Monday, March 10, 2008

Update from The Chin

School started which seemed to conicide with a decline in blog writing by us. So, here is an update as to what we have been doing these past 2 months, other the contemplate the educational system, as stated in Jenny´s previous blog. After we returned to Chinandega from being on vacation and working at the summer camp in Managua, we had about a week to prepare for the upcoming school year. The week before school started all the teachers (a couple hundred teachers) from the department of Chinandega come here to have workshops put on by the Ministry of Education. One of my counterparts happened to be one of the faciliators for the English teachers. He asked me if I would help him with some activities, so Jenny and I ended up presenting particpatory ideas to use in the classroom three days in a row. It was luck that my counterpart happened to be one of the faciliators and we got this opportunity to work with all the English teachers in the department. Yeah, objetive 2.2!!!

The school year at my school definitely got off to a faster start this year since I was already accustomed to my counterparts and the specific challenges that working here entails. But, one challenge that is always hard to overcome is when you do not have a classroom. At my school right now there are 4 different classes that share the basketball court, as shown by the photo, plus one other class that doesn´t fit on the court so they are off in the dirt. Talk about a difficult way to start the year. I work with my counterpart in the morning with 3 of these sections. It is almost impossible to do speaking activities because I can not hear/understand the students and vice versa. Luckily they are in the process of building the extra classrooms necessary and they should be done in April or May...I hope.

My counterpart David writing on the whiteboard in our classroom of 11th grade students (seniors here).

Besides our usual English teachings responsibilities we have been doing some "secondary projects" including cooking with soy and creating a garden and compost pile in our backyard. These are more for our own good and sanity.

Will cooking our "Chorizo with Soy"... It tasted a lot better than it looked!

Will actually bought the soy beans here in Chinandega in the market and then soaked them and got the meat (payana) out of them before bringing them to our house to cook with.

Not really a secondary project, but what would a blog be without a random picture of a parade that came by our house the other night. This one was for a private school that is near our house. Surprisingly, it had a religious theme!

Here is our amazing compost pile it even comes with free baby trantulas!!

Finished after a lot of help from our two friendly environment volunteers, Lucian and Will. We couldn´t have done it without you! Now we just have to wait for the fruits of our labor..peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, two types of lettuce, and melon...mmmm.

This photo is for Jenny´s dad because Jenny said he would never believe her if she told him that she picked weeds.

This is Paul. He is a health volunteer in Corinto. He didn´t really help with the garden, but man, can he supervise!

We have about 7 months left here and it seems to be going so fast. We still have plently that we want to up... making homemade mango wine!!
Oh yeah, and of course the English teaching and all our other projects and responsibilities.


At March 10, 2008 , Blogger Jenny's Dad said...

Jeff, how did Jenny know which were weeds?

Good to hear what you guys have been doing.

Jenny's Dad

At March 15, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenny and Jeff,
Loved your garden and I must admit I loved seeing a picture of my boy. I am excited that you both will be spending time with both Lucian and sister Jillian when she comes to visit on Sunday. Stay safe and give Lucian a big hug for me.
Mama Reynolds


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