14 December 2011

Eventually you have to go Home

           Well I was planning on typing this up before I left, but time got away from me, and I enjoyed spending the extra moments with my kids. But a wonderful surprise came to me this morning when I checked in with the Airline. My first flight is executive class, so there is fast wifi internet in the VIP lounge I am currently sitting in on a very comfy leather seat, next to the free outlet I am also charging my laptop with so in Miami (where they aren't available) I can watch a movie on my computer. Very nice morning considering I got up super early cause Kevin had a 710 flight so we left at 5 this morning. Anyways, I am currently traveling. I leave Lima at 1020 this morning, get to Miami about 3, then head to Dallas at 630, and head to Austin at 930. And I should be with my family around 11 tonight, with no delays.
           Enough about traveling, because it is boring and long. My last week in Peru was long but not boring. I am very tired currently, which makes me doubly thankful for my surprise blessing. In my last week I had so many things to do. I of course had the last 3 days of school to plan and be ready for, had to gather the last of the kid's projects to hand out, fill out report cards, sign a zillion diplomas and awards, pack up all the school stuff and store it in my bedroom, pack up all the kitchen and store it in my bedroom, pack up my own things- making decisions what to bring and what to take, and finish my goodbye presents for the kids. 
         Friday was a crazy day. I woke up early and had to get my last jump on packing everything away. I was very thankful that Kevin agreed to come help me pack things away, he is pretty awesome. Friday there was also Olinda, a friend from Pacasmayo, that was cooking the chicken and stuff for our promocion dinner (which I wasn't aware of so I couldn't pack up the kitchen till Sunday night). But it is ok because it got done. Friday afternoon was out promocion for the kids, which is a black tie affair who knew. All the girls but one had brand new dresses, nice dresses like they were going to a preschool prom, and the boys all wore ties. Everyone also had new shoes, all a few sizes too big of course so they can wear them for a few more years. 
      The promocion was really nice and all the kids enjoyed it, they are a little wild and their parents don't control them very well, but it was a successful event. 
      Saturday was Jacky's Quinceanera. Her 15th birthday isn't until the 26th or 27th of the month but they wanted to do it before Kevin and I left (but now Kevin is staying till the 29th so I guess it was just me) The whole day was prepping, there was decorating, cooking, dress trying on, and I was baking! Cake for 38 plus the 18 kids who were in the houses (it was a big kid event only). It is a lot of cupcakes. But it was fun, I had some good helpers. 
     The party was really nice too. Everything looked good, all the girls got dressed up which they love, and we did their hair. I think I did about 6 or 8 girls hair, almost forgot about my own! They all looked beautiful. 
     At the end of the party Jacky was left with her basket of gifts, that needed to be opened so we opened them of course! She got 3 wallets, which was interesting. I guess when you turn 15 you are supposed to come into a lot of money and need a lot of wallets. But none of the wallets held any money inside. She also got some other fun gifts. Avis and Bruce bought her a beautiful silver necklace with a key on it. And Wendy gave her a random bag of beauty supplies which is what every teenage girls wants so she was excited. There were also the other random Peruvian gifts, because they just aren't very good giftgivers, I don't really get it. 
      Saturday night turned into Sunday morning pretty quick after that and I put the girls to bed, but Jacky and Mary were upset because I was leaving and so we stayed up in Jacky's bed a bit, dragged baby and his mattress in and all three shared her twin bunk- good night. 
     Sunday of course was really tough for me. There were lots of tears from everyone, even some of the boys. Joel was in his bed holding his owl for a good while. And I left Jacky crying on her bed when I left. Gladys, the goof, got to the orphanage after I had already left and so she called me when we were on the bus- that is what happens when it is your crazy Peruvian mother, just not so punctual. 
      Sunday night Kevin and I quickly did all the last minute things like defrosting the freezer for Maura, and cleaning the kitchen. And Monday morning we made our flight no problems and got to Miraflores for our 2 day break. Monday we mostly rested, for dinner he took me out fancy- it was delicious!, Tuesday we had to do some paperwork with our residency cards, then did some last minute shopping in the inka market, and I finally got to paraglide! It was good. And now I am awaiting my flight, as previously stated. 
       So I guess this is my sign off, thanks again everyone who supported me, whether it was monetarily, through prayers, through emails, Skype calls, by reading my blog, or by remembering to think of me every once in a while. I appreciate it all. My time in Peru was an experience I will never forget. The children here will always be in my heart, and I will continue to pray and send them things. . Thanks for everything, I love you all and see you soon in the states!!!

