Sunday, May 27, 2007

Clean Up

Yesterday I woke up way too early for a saturday to head out with some of the bible study friends to clean up an area called La Barranca. Charla organized it after visiting this spot with friends, and noticing that it was full of trash. This, of course, is true of many places in Mexico, but the beauty of this place merited our help. We drove down the cliff/plateau edge to reach a spot where we further descended over 400 stairs and a ladder into this absolutely gorgeous canyon. We were wedged between two cliffs, with waterfalls fed by hotsprings, a river with huge boulders, and greenery (in the dry season!).
The 17 of us workes for 2 or 3 hours filling over 50 garbage bags with nasty garbage. Then... this was the interesting part... we hauled it up to the car level assembly line style. However, because we only had 16 people helping, it took many trips. For the last stretch we just grabbed bags and carried them up. What a workout!
After that we went back down into the canyon and ate lunch, relaxed, and some swam in the water or waded in the hot springs.
It was a successful and fun day.
Unfortunately, yours truly did not bring a camera. So, I am awaiting pictures from someone who did. They will come.

Swan Lake, etc.

We have had many short, weirdly scheduled weeks lately. On one such week, instead of doing our normal stuff for reading, my students worked in partners and created their own countries. They had to think of things like the language, who is in charge, the landforms and weather in the country, three important laws, a national anthem, a flag, etc. Then they created a map and a poster advertisement. We did it all very quickly, and if I do it again I would change a ton of stuff, but they had fun and were creative.

This past friday night I went to see the Russain Ballet perform Swan Lake at a theater here in GDL. It was lovely, and awesome to see in person. Even though our Mexican "salary" only permitted us the nosebleed balcony seats, the binoculars and camera zoom helped us out :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Have I really lived here for 9 months?

It's quite an interesting sensation, to linger somewhere between feeling like time has rushed by at light speed, while also feeling like it is dragging. That is where I'm at right now. This week began the six-week count down of the school year, which leaves me wondering: have my students learned anything this year? I must say (much like Macayla stated in her blog) I don't feel like my first year went like so many first year teachers, who tell of unending stress, tears, and not knowing what was going on. It wasn't horrible, scary, or intolerably stressful. My students haven't made me cry (although I have had to pause for long periods during read-aloud time because I couldn't stop laughing at them!) and I haven't ever thought of quitting.

I HAVE received hundreds of hugs. Letters and pictures. Questions upon questions. Compliments and smiles.
I have taught them to divide long numbers, and to see patterns in multiplication facts (For those of you who know about me and multiplication-Fear NOT! I'm ok now!! :)
I have told stories about Jesus, and discussed the most precious, from-the-heart questions that have never been answered for them. I have tried to explain why the English language rarely follows the rules. My kids now "watch" their stories like movies, and beg for their read-aloud.

You know, I'd say that I'm very happy with the profession I've chosen. I can't thank God enough for guiding me to take the path I've taken. I can't say there haven't been problems... but I do think I spent too long lingering on them. My classroom probably wont get bigger. I probably will always struggle with understanding how to reach every student's needs. And I doubt I'll ever know what to say to make them all get along. But I am excited to try.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


The sun is shining. blazing. scorching. The rain is not falling. The birds ARE chirping. It's springtime! There has (and will be) a lot going on at school after spring break. It is making this school year fly by very quickly. Two weeks after spring break, one of my students, Yuri, left for the states with her family. They are missionaries heading back for furlough. We planned a suprise goodbye party for her and her sister. Now that she's gone, the class is a very different place without her.
We had the mini-olypics in April, which I wrote a bit about below. And on April 30th it was Children's Day (Dia del NiƱo). I remember asking my parents why we had Mother's Day and Father's Day, but not Kid's day. Well, here in Mexico they do, and it's a pretty big deal, I guess. The kids all get presents from their families and apparently all of the bowling, skating, pizza, and ice cream joints in town are packed! So, for school we took the kids to a water park (I know, scary right?). Well, it didn't really have pools, just a slide, a wading pool with rafts, and a pirate ship that shot water around. There were many counselors there for supervision and for some games in the morning. The kids had a blast.
That's pretty much it, so far. There will be more to come this month.
Check out the pictures of these events by going to my picture website and clicking on "Springtime at Lincoln School"

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mini Olympics

The school planned a mini-olympics for all of primary a few weeks ago. It was at this really nice club with large fields and a track. The students participated in events like running, the long jump, and the long-throw (is there a better name for that?)
They were all so cute!