Day 3 down, and some interesting occurrences!!
Journal Day 3, May 15, 2013
Our second full day in Honduras began with meeting in the lobby at 6:30 am, meaning everyone showered the night before this time. (One interesting tidbit: the water pressure here is surprisingly strong, and we actually have warm water. Laura and Katie, unfortunately, do not. But we are also able to drink all the water on campus, which is a good thing!). We all walked to the cafeteria for breakfast as we did the day before. This time, the meal wasn’t quite ready for us, but the cooks finally brought out some bowls to us. They were filled with a warm milk-substance with some random chunks in it, which, the cook explained, was actually cornflakes. Seemed a little bizarre, and small, compared to our breakfast the day before. However, before long, we were served scrambled eggs (yellow this time!), toast with cheese in the middle, a piece of ham, and juice. We found out the milk stuff had cinnamon in it, and although the tapioca-like texture threw me off, it was absolutely delicious.
We then began our trek to the school, and we passed through what I now refer to as “The Zoo Walkway” because of the variety of animals we find each time we pass through. There are always lizards basking in this area during the afternoon, but this morning, we had quite the treat: there was a little squirrel running along one of the power lines with a non-poofy tail (and yes, I got really excited about a Honduran squirrel and yes, everyone mad e fun of me), as well as… A CAT!! Everyone said it was really ugly because it was so skinny and its eyes looked evil, but to me, a cat is a cat, and I thought it was really cute! So basically, it was a great way to start the morning.
My day at school started with an hour and a half of Spanish class, where the students had to write stories using derived Spanish words, such as flautist(flutist), futbolista (soccer player), or other words. Several of the kids were ecstatic about their stories and showed them to me and read them aloud. It was really sweet! I also got to practice my Spanish a little with Ana and Caesar, but Cristian kept making fun of me J.
After that, there was a short recess where the girls in the class somehow roped Becca and me into playing tag. I also tried a Honduran cookie during that time, which one of the girls so badly wanted to share with me. PE was next, which was quite the experience. Becca and I went with the students to the soccer field area for our first taste of Honduran physical education. Although we did not partake, it looked like a blast! The kids began with stretches, which were led by their PE teacher, who spoke Spanish. They then ran a lap around the school and raced Miss Kayla, who was working with the PE classes during our time in Honduras. The class ended with a variation of Capture the Flag, complete with the old fashioned picking teams, something that is almost non-existent in America nowadays it seems. The white team won, and chants of, “Ganamos, ganamos, ganamos,” were heard the whole way back to class.
Before beginning the math lesson, Miss Lacey had all the students sit down on the floor so she could talk to everyone. Apparently, there had been a lot of drama in the 3rd grade classroom the past few days, so she gave everyone a talk about the importance of being a good person and that even though you always make mistakes, you have to own up to your mistakes and apologize when necessary. It was honestly the quietest and stillest the students had been all day! But I thought it was really neat how real she was with the students. She told them how they were all a family and needed to treat each other with respect, which I loved. I think it’s really important for teachers to be able to be honest and open with students and teach them important life lessons.
Miss Lacey’s math lesson after the talk was really interesting and cool! She instructed the students to grab a handful of beans out of a bucket with their left hand and with their right hand, find the difference between the two numbers, and then write their strategy for finding it. I really liked the activity because it was hands-on, personalized since each student got to pick their own beans (it turned into a contest to see who could pick up the most at one time), and the students really had to understand what they were doing since they had to explain how they got the answer they did. Miss Lacey had me work with Luis Fernando during this lesson, so I helped him work through his bean problem, although he constantly seemed to get distracted and not want to be there. He was able to finish though, and I was really proud of him!
There was a “brain break” between the math and language arts lesson, which Miss Lacey puts in-between lessons for about 3 minutes to give the kids a little rest. They played a game where they all grabbed hands in the circle and had to keep a beach ball in the air without letting go of each others’ hands. I thought the brain break was a really good idea; not only does it give the students something to work for to finish their lesson, but it also helps to keep the kids moving and avoid getting bored.
We did a language arts lesson afterwards on contractions. The students played a game in their table groups where they had cards and had to match the contraction with the 2 words that made the contraction. They all had to take turns doing it, and again, I thought it was an awesome activity because it was hands-on, and these students are CONSTANTLY full of energy and needing to move around.
The day ended at 12:20 today because Wednesdays are used as “Professional Development” days for the teachers at ABSS, but we still had lunch at the school. Again, a feast! It consisted of some meat, a piece of sausage, tortillas, beans, rice, really good guacamole, tomato salsa, a slab of mozzarella cheese, and a fried plantain.
We all headed to the pool afterwards to read, because we have to have an entire novel read before Tuesday. If you looked at the pool, all you’d see would be a line of girls standing on the edge of the pool reading their books. I got to Skype my friend Christian during this time and tell him about my experience, so that was good. I got through most of the novel, Don’t Be Afraid, Gringo, while I was at the pool, but unfortunately, because of my habit of wearing a lot of sunscreen, I failed to get a tan. Oh well. Several of the students from ABSS were at the pool as well because they had swim lessons, and then my teacher, Miss Lacey, was there later for her adult swim class! I really like how community-oriented Honduras is! Everyone seems to know everybody and they all do things together!
But now we get to the best part of the story. Most of the group had already returned to the hotel, so Laura, Katie, and I were the only ones left. As we were walking back, we walked through The Zoo Walkway, and lo and behold, the cat from this morning was hanging out by the wall near the Zamorano students’ dorm rooms with gatitos (kittens)! I basically freaked out and started creeping toward them so I could take a picture of them. Just as I snapped one, we heard a voice calling out to us, so we looked. A group of Zamorano boys saw that I was taking a picture of the cats and said we need to get pictures with them!! So, we walked over, all the while super stoked that we were finally able to talk to some of the students. We all introduced ourselves, and the guys told us a little bit about being students at Zamorano. We found out that a lot of Zamorano students actually do internships with Purdue because both are so strong in agriculture! We asked the guys what they did for fun on the weekends (because my airplane friend, Max, had said there was nothing to do on campus, and also we needed ideas since we have a free day on Saturday), and they invited us to go to Tegucigalpa with them this weekend to the discos, or nightclubs. We were super psyched about getting invited somewhere, and we exchanged Facebook information. The guy we chatted with most, Gustavo, teased Katie a little for being so quiet, and said, “Speak, Katie!”. It was pretty funny. The guys were flirting with us and calling us pretty, and when we left, they tried to teach us the traditional “kiss on the cheek and hug” way of saying goodbye, which we were all really awkward with. And for the record, no, we are not going into the city with strangers this weekend. It just felt cool to be invited somewhere! Afterwards, the 3 of us went to get some drinks: a caramel granita for Laura, a coolechera for Katie, and a Bandera for me, which were these slushy-type drinks, which, when asked, we decided to get “con leche” even though we weren’t really sure what that entailed.
We were on a high from our good fortune of interacting with the students when we got to dinner, which included some meat, rice, tortillas (are you sensing a pattern yet?), tomatoes, a juice bag, and a fruit cup. After that, the group met to discuss the supplies we would need for our craft projects for the rural schools and to add onto the Megan Quotes list, and then many of us worked on a little homework. Tomorrow will be an extremely busy day, what with a full day at school, a visit to the orphanage, and class, but I can’t wait for more!
Math with Cristian and Luis Fernando
Capture the Flag
Tyra, the modeling lizard
All the students LOVE the Wimpy Kid series
GATITOS! (The trap)
Our new Honduran friends