If I ignore the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day I had a great weekend. Why do I hate today? 1) I think you should express to the people you love, how much you love them every day, not on an arbitrary Hallmark created holiday and 2) Hallmark created Valentine’s Day because there was too much lag time between Christmas and Mothers Day. The chocolate companies agreed because Easter is rather far off too. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, I had one of those weekends where you feel refreshed but also really accomplished! I “did not sleep” in the baby house on Friday night. It wasn’t my turn again, but I covered for one of the girls because she has school all day Saturday. I know what it’s like trying to go to 5 hours of class on 2 hours of sleep; I know it is usually a waste of your efforts because you end up dazed through the day, so I really didn’t mind. Therefore Saturday morning from 7 – noon was devoted to resting myself. Then I lazyed around, finished my book- Pretty in Plad by Jen Lancaster, not a must read but you will laugh the whole way through if you do, and in evening I played outside with some of the boys who are in my classes. I like hanging out with them not in class. It’s so helpful to see a different side of them, nice that I can let them play and don’t have to discipline them for it and also bonding. I think they begin to trust me more, when they see that I am a part of their community too. I can still make this play a learning experience as well, we had some chalk so we wrote our names and I like that they are so creative in play, even if they struggle with it in the classroom. It’s almost like the environment changes how they think. They can make up any game with literally any object, yesterday they were playing some sort of battle game with palm tree branches, but if you ask them to draw a picture in class of whatever they want, they are completely stumped.
Watched Junebug. Not at all what I expected. Didn’t love, but it was sweet. It’s a good choice if you have the time, not a priority.
Sunday, today, was church, which here I love, and a relaxing day in general. I bought all the stuff I need for the School Store when DC and I went out on Wednesday. I’m calling her DC because that is where she is from and she’s my BFF here. DC got here the week after me and is staying for 6 months. We’re about the same age and totally bonded over Lost. I can literally find a Lost buddy anywhere on this earth! Anyway, Tony, the one who runs the farm as well as a multitude of other things, lent us his car (or should I say boat?) and we went to Hiper, driving amongst the crazies and chicken buses on the narrow roads of Guatemala. Afterwards, in true American fashion, we got some ice creams at… McDonalds! Wal-Mart and McDonalds, Peanut butter and Jelly, you get the idea. Needless to say, I am proud of my Spanish skills to order exactly what I wanted in a drive-thru (Oreo McFrosty- doesn’t even need a translation! Ahhhhh the universal language of MickyDees!)
But I digress. I bought too little for the whole school, but way more than I need for Special Ed class alone. I am just so excited! Great stuff, notebooks, pencils, some candy, but also play dough (to be sold separately),some matchbox cars, colored pencils, activity books and stickers. Were piloting in Special Ed these next two weeks and the teacher is really enthusiastic about it. If all goes well, we can add some other classes slowly. Probably the ones I teach English in. Like I said before, the younger kids will be more into buying because the stuff is catered to them, but I want to get the older kids involved in selling. Maybe in the future, each class will have a Friday that it is their responsibility to “work” the store. I also decided that even if this doesn’t extend beyond my presence, which will be a little disappointing, I can at least look at it as a month long school project. I did plenty of those, and the learning experiences have stuck with me. I will never forget the 2nd grade robots, 4th grade explorer game, the 5th grade pioneer march or even events like 100s day. If all it becomes is a fun-learning project/experience, that could be enough.
So today I priced all the wares. I have some things that everyone should be able to buy at the end of a week, even if they only earn 1Q. I stuck to the currency here, quetzals (Q's), to keep it easy and relevant. But the idea is that stuff they will really want is going to be more expensive so they might have to “save” for a week or two to afford it. I’m trying to move away from the instant gratification they rely on.
I also made the money today and just have to have it photocopied tomorrow. On top of all that I worked out some English lesson plans (numbers this week) and games to play with the topics and I’m done arranging my transportation to Antigua and the stay of my parents at Casa Bernabe in 2 weeks!
Last week in English we did colors and shapes, and colors only in kinder/pre-kinder. For them I dictated a picture to draw. “With the blue crayon, draw a sky. With the green crayon, draw the grass. With the orange crayon, draw a balloon.” Etc. Then with the others we played bingo. The cards had different shapes in different colors, but to make it simple we played one round only focusing on colors and one only focusing on shapes. It went really well, but everything takes longer than I anticipated! Regardless I really like teaching.
So I think it’s time for me and DC to take a walk to the StarMart (At every Texaco station, all across the nation) down the road. Big Valentine’s Day plans: getting some food at the gas station store. At least it has bar stools and a counter!