viernes, 31 de octubre de 2008

Making Memories

This week was the first week in a long time where we had a classes every day. I had gotten used to the whole 4 day or less work week. However, I have managed to not only survive but to have a mostly excellent week. I say mostly because there were several depressing moments, such as when my 9th graders didn´t do any of the work I assigned and when I did the grades and discovered that several of my classes have only five students passing.

For extra credit in my 11 grade lit class, I divided my kids up into groups to dramatize Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet. They had the liberty to make creative changes. The first group made Juliet 100 years old. They were all guys and dressed up as girls. Erick who was playing Juliet even made himself some breast to go along with his outfit. I laughed so hard I was crying. It made the rest of the day brighter after laughing so hard.

Another source of laughter was on my walk home. Every day I get hit on by random strangers who profess their love for me. Well on this particular walk home, I felt even more special by the unique way this guy expressed his love for me. He was driving a truck that was blaring propaganda for his candidate for all the town to hear. As I walked by, I said in English,¨Hey pretty lady, I love you. You´re so beautiful. I like the way you walk.¨ I couldn´t help but smile.

Smiles kept on coming with the Champapas party last night. It was a cultural celebration of the different parts of Honduras. Each secondary class had a booth from different parts of Honduras and sold the local food from that area. I tried buying something from each booth as all my classes were insisting on my buy from them. My belly was extended as far as possible, I ate so much!!! I had a frita, corn covered in mayonnaise and cheese, horchata, pupusas, and two different types of drinks.

Dancing is essential to any good party and they had a dance competition. To begin, they had invited a group to do a presentation. It was really amazing. they were dancing with machetes and throwing them in the air. It was crazy. The whole dance was a long drama. Of course the 2nd graders were a lot cuter doing their traditional dance. The Seniors won the dance competition and my 7th graders won for having the best booth.

With all the dancing and the sugar I had, I also wanted to participate in the fun of swirling around. So I convinced Kayla (a sm from Union) to dance with me. We were trying to remember some swing moves. One move we tried ended up with me falling on my butt HARD! Fortunately only about 3 people were there to see it. When some of the 11th grade girls heard about it, they were disappointed they had missed seeing me fall on my butt!

Even though my kids are failing and not paying attention, most of them like. I´ve been told i´m the cool teacher. In fact I´m so cool I´ve been invited to several parties. I declined all 0f the invites.

Our first quarter is almost finished. Two months are over. I´m starting to enjoy teaching just a little be more. At least, I´m not thinking of diseases I can contract in order to leave early!

domingo, 26 de octubre de 2008


After school was canceled due to the flooding, I wondered what I was going to do with another two days free. Luckily for me they were so busy I forgot to miss my kids.
Thursday afternoon, the pathfinder group went out to where the flood victims were staying and passed out food. Then we went down to where the water had been. I could see the line where the water had been. It reached just below the roofs of the one story buildings.

The whole flooding didn´t make very much sense to me. It didn´t rain that much in my opinion to make the water rise ten feet in the morning and go completely down by evening. This happened both on Sunday and on Thursday. I was thinking that if it flooded like this every time it rained 5 days in a row, that the people were pretty silly for building their houses so close to the river. I asked Jesse, she works at the school, how often it flooded like this. She told me that it hasn´t flooded like this before, not even when Hurricane Mitch came through. She told me that supposedly the government said that they didn´t let any water out of the dam but they are just saying that so people won´t get mad at them. So supposedly the flooding is because the government released a lot of water from the dams. Our area isn´t the only area affected. In San Pedro Sula, most of the plantations were covered in water and hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost.

Friday and Saturday, the youth from the church and another city, went down to a neighborhood to help them clean out their houses. The walls were covered in mud and the floors were covered in about 2-3 inches of thick, slimy, stinky mud. In the beginning it was hard to clean the houses because we didn´t have very much water. We would push as much mud out of the house as we could and then using buckets of water slowly but surely we would get the houses clean. Saturday afternoon, the cleaning process went much quicker as we had an ADRA water truck and were able to just pump water into the houses. I think that we were able to help clean out around 10 or more houses.

My hands are very sore and stiff from spending the day sweeping mud and I´m glad to spend the day relaxing. I´m hoping that I don´t get any weird worms or parasites from the mud as I didn´t have boots and was wearing Crocs. Whenever we went into a house that was really stinking, I thought I sure hope I don´t get anything to hard to kill.

I know several have asked for pictures but I left my camera in the states. I´m posting some pictures that my friend Claudia took the first weekend I was here.
The teachers meeting the parents
The School
Vivi and I with our pine needle crowns
Hugging a tree

jueves, 23 de octubre de 2008

Bridge about to collapse

This morning after the first hour of classes, school was canceled because the main bridge was about to collapse due to all the water. The government has shut down the schools again. I don´t know if we´ll have school tomorrow.