Giving out attendance awards at the Clausura.
The mayor of El Milagro, our town, was our Padrino (Godfather) for our Promocion.  He asked Auden  what he could bring and he said the cake, then he asked how many students there are and so he brought a 8" round double layer cake for each family and us. It was pretty nice.
Of course I got to take my picture with all of the kids. They all dress up pretty fancy for the occasion.  This is me and Beatriz one of my 4 year olds from the year.
Me and Angela, one of my other 4 year olds. She is super quiet and sweet and very intelligent. 
The mayor giving a little speech
All the kind in their dresses and suits, of course this was taken after they ate so Antonio (second from right) has a Purple mustache from the juice. 
Marely and the owl I made her. I made each of the my students and the kids form the orphanage an owl as my goodbye present. 

Paolo helping me and Mary, Jacky's sister,  make the cake for the Quinceanera. 
All the younger kids who didn't come to the party but still got to eat cake and sandwiches. 

This is the cake we made. A small cake for Jacky, and then cupcakes for everyone else, it was a lot of baking. 
Me and my little sisters, who will soon actually be Kevin's little sisters. We spent a lot of time ready but waiting because the guests don't show up in a timely fashion and Jacky couldn't enter until last. 

This is Kevin and Jacky. Jacky of course in her dress, and Kevin in the optional change skirt. 

Avis (the founder) and Bruce (our resident Canadian), the Padrinos, godparents, for the event (on the left) Jacky and Gina (the director) and the one of the guys who came and did the music and games. 

Boys team for one game, they kind of schooled the girls.

The girls, they lost but they look better than the boys.

Me Jacky and Kevin (with his mouth open telling Jim how to use the camera- it is the only one though...)

It is tradition that you are supposed to take a bite right out of your cake.  She took a very dainty bite out of that cake. 

Jacky and Jonas (another volunteer), he got her a stuffed pig, because his nickname from the kids is Chancho- which is pig. She loved it. I loved it because it has a jingle bell for a brain. So it just rattles. 

Finally getting to go paragliding

about to take off.

There I go.

Kevin's turn. This was the first attempt but something got tangled so they took it down and tried again. 

They made it off though

This was his quick turn, everyone behind and beside me thought they were landing. But Kevin's pilot asked him if he was ready to have fun and then whipped him around in a super fast turn that threw everyone off. 

04 December 2011

The beginning of the end

I bought a teepee!!! It was on super clearance, and the kids love it. I added it to the reading station and put the music stuff in there.  
Impromptu band after school waiting for moms to come. 
One of our projects we finished in school. The kids loves them, of course everything they love is a little annoying so they were sent home. :)
More music, except I made them. hot glued some plastic plates together, after I drilled some holes. then tied on some bottle caps I smashed, they are wonderful. 

Maura has chicks, and occasionally they come downstairs and it follows me everywhere.

Auden and Wendy bought themselves a new mattress, KING sized so there will be room for the kids to crawl in with them in the mornings. However, they had some car trouble and had to spend the night at my house on the way home with it. Which gave me the opportunity of lifting a King sized mattress on the top of a car- cross that off the list? Haha, but better I got to see how ridiculous they look with the giant mattress atop their little car, for a 2 hour drive north on the Pan American. 

While preparing for Thanksgiving, Paolo of course wanted to help me. So I threw a little flour out for him to play with and he had a blast, and had flour in his diaper. 

