Friday, March 26, 2010

Winding Down

English concert/exam was yesterday and it went so well! The kids were naturally adorable, and were very proud and excited. They keep telling me that they got 100 points! Which they did if they participated, and everyone did. I don’t know how pleased the director was that I ONLY did a concert, because it is a little unorthodox and definitely not an assessment of their individual skills. But they had serious tests all week, even in kindergarten they do “written” tests, and I didn’t want to contribute to the stress. I think it was also a good example that everything doesn’t have to be a traditional exam. There are other ways to evaluate learning, and it can be fun. It fit in with the nature of my class, where we did activities rather than take notes and they had to find me to talk once during the week rather than do homework. Anyway, after living in a country where I didn’t speak the language, I realized how much the Spanish class written activities were rendered useless, what really matters is conversational skills.

Yesterday was also “Splash Day” for the younger kids. We set up so blow up pools and sprinklers, had water balloon games and hula dancing and held just a generally relaxing and playful day. Today were doing the same for the older ones who are now done with exams.

On Tuesday I “babysat” for Casa Estar, a house of girls from ages 7-16ish. Both of the parents had to be out at the same time so I hung out with the girls for a couple of hours and it was so fun. I was helping them study but we were also playing around and gossiping. It made me a little sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to interact with the older ones more. I, of course, love the babies, but working there every afternoon really limited my interaction with most of the orphanage. They are a really great group of girls and I have been trying to spend as much time as possible with them in my last few days here.

My girl Claudia, who is nearly 4 finally moved up to the toddler house! I had originally made the suggestion that she play there a couple mornings a week to start to get used to it and also be a little more stimulated by older company. On Wednesday she was playing with them in the morning and I was told she would do this for a week or two and then make the move. Suddenly yesterday she just wasn’t coming back. I think the sudden transition will be really rough and shocking to her. She seemed a little dazed at Splash Day yesterday. But she really did need to move up. I just wish they stuck to the original slow transition plan.

The baby house threw me my Despidida on Thursday (aka a little thank you party). It was so sweet. They cooked steaks and refried beans (my new favorite) and this amazing chopped veggie pico and set the table all pretty with candles and we sat down to a really nice dinner and later watched a movie. They also gave me a beautiful framed photo of all the babies. I don’t want to go!

So if you are keeping track of my little math equation last time we were at 16 with a beautiful infant. Now subtract 2 more, 1 for Claudia at the toddler house and 1 because we sent David home , puts us at all time low of 14. It feels so empty in the baby house!

El Salvador for the weekend- Catch you on the flip side!

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