Sunday, October 29, 2006

Decades Dance Party

It was fun (I was 50s)!

And I forgot to set my clock back last night, so now I am up early and posting pictures.

Ten white girls and a mexican.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Field Trip!

On Wednesday the first, second, and third grade classes went on a field trip to the Bosque de los Ninos, a.k.a. The Children's Forest. It was planned as a celebration after the children's week of Spanish exams were over. It was a really really great place! Just my kind of trip--the owner stopped the busses before we drove up the mountains to their place and had all the kids get out. He then talked about the smog we could see over the city, versus the fresh air of the mountains. And ways we can help. It was great. When we got to the Bosque, there were about 10 counselors waiting for us. They totally took over, leaving the teachers free to roam, take pictures, and keep an eye on things. It was like summer camp for the kids. They were all grouped up with a leader, around 10 kids in a group. They had activities like planting plants, doing obsticle courses, starting a bonfire and roasting marshmallows, three legged races, etc. The kids came back totally filthy, but happy.
OH, and Soolim, my Korean student, kept telling me before the trip..."I have a surprise for you! Don't bring your lunch!" and she brought me homemade sushi! Two whole huge rolls of it. amazing!

Getting ready to leave

The kids getting prepped.

The obstacle course

Edgar getting soaked!

Some members of the green team: Soolim, Esli, Chloe

Thank you for our books!

That's Erick, holding the book. My student who used to say he hated reading, and now asks me when he can read!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm pretty impressed by the honesty of my students. Here are some examples from today.

At one point, during a bible 'sword drill' where the class races to find the bible verse and whoever finds it first and stands up may read it, there was a tie between two of my boys. Well, soon after about 6 of the kids were chanting the name of one boy. This made me pretty mad, and after I asked how they would like it to have the class rooting against them, I called the few whom I had certainly seen to turn their cards.
Well, I didn't notice all of the chanters, because soon I had a few students saying, "I did it too, Miss Peterson." "You forgot me". As they walked to turn their cards.... shame faced. Well, hopefully. :) It was hard to stay mad after that.

Ok, second example. This week the third graders had exams in Spanish class. Today was their History of Jalisco test, and from what I could tell by their anxiety, it would be hard. When I came back to the room after the test and asked how it went, most said pretty well. But one student, who is of my funniest boys but also the one who gets in the most trouble for talking/playing around, told me he things he got a zero. When I asked why he said, "Well, I was looking at Yuri's paper and Miss Charo saw me and told me I would not get all my points". and I asked, "Was it an accident, were you just looking around, or did you really look at her answers to copy them?" and he said, "No, I was really looking at her answers."
tear. He didn't seem to have a great deal of remorse... but he was certainly honest about it. (He assured me he would never cheat in my class.... I'll be seeing about that..)

Oh.... Even though it has been a super crazy, tiring, weird week... I love my kids a lot today. And that makes up for it all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


So, today was a very exciting day! I will start with the most exciting part. This afternoon when I went next door to see some of the girls, I noticed a quite large package sitting on the table. "Someone is lucky!" I thought.... until I read the label and realized it was for ME! My friend Kristi from our Friday night bible study, who is a medical student here in GDL, went home to Miami for a week and offered for me to have some things sent to her. When she told me, I had just been dismayed over the lack of age and reading level-appropriate literature at our school for my kids. SO, I began researching good third grade books, and I talked to my mom about it.
Thanks to her and the AMAZING, GeNerOUs, WonderFul people who donated books, my class will now have a very good selection of chapter books for their reading pleasure. There are some especially interesting looking books for my super picky boys!
I'm pretty ecstatic! There was also other great things that I've been missing, like my big NIV study bible, and venus razors! Plus more. More! woohoo!
(A big thanks goes to Kristi who had to bring back an extra suitcase to fit it all--oops)

Another exciting thing that happened today: I left school at 8:30 this morning with two of the other new teachers downtown to get our FM3s (we are going in small groups). This is a passport looking document (with yet another awful picture of myself...blah), which allows me to work in the country. It also means I can get a bank account and will no longer need to rush to the bank before it closes at 4 on paydays and stand in a huge line!
I must say I felt pretty cool, in a foreign governmental office, getting Mexican papers.
The downside was that we got back late and I rushed into my class 10 minutes after they were done with lunch/recess. Fortunately Joy had seen what happened and brought them in for D.E.A.R. time and stood in the hall to supervise both classes while I was gone.
Ohh... the things that would never happen in America....

p.s. Libros means books.

