems that suddenly and unpredictably occur, but it would be good to also anticipate upcoming difficulties, obstructions or crises that may transpire, to truly have the upper hand and be prepared.

Exploring in Gabiley with the Girls.


-Make a work schedule! Make sure that discipline, after-school activities, student issues, student council, green landscaping, marketing & fundraising, grading and class preparation are all scheduled and taken care of AHEAD OF TIME. This is hard, for a last-minute, procrastinating girl such as myself, but it must me done!

New Exercise Program: Giving Piggy-Back Rides to Students.

There was a Woman Weaving a Basket, But Didn't Want to be in the Picture...Najma was Kind Enough to Pose.

On the Way Back From Gabiley.

Colin's Hair Has Reached Glorious Proportions.

Really, it’s all about TIME MANAGEMENT. Sometime though, there is just simply not an adequate amount of time to do it all, and in that case, it doesn’t matter how much I manage my time, there just won’t be enough.
But hopefully that won’t be a problem!
And now, I shall truly try to update once a week.

AT Funday Continues (even if the girls were tired) with Fun Games!

Next...the Three-Legged Race!

But one Team Quickly Became Casualties at the Wayside.

And then...the Relay Race!



Also, as usual, what makes it all worth it is the people, especially the students (adults and boarding school alike) and other staff members/friends, especially Kiette.

Boys Work as a Team to Put Together the School Furniture.

Copied below is a description that one of my boarding school students, Abdilatif, wrote about me. So when it was 5am and I was exhausted from correcting the last of the assignments, his description put a smile on my face (I didn’t correct any of the mistakes whatsoever, so it’s typed exactly as is).

My Veteran Preceptor

Ode Lunardi is a very genius person, in fact Ode Lunardi is well qualified, well talented, and well respect person. She is from Canada and also she is an adventurous person. She is brave and oneday she took Anthony and Tom with one hand so that she is very strong. Ode Lunardi is very sociable, captivating, pro-active, tolerant, innovative and punctual person. She is tall so when she is coming class, she bows her knee. I like Ode Lunardi because she is one of my best friend teachers that I have ever seen in my life and I will remember Ode in my rest of my life. Infact she is curious person, because she is a person who wants to learn new things. Also she is very extrovert person, because she has a full confidence and very imaginative person. Her mannerisms include, she has wavy hair, and also she has a gap between her two front teeths. She wore huge clothes and that shows us that Ode is massive. She is easy-going person so be as like Ode because she is excellent example of mankind.


It’s the small things that make me truly love my job…

Posted by ode 03:03 Archived in Somalia

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Great pictures Ode! And I love the description of you. From here in Edmonton I can totally relate to the need to become more organized, it's happening to me too. Good luck with it!

by Daniella

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