Sunday, 9 June 2013

Lunch Hour is Important Too

Well, it is officially rainy season. It rains here at least I little bit pretty much every day now. Since I like green more than brown and hot more than unbearably hot, I’d say it’s a good thing. It also means that there’s more mud, which is not exactly a good thing. But for now, I’m going to say that rainy season is a pleasant change.

In A Nutshell…

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (May 27th to 29th) were the three days of teachers institute. Since I’m sort of a teacher, and since my name got put on the list to help with activities, I went along to the city. The sessions were held at the mission church, and they went from 8:30 in the morning to about 8:30 in the evening. Yeah… loooong days. Some of it was definitely a little boring, but I enjoyed some parts as well… like the food.

Our classroom
 Each day started with a devotional and a time of singing and worship. After that, someone gave a lecture with the topic always relating to teaching. After an activity and another lecture, it was finally time for lunch. Every minute of each day was carefully planned out in the handy-dandy programs that we were given on Monday morning. It said things like “How to Deal with Rebellious Students” by Wesley from 10:00 to 10:45. However, each “event” would take a little bit longer than planned, and by lunchtime, we’d always be 30-45 minutes behind schedule. But then we’d start the event after lunch right on time! Why is it always lunch hour that has to suffer?

My notes
 I really did enjoy some parts of the three days. I might even say most parts of the three days. There were some fun activities, really good food, and I even enjoyed some of the lectures. The two lectures about CNB (Currículo Nacional Base… or something like that) I did not enjoy. At one point, in the middle of a particular CNB lecture, I got a text from my family asking if it was a good time to call. They couldn’t have picked a better time. One of the activities was Central American geography. Each of the three teams had pictures of the official bird, flower, tree, coat of arms, and flag of each country. We then had to place the correct picture on the correct spot on an unmarked map of the Central American country. Each team got a point for each picture that was placed correctly on the map. Each team also lost a point for each picture that was placed incorrectly on the map. One team finished with 24 points. The second team finished with 16 points, and our team? …well, we finished with minus 4 points. Since we had the geography teacher on our team, we still think that somewhere there was a flaw in the officiating.

We left for El Chal again on Wednesday afternoon. Overall, I enjoyed the three days and I was glad that I went. It almost made me want to become a teacher. I even made the comment later in the week that “Deep down inside of everyone, there is a desire to be a teacher,” but that was mostly because someone had just declared that they could never be a teacher. I was just trying to be encouraging, of course.

Douglas and Cesar handing out the diplomas
While all of us teachers were gone, Neil welded up some windows and doors for the new classrooms. He’s also been working on welding that gate that’s going to look like a million bucks when it’s done. You may not remember this gate since it’s been quite awhile since I mentioned it. I myself barely remember this gate, but I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it once or twice in previous blog posts. You may be starting to think that we are the kings of unfinished projects, but I’m about 84 percent sure that I will be able to post a picture of the finished gate in my next blog.

This past week was exam week at Árbol de Vida. Exam week marks the end of the second quarter, which means that I’ve been here in Guatemala for exactly 5 months. That seems pretty hard to believe. Time is definitely going by rapidly. I’m still enjoying myself here in Guatemala and I sure appreciate your continued prayers.

Top 5 Highlights…

>>Building houses of cards. One evening, Neil, Trish, Dylan, and I started playing around with Phase-Ten and Skip-bo cards. Eventually, we had some pretty impressive structures. Building houses of cards beats playing Skip-bo. 

It's called the Japanese high-rise 
Sweet angle, eh?
>>Art class. Stephan taught an art class on painting and how to mix paints to get the colours you want. Later, everyone had a chance to try painting. I didn’t actually paint something of my own, I just walked around giving people suggestions, encouraging them, and in some cases, telling them what they were doing wrong. I even got to watch Lucio “Picasso” Lopez paint.

Mixing colours
Douglas with a painting that he probably didn't paint
Lucio "Picasso" Lopez with origami 
>>Eating tacos. Lydia’s family was visiting for a week and they took the staff out for tacos one evening. A highlight of the evening was when Lonnie noticed that I’d finished my coke before the food was ready and got me another one.
>>Getting in on a tiny little bit of Martin camping. During their campfire sing along, Trent called me and put me on speakerphone. It wasn’t nearly as nice as actually being there would have been, but it was still nice.
>>Practicing técnicas with Lucio. We’re getting pretty good at passing the ball back and forth without letting it touch the ground. 

Top 5 Quotes…

“Wow, somebody get a camera!” – Tiana (when she saw me actually washing the dishes for once)

Lucinda: “I don’t see why they need information from us for a history book… we’re not history!”
Neil: “Well… we will be!”

“The last two pieces of junk I bought on ebay turned out to be pieces of junk.” – Craig

“Hurry! Take a picture for the ‘Guat’s up’!” – Douglas

Here it is, Douglas… just for you. It looks like the school is on fire but it's just being fumigated
“Well, I said to myself, ‘you know, I really pump a lot of water… I should really get myself a pump’ …so I did.” – Stephan

Spanish Vocabulary…

Delgado (del GAH do) – it means “thin”

Memory tool: Carlos Delgado played for the Bluejays a long time ago. He wasn’t exactly thin, but I just think it’s cool that my former favourite baseball player’s last name means something in Spanish!

Fun Facts…

In Guatemala…
>>It’s uncommon to get free refills at restaurants

>>During the rainy season, it can be pouring rain when it was sunny and clear fifteen minutes earlier

>>Sixteen coconuts can fall at one time. I hope I’m never underneath a coconut tree when it happens

>>The toads are three times bigger than any toad I’ve seen anywhere else

>>When eating a meal of tacos, two cokes are better than one

More to Add…

This week I'm planning on going along on the fifth and sixth grade class trip to the city. Should be some good times!

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