Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ready, set, school!

After two whirlwind weeks home, including a drag show bachelorette party and Ashley's beautiful, fun and in every other way awesome wedding...I'm back in Guyana! Wonder of wonders, our school is actually OVERSTAFFED this year (can't they ever get their numbers right??) which works out OK because one teacher is on maternity leave. So from now till Christmas, I'm teaching grade 3. 32 8-year-olds sounds crazy, but they're a good class to work with, excited to learn and well-behaved, and I'm enjoying teaching them so far.
My village's Amerindian Heritage celebration is coming up soon, which means hundreds of people will visit, get drunk on fly and bombali (potato and cassava wine) and party till the sun comes up. Last year lots of Peace Corps volunteers came in, and some are coming this year, too...should be a good time.

After that, it's Sports Day, which is a cross between an elementary school track meet and a field day. We spend the last hour of school in practice, holding tryouts and marching in formation, three days a week for a month. I suppose it compensates for the fact that otherwise, we have no phys ed...? Kids throughout the school who are not on my team are already trash talking me when they pass me in school.
What else, what else...I'm starting up after-school lessons at the secondary school for kids who are really poor readers (i.e. second grade reading level or below) and the HM is going to work with me on it...she's really interested in learning about phonics, apparently. Win! I've been doing diagnostics this week, so the lessons should start next week. When I talk to the kids one-on-one, they seem pretty interested in improving their reading, which was a surprise but maybe shouldn't have been. I can't imagine how hard it must be for them to go through even just a day of high school with the reading skills of a first grader. I'm a bit nervous that the “cool” teenage mindset is going to take over when I have them in a group, and they'll just goof off and won't take it seriously. I'll make it as engaging and non-babyish as I can, and having the HM on my side should be a help, too.
Having no internet in my village...kinda sucks. I miss talking to people from home. I mean, I'm surviving, and I can handle it much better now than I would've been able to in the beginning, but it's still annoying. It's completely derailed this craft selling project, and also makes applying to grad school difficult. Fortunately I live close to the capital, and I can use the internet on my monthly trip in.
Six months left. Nuts. Now, dear reader, you're just about up-to-date on my life, although this post WAS written on September 20th. Stay tuned for more!

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