There are few supplies and most children will attend to grade seven.

Kenyan children singing

The school children sang to us.

Can you match the animal and their gestation period?


  1. Elephants
  2. Horses
  3. Giraffes
  4. House Mice
  5. Cats
  6. Dogs
  7. Leopards
  8. Lions
  9. Rabbits
  10. Rhinos

a). 94 days

b). 108 days

c). 33 days

d). 420-450 days

e). 336 days

f). 62 days

g). 487 days

h). 600-660 days

i). 65 days

j). 18-20 days

Which animal has the longest gestation period? The shortest? How do they compare with humans? Ours is between 259 and 294 days with birth typically occurring between 37 and 42 weeks. An answer key is at the end of this blog.

Kindergarten classroom in Fengdu, China

Families pay approximately $700.00 per five month term per child to attend this school. Lunch costs extra.

Did you have morning sickness?

Morning sickness is the most common side effect during the first trimester of pregnancy and authors also succumb to waves of nausea in the early stages of writing. Questions such as, “Am I ready to be a mother?” echo “Will anyone want to read my book?” Both women are on the precipice of a new chapter that will change their lives and fear and insecurity are intermixed with joy and elation.

Given the mental roller coaster, is it any wonder that our bodies respond with turbulence? What were the early months of your pregnancy like?

When did you start wearing maternity clothes?

Women move into acceptance during the second trimester. Morning sickness fades, our baby bump becomes visible and wearing maternity clothes announces our pregnancy to the world. Writers become more grounded as their storylines emerge and they build meaning and complexity into their earlier drafts. An expectant mother feels the fetus move and a writer sees her novel take shape. Despite moments of uncertainty, both women embrace their new roles.
What were your most comfortable maternity clothes?

How much weight did you gain?

The last trimester often proves difficult. This is when we gain the most weight and our belly shape changes as the fetus shifts in preparation for birth. We are physically uncomfortable yet excited as our body announces that the life within us will soon emerge. This stage is trying for the writer as the time to release her manuscript to the world approaches. Concerns similar to “Will my child be born healthy?” and “Will I be a good mom?” are reflected in “Will people read my book?” and “Will the inevitable criticism makes me a better writer?”

Each pregnancy is different. What were yours like?

What is the gestation period for books?

Writing The Inheritance took years to complete as will Angels and Backpackers, my novel currently underway. I have had two children and both pregnancies have mirrored my experiences as a writer; the gestation period for birthing a book, however, has proven to be much longer.

(Answer Key: 1-h; 2-e; 3-d; 4-j 5-f; 6-i; 7-a; 8-b; 9-c; 10-g.)

My role as a mother and educator and interest in family dynamics is reflected in these photographs of school children from Africa and China.

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A one room school in Kenya, East Africa

A one-room school in Kenya, East Africa.

One room school in Kenya, East Africa

The children will learn the alphabet and basic counting.

Kindergarten in Fengdu, China

Children aged two to five attend kindergarten in Fengdu, China on the Yangzi River.

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Workspace for teachers

A work area for the four teachers at this school.

Young girl in kindergarten. Fengdu, China

The four teachers split the tuition fees with each other.