Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 21, 2007

San Pancho!

I left my comfy house with my flush toliet and shower for latrine and no running water life. Thats right, I went north! I went and visited the country, San Francisco del Norte, or San Pancho which is were my friend and fellow TEFLer Caitlin lives, just a short 5 hour bus ride north. It was a really pretty ride up there, and she lives in the mountains so it was a lot cooler too. I actually wore a sweatshirt, and was still chilly.

The mountains on the way there as the sun was setting.
On the way there, Farah, the girl I give private English class to, also rode there. However, when she got on the bus, 15 minutes after it left from the bus terminal where it starts, there were no seats. So I invited to her sit on my lap. There she sat for the next hour until I thought my legs were going to break off, so then she moved next to me on the seat, but I didn´t hear any complaints from the largish lady sitting next to me. We sang Rudolph the Red Rose Reindeer about 25 times, perfecting our delivery. She also told me some fairytales in Spanish. The five hours went pretty fast and then I arrived at Caitlins.
Here we are on the bus.
The next day we got up at 5 a.m. and it was FREEZING! We took the 6 a.m. bus, which is the last! bus for the day, and we rode 40 minutes to a different community where Caitlin is giving an English class. After we got off the bus, we walked 20 minutes on a dirt rode to the community.
Then we were given breakfast, we watched some Backstreet Boys videos for awhile, and then we went to class. The class was about 2 hours. After, we walked 20 minutes back to the main road, and waited for the truck that passes to give us a ride. It was an old covered army truck, packed with people and stuff. Here we rode for 40 minutes on a really crappy road to get back to San Pancho. My jeans ripped on the way up to the truck (in the bootie), so I am down one pair (my favorite).

Caitlin and her puppy in front of her house.
Another highlight of the trip was when Caitlin´s new puppy found a chicken foot and was chewing on it. Then, after it was taken away, she came back with the other. Her mouth has to be pryed open. She did not want to give up that foot, but really who can blame her.

The foot. Que asco.
Once again, it was taken away, but don´t worry, she came back with the head. It was sick.
So I got back today. Jeff was unable to come with me cause he had class on Wednesday. I´m sorry for him! He missed out.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Graduation! Worldwide AIDS Day! and more...

Well since I have an amazing new camera, it takes me awhile to upload the new pics but here are some things that have been going on with us lately. First and most importantly, the end of the school year! Jeff and I both went to our graduations, which were long events, not unlike at home. However here, the graduate walks on stage with 0ne of their parents. When they get there, they get their diploma and sometimes their class ring is presented to them by the parent. And there is a photo taken with the person who hands you your diploma. At my school, 2 teachers give out diplomas for 2 sections of graduates. A section is like a class. There were 7 total. I was lucky enough to be asked to hand out diplomas with the principal for the first section of graduates. It was pretty cool. Also, I will forever be in photos with about 25 kids as the gringa teacher who handed them their diploma. Here is a pic of me and my favorite group of kids. They may not look like it, but they´re really happy.
Wendy and Igdali!
It was also World AIDS/HIV Day. Since we have a health volunteer in Chinandega, he helped the day´s celebration by putting on a full day of activities in the park, one of them being a game called Chimbombas Sexy, or Sexy Balloons. In this game, you and your partner have to pop balloons in interesting, somewhat sexy, positions. There were 2 teams. One of them were 2 health PCVs, Amy and Anna. Here is a photo of them really trying to pop that balloon. I am sure that this game would not be allowed in a park in the US. I invited some of my community class students to hang out. Luckily, all but one arrived after this game.
Since we are currently on vacation from school, I did a 2 week English camp. It was 2 weeks of class, everyday for 2 hours. I had about 18 students and I ran the camp at a house of the girl I give private English class to, she was the coordinator, and my co-teacher was one of my students from 10th grade, who is also in my community English classes. The students ranged from 5 to 12. I forgot that I didn´t like working with little kids when I decided to do this, and remembered on the 3rd day of class. I also forgot again how much I dislike them on the last day when they were way sweeter than any teenager has ever been. All in all, it went really well. We played a lot of games, obviously. On the last day of class they suprised Jared, my co-teacher, and I with a lunch and then a photographer came and took pictures of us with all the students. Many of the students ordered pictures of themselves with me and Jared. It was super cute, and there were even some tears on the last day. And I got some cool gifts! Oh, and I´m pretty sure they learned some English and had fun. Here is my class below.
Here is a picture of one of my students with her BINGO board. We were reviewing classroom items and animals. I know its really random, but just go with me on this.
Here is Farah, my coordinator.
Jared and me! The profesoras. Here accent is really good, which is one of the reasons I asked her to do this with me. When I told her that her accent was good, she said of course! She learned from me. That was sweet.
In other news, Chinandega now has air hockey! I took my class to play. I´m terrible in case anyone is wondering.
And Jeff is growing a beard. This is us with Dr. Pepper that a friend brought for us from Managua. Actually, he brought 10. It was a good day.