I know that several of my students have been affected by the flood. Andrea Moss of 8b had her whole house submerged. Please keep us all in your prayers.

lunes, 20 de octubre de 2008

Rain Rain GO AWAY!!!!

Well the constant dripping is definately annoying. Unfortunately, its more then annoying for some people. The rivers are swollen and there is flooding. Sunday morning, I awoke to hear helicopters buzzing about. I didn´t know what all the noise was about. I live a seclusive life, no tv, internet, or telephone. (well i have my cell).

As I walked to the SM house to see Claudia, I met the pathfinder group and they invited me to help them move Pastor Roy and Norma (the principal). I found out they were moving because their house was filling with water and they were worried that if it rained more the river might come up to thier house. I was expecting the house to be on the river´s edge. It wasn´t and it would take a lot more raining for it to be. However, they were moving and I helped. I´m not even sure if they were moving becuase of the flooding.

Between loading up the truck and waiting for to return empty, I was taught spanish words and played some interesting games. Most of the time I didn´t know what was going to happen until it did. It made playing so much more interesting.

When we were finished moving, the group went down to see the river. It had gone down but was still incredibly high. The soccer field was now part of the river. There was a beach where there used be green grass. After skipping stones across what used to be the soccer field, we headed home.

Later in the afternoon, I went to the stadium to watch the soccer game. On the way there, I was able to see how high the river had risen. It had covered the bridge at one point. After the game was over, we went to Pizza Hut. The river was massive by the main road. There houses that were covered almost entirely in water. The taxi driver pointed out the club and told us that river came over the road and into the club while there were people in it dancing.

The rain is still failing. It stops for a couple of hours and the resumes again. The government closed school and so I don´t have to teach tomorrow. Ironically, I actually miss my students and was looking forward to teaching tomorrow. I think its that I´d rather fight with them then have absolutely nothing to do.

Hopefully, the weather changes for the better and those that lost their homes are able to find better ones. As always, life is interesting.

viernes, 10 de octubre de 2008

I¨m getting old!!!!!

Last Sabbath on the way to Tegus, Claudia found a white hair! Yesterday I found 2 more. I´m going gray! Its the stress of teaching, I think. I am not happy with these new discoveries! I hope that by the time I leave I´m not so white that have to dye my hair. How horrible would that be! I´ll have to go on a strict juice fast to combat my aging.

In addition to my white hair, I have some wrinkles under my eyes. Oh woe is me!

The upside is that people will stop thinking I´m 16.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

jueves, 9 de octubre de 2008

Romeo and Juliet

I am embarking on the adventure of teaching Shakespeare. I haven´t read Shakespeare before so teaching it will be even more of a challenge, especially since he isn´t my favorite author. I had my students sign up for the different parts and they will be acting it out. We´ll see how it goes. I hope the students enjoy it and I hope that I am able to impart some knowledge about Shakespeare to them. I know that I have already learned more about Shakespeare then I thought I would.

Other then that, school is the same. Some days are good, some days are ok, and some are absolutely horrible. Tuesday was one of those bad days. I caught two students cheating on my test and on top of that, most of the students failed the test. I thought it was easy. The review sheet and the test were exactly the same except the test had less on it. Many didn´t even know the difference between countries and landforms. how frustrating! this is what we have been studying for the past two weeks. I think I might have to give them more homework and quizzes to help put the information in their brains!!!!

Thanks for the prayers!!!!

miércoles, 1 de octubre de 2008

The ups and downs of teaching

Last week, Monday, I was very tired of teaching. I didn´t think I would be able to handle disobiedent kids for the next ten months. I was even thinking of ways I could get out of teaching with out looking like a failure. I knew a good excuse would be to get very sick. So my disease of choice was hepatitis. Luckily for me, I could probably contract that down here if I hadn´t gotten the shots to prevent it. The next idea was I could get pregnant of course that means I would be stuck with a kid for the rest of my life. My only choice left was to tell my kids that I wasn´t going to tolerant their disrespect any more.

On Tuesday, I gave every class a speech on my expectations of them and the results if they don´t obey. To the counselor they go and if they go three times, SUSPENSION! I think they were shocked to see me so mean. It was hard to keep a serious mad face all day. However it worked.

On Wednesday, I actually enjoyed my classes. My 7th grade social studies class always seems excited to see me. Several of my students actually hugged me and told me they loved me. I had some affirmation and I knew that I would be able to survive the year.

My devotions all week were on perservance. It was what I needed. I know that God will help me through any situation.

On a different subject, I finally moved into my house. My only piece of furniture was my bed. Fortuneately I have now aquired a hot plate and a microwave. Still no fridge. My neighbor across the street has a little store and she keeps a sharp eye on me. I think she thinks I might be a crazy for living by myself. I like it though. The best thing is that I have a patio that can grow some tomatoes and other veggies in pots.

One day left of teaching this week and then the long weekend. I can´t wait. I´m heading to the mountains to get some relief from the heat. It will be wonderful, I´m going to hug some trees!