Just going to give an update on life since nothing crazy different is going on but it's been a little while since I've posted.
Classes are still chugging along.
Technology classes with 4th-8th are a roller coaster. One week I planned poorly and because of that, behavior was difficult to manage. I lost my patience but was slapped in the face with kindness and love in return from my kiddos. And loved every bit of the pain in my cheeks. This past week, we got enough batteries for every child to have a keyboard and it went much much smoother. They all wrote their own stories all starting with "Había una vez" (Once upon a time) and ending with "Colorín colorado, este cuento se ha acabado." Some were from their imaginations while others were stories they had been told (and some, quite morbid!). But I fell in love. I decided I didn't want them to delete them so I made sure they were saved. That led to me sitting for 3 hours, copying their stories onto my iPad. I then created a story page to print for each student, copying and pasting clipart (to accompany their dogs, frogs, goats, dolls, motorcycles, etc) below so they would each have their own mini cuento. Each, meaning all 54 of them. Haha this next week they're going to retype them and share (because did I mention, I had to correct so many misspellings and lack of punctuation??). I hope they like them!
English classes are always a blast and I'm learning as I go-better ways to teach from last years lessons and more fun games and activities to make the class less-copy and more-play/practice. In the community class we are so much farther than I've ever gotten. I have to admit, I'm loving that part of it and I really feel as though they're learning a ton-they prove me right every week as I speak more and more in English and they understand me!
Working with our kindergarten teacher is still just as rewarding and fun. We've finished setting up the classroom and making all sorts of interactive posters on the wall (a calendar that they have to put the numbers on and change the month, an attendance one where they put their names that are written on ducks in the correct pocket with "male" or "female" and change the days next to "Yesterday was..." "Today is..." And "Tomorrow will be..." Etc). We are now deep into planning, ensuring that we follow the manual from the Ministry of Education (and making a list...a very long list... Of the didactic materials we are lacking and want bought lol Hopefully that dream becomes a reality! A kindergarten with no scissors, crayons, colored paper, glue, etc is truly a challenge) and creating "projects" based on themes chosen by the little munchkins themselves. After yesterday's journey around the community observing all around us, we chose our current project: Animals! I just spent today printing out the story of "The Little Red Hen" (where the hen is making bread and with every step in the process she asks for help but the duck, dog, and cat refuse. Of course until she asks who wants to help eat it! And she says no! Haha). I then found clipart of the characters, cut them out and glued them to cardboard (from boxes of granola bars and crackers I didn't want to throw away) and glued them to Popsicle sticks. The teacher wasn't there today which gave me time to finish the lesson materials in the hopes that Monday she likes it and the kiddos can act out the story :)
The Biblioteca Tecnológica is at a standstill. We received the phone call from the Presidential Palace saying that all they needed was my committee president's cedula number. This *could* mean that they are going to cover all of the funds needed. But we are waiting... And have no way of calling them to find out (the call came in as restricted). So then there's all the institutions and small business owners that we brought solicitation letters to. Do we go as a follow up and start collecting funds and materials? When we might not need any of it? Then there's the location... We called again to find out the status of the solicitation letter and its response. Still no word from the head office. And we were told that they will have to come personally to see the state of the office first. Bueno. When in the world will that be? We don't know.
But we had a meeting with the community last week. Wanting to keep the motivation and excitement alive even though there weren't many results to share (to accompany all the work we have done!). It didn't go well. Beautifully planned and ready to be executed but life in the DR stood in our way. After 3 hours and getting their hair done and uniforms ready for their dance routine to start out the meeting, my 5 dancers were ready to go. And halfway through the first song, we lost electricity. Way earlier than it normally goes out. And then the CD refused to read in the computer (which was all set up as a back-up plan with my portable speakers! We were so prepared, damn it). Also, only 6 adults showed up from the community... So we postponed our final dinámica/activity (which I was in love with) for the next meeting.
But such is life!
This week, I was told that our psychologist, the one who I've teamed up with for the Escuela de Padres y Madres and the one who hungers for knowledge and new ways to do things, is leaving us. Headed to a new community and we don't know if we will get another one. That hit me hard. Without her, the parenting school will fall through the cracks because the only one who can keep it running is our director. And he now has his first grade class in the afternoons-when the meetings are scheduled... She is, however, going to the community where Tiffany (a phenomenal new volunteer) is living and working. So while it hurts to know she's leaving, I'm very happy for Tiffany and the community of Las Rosas because they are going to have such a blessing working with them. Someone who has a passion that's hard to find these days. And they will only benefit greatly from it.
Yesterday, non-work related, I hosted a Rosary session in my house. You heard right. About 15 women from the community came over and we said the rosary together-complete with the mysteries, prayers, scripture readings, and songs (I've almost got the Hail Mary down in Spanish! Haha). They've been making their way around the community, doing this once everyday of the week in the homes of those who wish to host and I was asked by Dominga (my goddaughter's mother) if I wanted to be next! Afterwards, I made juice (from a package, not all natural-don't get too excited) and we had crackers to accompany it. What an honor. And I have to say, I felt the presence of a very special person from back home-you know who you are and I hope you felt it too.
For now, I believe that is all :) As the world keeps turning here, changes are being made while other things are staying the same. But we continue to drink coffee with way too much sugar, sit in plastic chairs watching the rain clouds roll in, and play a little bit of baseball or Dominoes in times when we just need a break.
Abrazos y besos to all back home. As you know, I miss you everyday.