Jeff and I have started a youth group! We meet once a week for an hour and a half in the evening. Our group is English based...okay English intensive, but we´re also going to learn about important issues such as self-esteem, HIV/AIDS, and teamwork....but in English! We´ll see how this goes. We have had two meetings so far and we have 25 youth! More say they want to come, but we´ll see. We originally wanted 15 students, but there was a lot of interest, and over time, people will probably stop coming and we´ll reach 15. We meet in our living room and it gets really hot with all of those bodies there. Each week, we rent 20 chairs to accomodate the students. We charged a one time fee of 20 cords (about 1 dollar) to buy and whiteboard and to rent the chairs everyweek. Each chair costs 1 cord to rent. Here is our living room filled with students and bikes. The first two meetings have gone really well. The first meeting was 21 boys and 4 girls, but the second time 2 more girls came. We´re slowly working our way to a better representation of women! Our first meeting we made a community map and talked about whats important to us, and why they drew certain things in their community. We arranged this activity by neighborhood, and a lot of different neighborhoods were represented. I was pretty suprised by this. We also went over the basic idea and outline of the class. Two TEFL trainees were visiting us during this time, so they also helped out with the group work at got to be part of the class for one day. Here is Jeff working with some students on their map, sweating!
The second time we taught directions, and how to give them. We did this all in English and it went really well. The students all preformed really well and understood what was going on. Then we played a game to end the class. Both classes went really well and we are enjoying ourselves. I think the students are also having a great time because they talk to me about it at school the next day and they want to bring more of their friends and family. I´m really glad that we waited to start a youth group because we got to get to know the students first, and then start a group where we could target interested students. I don´t know why English is so popular, but students here (okay, not all buy many) love to learn English and they are very motivated to learn. Our youth group consists of students from my school, students from Jeff´s school, friends or family of some of these students, and students from my TeleCentro class. The ages range from 15-23. Here are two brothers. One is a student at my school and the other is in my TeleCentro class and has graduated high school! They´re both super nice, but I don´t think they look like brothers. Anyways, thats our class! We´re continuing with directions next week. Our overall general theme is tourism because thats the greatest use for English in Nicaragua. I´m hoping to do some sort of tourism brochure in English as a project, because of course I love project based classes. I´m also going to have some of them teach our kids English class in the future.
Everything else is going well here in Chinandega. Ernie is leaving us soon, but he´s being replaced by another business volunteer. This weekend we are having the brunch despedida for Ernie. Can´t wait to eat all the yummy food!