Published: July 4th 2012July 3rd 2012
This is Shanna. She turned 16! :D She lovessss playing cards and Bananagrams!
Sorry I haven't written in so long. I was sick last week with a strange stomach infection thingy, so sleeping and just lying in bed took major precendence over blogging. :)
I've found myself in a little bit of a rut here in Lima. For the last, oh, probably two weeks I've been very easily agitated. (For those of you study abroad people, I've gotten to the middle stage where all you want to do is go home and you dislike so many things about your host country.) There was one point in the last few weeks that I just started dreading having to go to all the classes during the school day. (Even my favorite group-- Noe!) Part of the way the schools are organized here is that there isn't a lot of actual structure to what the students are expected to do. For example, you'll find no classroom rules/expectations posted anywhere in the room. You'll also have students constantly leaving their seats to come ask a random question or ask to use the restroom. One of the other major things for students to do (in about third grade and down) is to get out of
It's almost wedding time!
I'm so pumped for this wedding! Only two weeks away! Yanina, get ready to get your dance on!
their seats and just walk around and talk to whomever they want when they want. For those of you that know me well and how I teach, that just doesn't fly with me. Last week I was so fed up with students working on other homework in class, coloring in their books, or passing notes, that I just started taking things away and giving them back at the end of class. It didn't work for me to tell them in English that they needed to stop what they were doing, so taking away the object got my message across. (It also doesn't help to raise your voice at all because the school echoes so much. That, and the students are usually already talking to one another, so then they just start talking louder so they can hear one another of the teacher's screams.) I could tell them in Spanish what exactly I want them to do, but then that defeats the purpose of learning ENGLISH, doesn't it?
Anway, enough of that for now. :) (Stay tuned for another blog excerpt that will talk about how to get into a university here! It's quite the show!) Last week there were only four days of school because Friday was some sort of holiday. So, for the day, we went out of town on the outskirts of Lima to visit Daniel's aunt (Lourdes) and her family (her two children: Shanna and Cesar and her husband: Cesar). We were going to celebrate Shanna's 16th birthday! This was quite the afternoon-- movies, volleyball, Bananagrams, practicing English and Spanish, delicious food, Spoons, and Yo Soy. (These are the days I live for down here. This was nothing but a giant family get-together--probably about 30+ people. I'm not usually one for big family events, but the games we played let everyone connect and feel like "part of the family," even though four of us are just Crazy Americans. The English/Spanish potential wall never got in our way. We worked around it, translated for one another, and used pictures and actions when words failed us.) I'm really never going to forget the Berrospid family. They [all um-teen of them!] have been nothing but welcoming, supportive, encouraging, and helpful. They're all always constantly encouraging us to work on our language skills. They'll correct us and explain the difference between words, teach us new phrases or shorter phrases to use. We really couldn't have been blessed with a better "host" family!)
The drive out to the house was long because we had to go to the other side of the mountains... Which means going up one side, down the other, and then driving a little bit more. Lourdes' is fantastically gorgeous. It has a gate and a fence that go around the entire property. Just inside the gate is a large yard with tons of green grass and a short driveway leading up to the house. Before entering the house you'll find a lovely white brick patio with a section of glass going from one end of the other. Under the glass, there is water with a sort of fish tank. SO NEAT! The front of the house is all glass-- floor to ceiling windows-- which looks into the living room and dining room, where there is also a wood burning fireplace. Then there is a back hallway that leads upstairs to another living area. Here is where you'll find hundreds (I mean hundreds!) of movies. The selection ranges from The Emporer's New Groove to Sherlock Holmes.
We ended the weekend with a day at church and laughing with Beatriz, Betty, Mirtha, and Lourdes. Those ladies are simply one of a kind. They're a hoot and a half. Really! :D We were also offically invited to Janina and Arturo's wedding on July 21st. (Arturo is Daniel's cousin.) I'm excited! The other ladies and I are going to break out some "American" dances. Hopefully they'll find them entertaining and join in!
Stay tuned for a story about salsa dancing and three family birthdays! :D