Friday, October 13, 2006

a couple pics from today

I took a couple pictures of my boys today.

Seth, Oscar, Carlos, Pablo

Oscar, Gustavo, Pablo, Edgar (and Victor in the front)

They're all so cute. Well.... most of the time.

The DVD player

Last night, while Megan, Joy, Jenny and I were watching what was pretty much the climax of Mission Impossible 3, the movie decided to freeze. So, after trying and failing to fix it with the remote, I got up to try turning the DVD player off and back on again. Well, as soon as my hand touched the button it made this loud bang noise like a car backfiring! So, needless to say with four girls and loud, scary electronics, we screamed and jumped across the room. Then it did it again! So, we unplugged the cord from the wall, which fortunately was no tooo close to the freaky player.
However, we began smelling yucky burnt electrical smells. After a short break, someone decided to try and plug it back in to attempt to get the DVD out (it was from Blockbuster). However, that resulted in another loud bang, this time accompanied by smoke billowing out of the side. So, we stopped that. Eventually, we resorted in taking apart the possessed thing to remove the movie. Megan did a good job, exibiting some signs of Hulk-like stregth ;) , and we finally got it open, and the DVD out....not without a huge scratch, however. But it is our theory that it came like that (as many of them do) and was the cause of the DVD player's corruption.

Megan starting the destruction process...

Pieces that fell out when we shook it....

Success! Well, for the DVD I guess... not the player.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday pictures!

So, today was a lot of fun! I found some really cool things, and now I have an idea of all the stuff out there, so I can shop more seriously later on. Check out the pictures! (I also added pictures of Tlaquepaque to the previous post... look at those, too.)

Some scenery from el centro. There was some kind of indian ceremony going on. Check out the sweet baby!

Shopping in San Juan de Dios....

Oh no... Tara found birds!!!

Looking for a job, anyone?

Free Hugs!

A very talented waiter at a restaurant with the Guiness World Record for the fastest service.

No School!

Today we have a day off! (I think it's for Columbus Day,... but it's also the Virgin of Zapopan day as well, so who knows) It was originally marked on our school calendar there was no school, but the Mexican education people like to change things alot. So, for a few weeks we were told that we WOULD be having school on the 12th. Then, less than a week before, it was announced that we would not have school, but that could change at any moment. Well, it didn't change and today I slept in! hooray!
Today six of us girls are going on an outing with a fellow teacher named Rebekkah. SHe's pretty amazing.... she's American but she grew up here, so she's basically more Mexican than anything else. And she has a second-grade daughter who's the same way. Anyway, she is going to take us around to cool places around town where we can get some authentic Mexican handicrafts. We may not be purchasing today, but the plan is to see what our options are when it comes time to buy Christmas gifts (wink wink).
Speaking of's not too far off. I can't believe it's nearly mid-October! It is pumpkin carving time! crazy!

And speaking of school closing.... the Kinder ( where the preschool through pre-first aged kids attend) part of Lincoln, which is located across the street from the main school, has been closed down by... the government I think. I don't know all the details... but apparently people in the neighborhood have not been happy with it for some reason, in addition to issues that we probably are not privvy to. And the result is that last friday the school was told they needed to produce some kind of paperwork by 8:00 that night or there could not be school on Monday. Well, they couldn't, so the Kinder was closed (they have this tape across the door and anyone who enters would go to jail!). This whole week they haven't been able to get in. Tues,Wed, and Friday of this week classes are taking turns holding class in the chapel at the main campus. Then, next week the entire Kinder will be on our main campus.... which, frankly, will be nuts. They will be in the library, the chapel, a teacher's lounge, and an unused classroom. So... this situation needs prayer. I don't know what is going to happen, but it's not a good thing. So, remember the school in your prayers.

ok, I'm off to shop!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tacos and Tlaquepaque

Friday-The day of tacos.