Keili got Auden to build her a new swing, but she requested some safety features of her own design. Paolo tried it out when we were their for Thanksgiving but it wasn't so safe, because he had to hold onto the pole and use all his little stomach muscles to hold himself forward but could sit up straight cause of the safety pole. 

Resting outside in the bright and warm sun after a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my American/Mexican Peruvian family. 

I wanted to make the kids some stilts so when canned peaches were on sale we made peach cobbler, and got stilts! The kids loved them, and fought over them for a whole day and a half until some of the bigger kids used them and they got too dented to be safe to walk on anymore. 
Everyday in school the kids get some delicious gummy vitamins., that were brought down by a church from Lubbock in June. I opened our very last bottle last week and I found this. About 30 gummies had become one giant gummy that all the children wanted as their own. I thought it was kind of funny, this was the only set of gummies that had this happen out of about 13 bottles. I was able to distinguish and separate out the gummies well enough so it wasn't a loss. 
It is Christmas time and everyone loves Christmas! We painted some Christmas trees in class using potato stamps. Three different sized triangles and a star for the top. Most of the kids put the triangles in the correct order, a few of them however may topple over if they were indeed real trees. 

Kevin, Paolo, and I were playing in the Psychologist's Room this past Sunday, even though we probably weren't supposed to be in there. It used to be unlocked for the kids to play, but then the little kids never cleaned up, so it was locked. But Paolo always cleans up for the most part, and he needs a place where he can play and touch everything without being told no. Life is getting a little more frustrating for him since he can reach most things, and get everywhere by himself, and he wants to figure out what things are by touching them, but he really shouldn't. 

This is one of our favorite toys. I of course get the microphone second hand after he yells in it, and his snot and drool get stuck on it he then presses it up against my mouth for a turn, glad I have a superior immune system.

Loves the giant mirror, and climbing. 

Paolo and me playing one of our favorite games of Can you Build a Tower Faster than Baby can Destroy It?

Going back to everyone loves Christmas, the girls at Casa de Paz love Christmas! And making decorations for the house. Last week we made these lanterns with whatever Christmas picture they wanted on it. They even painted them during the week. When I walked in on Friday I found them all in a semi circle bordering the Christmas Tree Skirt.

Here is Greisy cutting out he ornament for the tree. We shaved all my crummy crayons from school down, and them melted them between wax paper and hung them up on the tree. They loved it. They are definitely crafty girls, or they are when I bring projects they sat there working for a few hours. I didn't take too many pictures cause it was pretty involved using the iron and helping the girls. 

And then I forgot to take pictures of theirs but this is mine that I made and put on the tree when I was telling them how to do it. They made all sorts of them, stockings, trees, boots, flowers, stars, bells, butterflies, and some I don't remember.

