June 24, 2007

This past week went by fast. On Monday I practiced for my first charlas to give on Tuesday. Then Tuesday morning I went to the school and found that another group of young “gringos” from a church were doing some sort of program with the kids. I decided I didn’t want to have to give my charla after the kids were all wound up so I decided to go back on Wednesday. I went Wednesday and a Japanese volunteer who also works at the hospital (in nutrition) accompanied me just to see what type of work I’m doing. I gave the charla to a fifth and a sixth grade class of 36 and 40 students, respectively. The first charla was a basic introduction to the course. We went over all the different topics we’d be addressing throughout the series of 15 or so charlas, talked about good communication, did some fun activities (what they call “dinámicas”), and the students came up with rules for the course. Even with the large amount of students, it went really well although I’d almost lost my voice after giving the two charlas. It’s hard to understand how the kids can learn anything in the schools here due to the structure of the buildings. Because of the hot climate, most schools are built in a square or U shape with an open center courtyard. The classrooms have windows that face the courtyard as well on the opposite wall to let the air pass through. Sometimes there is glass in the courtyard windows but usually they just have the metal bars for security. So it is incredibly difficult to hear anything because something is always going on…some kids are on break, others are doing a loud activity in a classroom nearby, etc. You really do have to practically yell while you’re in your classroom so that all students can hear. This coming week I’m planning to do the same introduction charla at two other schools.

On Thursday and Friday we went to Zamorano, a private agricultural university between Danlí and Tegus for a meeting with some PC staff and all the volunteers from the department of El Paraíso. We stayed over night Thursday night, had breakfast, and then came back to Danlí on Friday late morning. It’s a neat university with a huge campus. Students come from all over Central and South America to study there.

On Monday-Tuesday we’re hoping to accompany two employees of Vecinos Mundiales (NGO) on a visit to a few communities they’re working in. The last excursion we went out with this NGO put us in contact with these fellow employees who are working in another aldea near Danlí. We’re going this time just to get to know the communities and see if there are any work possibilities.

A couple of food/drink tidbits...I’m now addicted to the unripe mangos that sort of taste like an unripe apple. You can buy them off the street from usually older ladies who peel the skin off the green mango then cut thin slices of the fruit. They sell a bag of the slices for 5 lemps (25 cents) and put salt (mixed with dry chilies spices) and hot sauce over the slices. It’s a salty/spicy treat! Luke definitely is not a fan but I love them…it fulfills my need for salty snacks. We found a great juice place near the centro. The owner has yummy pastries as well as lots of fresh juices called “frescos naturales”. She usually has about 7 different kinds to choose from. This morning (Sunday) Luke and I went on a walk and stopped there afterward. Luke got guayaba and I got maracujá (passion fruit). They are so good!

1 comment:

Dorianne said...

Hard to imagine a salty mango, but I'll take your word for it! Jarod said Luke said you guys found a place?!! That's great!
Yummy fruit juice... you guys are getting so spoiled down there with all that good fruit!
Miss you!
love, dory