I bet when you hear the word taco, the first image that comes to your mind is like a cruchy shell taco, with ground beef, lettuce, maybe some tomatoes and cheese on top. Well, I haven't seen anything remotely like that here. The real tacos, from the real taco stands (which I ate at twice on Friday), are tiny little corn tortillas, maybe 4-5 inches in diameter, flat on your plate with a spoonfull of carne asada (a beef with seasoning...but not ground beef.. I don't know how to explain it really) on top. Then you add your salsas, onions, and fresh cilantro (they're big about that here).
They're good.

Ok, enough about food.

Saturday- The day of spending my paycheck.

In the morning I went to the market down the street and bought a few bags full of fruits and veggies-delish! I even got some Jicama, which is this really watery root vegetable which I'm looking forward to snacking on.
Then some of us went to breakfast down the street at this cute place with art, but it ended up being disappointing because EvEryOne was smoking so that took the fun (and flavor) out of eating.
Later, Megan and I went to the Mall and shopped a little bit. I was on a hunt for new shoes, but I didn't find anything. I did get a tank top made out of organically grown cotton, though!
But the really exciting event of saturday was after we shopped, we went to the movies at the mall. But not just any theatre-the VIP theatre! It is like a dinner theatre, but with these huge, cushy, reclining chairs. Before the movie, a waiter comes around and takes your order and types it into a little computer which sends it to the kitchen. Our food came out before the movie started--ahhh, what service! I watched a movie, with my feet up, eating sushi and caramel popcorn (yea, the theatres here serve Caramel popcorn!!)
It was amazing.

Oh, and Saturday, another teacher at the school named Rebecca met Megan and I at the theatre, and Megan drove home. You see, our friend Jacque has a friend visiting and wondered if Rebecca would let her use her car on Sunday to see some of the sights. Generously, and bravely, Rebecca said sure. So, after dropping Rebecca off at her house, Megan drove us home late Saturday night! It was her first time driving in Mexico, but she's aggressive and adventurous and lived up to it wonderfully! The only scary moment (besides the insane potholes) was when a cop pulled out behind us with his lights on. But he turned--we were fine. :)


Megan, Jacque, and Jacque's friend DeeDee went to a Baptist church . It was the first church in a real church building that I've been to here..with pews and everything. It was also the earlist sevice I've gone to--it started at 9:30. Most start around 11:30 or so. Anyways, after we drove to Tlaquepaque--the cute artisan pueblo that Jenny and I had gone to before with Quetzal, but it was especially wonderful yesterday! It was a sunny, beautiful day... and strolling through the plaza, around cathedrals, on car-free cobblestone streets with amazing furniture, art, and jewelry stores was just perfect. We ate lunch in a restaurant with a huge, beautiful, shady garden and fountains. I loved it!
Whoever wants to visit me will certainly be going there! It is my current favorite!

When we got back home on Sunday afternoon we were pretty worn out, but after a short rest a few of us went with Rebecca and her amazing daughter to the shoe mall. Yes, it's a whole mall of shoe stores. I was in desperate need of some more shoes for teaching. It's crazy how fast they wear out here, with the water and the walking. Especially the water. Rain + canvas and rope-bottomed shoes= disaster.

Anyway, it was a fun, albeit expensive, weekend. but well worth it.

Megan and I outside of a really fun sculpture gallery and store.

The Tlaquepaque centro area, with a man selling sugar cane-yum!

The beautiful place where we ate lunch.

This is how Jacque feels when Megan is driving. (just kidding, she's really good!)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fuentes... aka fountains.

This is right down the street from our house.

This one is in the middle of town.

There are fountains everywhere here!