The Craziness begins

      Well if you all remember, I am coming home now in less that ten days. My flight leaves Lima the 14th of January at like 10 in the morning. I get into Miami 6 hours later, then have a couple hours in layover time, I got to Dallas, wait another hour, then I get to Austin at about 10-10:30 the same night. 
     However, it feels like such a long time still before I leave. I have now 2 days left of school, which I am excited about it being over, I am tired and ready for "summer break" (which will hopefully only last until the 1st week of January providing and praying that I get hired at a school for the spring semester). So Wednesday is the last day of school. I have already gathered all of the school things that are my own and that I want to keep, and so we will be using all the things I am leaving for the next 2 days. Thursday is the Clausura, which is when I give them their grades, and we are also handing out some attendance awards. Wendy and I don't really understand why this is an important day for preschool, but apparently it is so we are having one. Friday at 3 we have the promotion for the 3 maybe 4 of our 5 year olds that will be going to first grade in March/April. 
     Promotions are also a big to do. We are very blessed to have been provided a place to hold it since our current school is little and won't fit everyone and their families. A man is letting us us his space that is on the main plaza, and even his tables and chairs, we just have to give him S/20 for electricity. Pretty cool. The promotion will be at 3 with a meal and hopefully be over and cleaned up around 5, then we will hop in the car back to Pacasmayo/Jequetepeque, and even more craziness will be going on. 
     I hadn't been planning on going to the Mayorista (the largest Market in Trujillo) again before I left. However, Gina, the director of the orphanage, decided to do Jacky's Quincenaera on the 10th so Kevin and I would be able to be there for her (now just me cause Kevin has extended his stay until the 29th of Dec). Gina also asked me if I would help put it together. Which I don't know if people know this about me but I actually really enjoy planning for weddings and other big events and such, so I don't mind, and it is for my "little sister" so I am even more willing. Everything is cheaper in Trujillo at the Mayorista so , I am in charge of the buying of balloons, disposable plates, forks, cups, ribbon, and maybe some other things hope I didn't loose that list. I also volunteered to make the cake (otherwise it could be not so great, and I love making cakes for people especially the kids), I am going to borrow some tiers from the party store, and make some tiers out of cupcakes, then do a 2 layered 8" round cake for the top tier. Pray it all turns out and their is no running out of time for anything!
    I am probably not going to be able to make the cakes until Saturday, but her party isn't until 7 so we should be good. I am able to bake 30 cupcakes at a time in their oven using their big pan and my silicone muffin cups. It will be enough cake for 38 guests and the other 20 kids at the orphanage who aren't coming (she only wants the big kids there, which is understandable).
   I also got to go dress shopping with Jacky and Gina this past Saturday. Jacky didn't understand how complicated and time intensive it can be to find the dress, so I had to educate her. We found her dress at the last store we went to. It is beautiful, and she of course is beautiful in it. I will post a picture after, because we don't want anyone to see her dress before hand. 
    After the Quinceanera I will have one more day at the orphanage to say farewell to all the kids. It is going to be really tough for me. The last three weeks have been really tough for me already, so keep me in your prayers on the 11th. After many hugs, kisses, and inevitable tears Kevin and I will hop on a bus to my house in Trujillo, an get up early to catch a flight to Lima Monday morning. The plan is to relax, close out my resident card, meet up with Gaby, and go paragliding off the coast (since the weather was a no go when my dad was here). Then Wednesday morning it is up early and to the airport one last time. 

20 November 2011

Mary Poppins


         My students do not yet read, but they do their darn best at it. Most of their reading still comes from looking at the pictures, and because they have memorized certain stories that we have read a lot. Their favorite book is Pato en Bicicleta by David Shannon. It is the Spanish version from a well known American author. At one point I even had the book memorized and still do, because we read it for a whole week working on sequence of events! 
        All of the kids really enjoy farm animals. When we were learning about plants, I showed them a part of the Baby Einstein Old MacDonald video, that introduced some vocabulary (in Spanish of course) and had lots of god video of things growing and fields being tended to. They convinced me a few days later to let them watch the whole video, and I gave in. But they really enjoyed it even though it is geared to a much younger audience. As far as being a teacher I actually liked the video in my class. It introduced a lot of vocabulary, it had segments on farm animals, planting, products of the farm, celebrating the harvest, and it had 2 songs in it that the kids begged to learn and continue to ask to sing every morning. 
        One of my favorite things that I picked up from my amazing cooperating teacher during my practicum and student teaching (I requested to work with her for the second after I learned so much the first), was creating books for everything. In special education and even preschool, especially if you don't have a library to utilize it is hard to find books to use that will be on the level of your students learning and be directed at what you want to teach. So this year I have taken that skill and made lots of books for the kids. 
        I have made an alphabet book, a vowels book, a Garden counting book, a book about seeds, and many more. One of the books the kids take most pride in of course is one that they illustrated. From the Baby Einstein video I decided we could make an Old MacDonald book (Except the song was En la Granja de mi tia- which is In the farm of my aunt, it rhymed). So now they have another book that they know all the words too as they turn each page!

