sábado, 24 de marzo de 2012

Been together for a while now

The past couple weeks have felt like entering into a new stage.  The newness is starting to fade, the routine of the days and weeks are setting in.  Its like a dating relationship leaving the giddy first starting out part and moving into the comfort and more honest stage.  Me and Guatemala know each other better, of course there's still a lot more to go with our time together, but we're not always needing to do exciting expensive things, but can enjoy the quiet and the everyday.  And maybe we're being a bit more real with each other.

One fun activity we did this week was make balloon pinatas.  We made about 9 of them and I'm saving them for when kids have birthdays.  The first birthday we have is Juan Carlos the 30th.  I think he'll enjoy it!
                                           Here's Lupe with a pinata she was working on.

I also had a really fun friendship project with two of my kids, Leo and Delmi.  We took a walk into Parramos and ate some ice cream.

Here's me and Leo.  He's holding a purple flower and fell from this really pretty tree in the park in Parramos.

My class has definitely had some rough days these past couple weeks.  We have one little 8 year old boy who can be really sweet, but is having a hard time.  He recently came in December and has had a rough past.  He will get really attached to a select few people and get very upset if he's not with them.  He runs out of our classroom a lot and gets aggresive.  I've spent a good amount of time following him and trying to coax him back in.  The hardest thing has been everyone being consistent with him in terms of rules, discipline and rewards.  But it has been really neat to see how everyone, all the kids from 8 years old to late teens, want to welcome him and love him.

Its still really neat to be among so many different cultures.  The other day during lunch I was chatting with a couple German volunteers about sayings we have in our countries.  Of course our expressions are in our respective languages (English and German) but we were explaining everything is Spanish, which altogether is pretty fun.    My favorite German expression I think is when food is too salty they say the cook is in love.  If you're cooking and in love, you're not going to pay attention to how much salt you're shaking into your food.  I like that, I might bring it back to the states :)

Yesterday a couple of us got together with two social work grad students from Dominican University in Chicago for lunch.  They've been doing a project here at NPH for the past three months and are getting ready to head home.  Also it was Mary Anne's (all the way to the left) birthday.  Shawn brought us to a really nice restaurant that looked over Antigua and was really pretty.  Here's a pic of us and some really yummy chocolate mousse I ordered.

Along with the comfort stage starting, I've decided to stop using the excuse of "but we're in Guatemala!"  For example "I know I've already had dessert, but we're in Guatemala!" or "I know we already went out to dinner last night, but we're in Guatemala!" or "I know I could use this time to go for a run and exercise, but we're in Guatemala!"  After indulging in a bit of an unhealthy lifestyle the past three months, its finally starting to kick in that I don't want to indulge forever.  I'm excited to start making some healthier decisions, like running 5-ish times a week, cutting back on the chocolate and bread, and opting to cook more.  I started running almost everyday after work this week and I've felt so much better for it.  I'm excited and hope to continue with these good and healthy decisions :)

And I am still working on Harry Potter in Spanish- I'm in the last 50 pages of the 4th book which is getting more and more intense.  I think I've enjoyed the 3rd one the most so far.  Its a danger to read with Charlotte or Shawn close by, because I'm always tempted to ask if so and so died, or how harry's name got into the caliz de fuego, or why Snape has never been the defense of the dark arts professor, and it could go on.  Sometimes they let things slip that I shouldn't know yet, and then I just get mad :P

And thank you so much Mary and Jessica for the letters and chocolate chips!!!  They really made my day!!!!!
I hope you all are well and enjoying spring!!

sábado, 10 de marzo de 2012

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

Hey there, here's some highlights from the past few weeks.

My occupational workshop has been fun and I've been enjoying coming up with ideas.  The best one this week I think was our spaghetti art project.  I've done this at camp before, and it turned out to be really fun.  We used spahetti mixed with finger paint and threw it at big pieces of paper taped on the side of the house.  Here's some pics :)

Our beautiful artwork

My class is going well.  Some days or periods go really well and some are a bit more of a challenge - all to be expected.  The kids really look forward to the special classes like physical education, music, and the library.  This coming week we should be starting the religion class too.  The other teacher and I are talking about planning a special water fun Friday some week because we are entering the hotter summer season.  Here's some pics from the music class.  They're so fun.

We've been participating in a really cool latino Catholic tradition these past couple weeks call Via Crucis.  Its a service type thing every Friday afternoon leading up to Easter.  A different group is in charge of coordinating it each week.  We go through the stages Jesus went through leading up to his death on the cross.  The group in charge has someone dressed as Jesus, Pilot, soldiers, Mary and mourning women.  They lead everyone in a procession around campus and stop at different stations to reenact a moment, like Jesus getting arrested or nailed to the cross, to read a passage, to say a prayer, and then to continue the procession.  A different kid volunteers to help Jesus carry the cross each time.  In between stations, a different group leads everyone in hymns.  I think this is a super cool tradition and an impactful way to reflect on Jesus' death and resurrection.  This past Friday it was my section's turn to lead and I'm one of the mourning women.

I'm the one all the way to the right

Life has been really good and really fast.  Until next time :)