This is the cover of our Old MacDonald book, that I drew.

Neiver and his horse. 

Marely and her pink dog.

Angela and her chickens

Some of the kids with the rest of our books; The Alphabet, The Vowels, Seeds, My Garden, The body, Plants, The five senses, Why do we brush our teeth?, and The Cookie Cutter book job

Bulletin Boards

          So again not being allowed to watch movies or TV at all, I brought a bag full of projects to the orphanage this past weekend. I sometimes feel like Mary Poppins, I only wish my bag were as cool and lightweight as hers was. I of course brought with me a bag full of nail polishes that I had gotten at the Mayorista- you buy everything by the dozen or by kilo and it is ridiculously cheap. They of course called dibs on the color they wanted immediately and started creating art on their nails. There were flowers, polk a dots, colorful french tips, and bright multi-colored finger nails all around the house. The funny thing about them is by the next day they scratch it off and do it again.
         I also finally was able to find dice, and of course now I have 100 of them cause you had to buy the bag, o well they are really useful. Kevin and I learned a fun game at a friends birthday party a while back, and knew the kids would love it, but have been unable to track down any dice. Since I now had plenty I brought some home to teach the kids. They loved it! Here are some quick instructions if you are interested it is surprisingly really fun. It is called Mennonite Madness. There is one die, one pen and everyone has a small sheet of paper. the goal is to write all the numbers from 1-100 on your paper. To be able to do that you have to roll a six. Being only one pen you end up quickly grabbing it from someone as they are writing, and quickly try to write as many numbers as you can before the next six is rolled. The girls played for like an hour. And the big sisters were helping their younger sisters write, but letting them roll- such sweethearts. 
       My big project however was to make bulletin boards for their rooms and one for the main room in each house. Kevin cut the boards for us then some of the girls impressed me with their sanding abilities, and then the creativeness began. They didn't quite understand what I was telling them they could do with all the supplies I brought. So I helped the little girls make theirs first, and then the rest copied the general idea but made it their own. Unfortunately they are not hanging on their walls yet, because I forgot to get fixtures to put them on the wall, brilliant I know, so next week they can use them. And next week I will also remember the push pins, so we can make pretty clay flowers and such to decorate those with!

Katia sanding the edges real well, and Mary hiding behind her board, they even sanding the flat sides without prompting, so good.

Completed project!

         The boys really wanted to go swimming, so they shovelled all the rocks out of the way of the door, so Kevin could get the Combi out. It was still super cold, everyone got in the water, some stayed in longer than others though!

The girls playing tag in the water
Joel trying to warm up on his towel.

       This weekend my plans were to spend one night at the orphanage and one with the Lujans since I hadn't been able to spend much time with them lately. But the anniversary of the kids school began Sunday, and it is a big to do here, which meant parades and parties at church, and not enough adults to take them everywhere and do everything and watch the baby. So he got to come on a sleepover with me! He loved it. He got to play with his friends, Keili and Josiah, even got to take a bath with them in a real bathtub which he loved. They watched his videos with him in the morning, he loved sharing that. When Josiah woke up I went and grabbed him to join us and he sat on my lap, then Paolo crawled into my lap and put his hand on Josiah's shoulder. So cute, just watching farm animals with his buddy. They played all day. Keili, me and Paolo went to the park and he was able to do all the slides by himself, because someone must have put something on them cause you can't 'slide' anymore, it was all scooting. After lunch we pulled out the big tub and Keili and Paolo swam, it was his first time "swimming" and not just taking a bath, even though it is basically the same to him but it was outside and there was no soap. Josiah didn't swim with them, he is more reserved than the other two who love to splash and scream.
      After Paolo told me he was finished I took him out, dried him off, and put him back in his clothes. It was getting close to leaving time so I starting packing our stuff. He went out to the living room where Wendy and Josiah were. However, the door was unlocked so he just walked right out. On certain days in Jequetepeque water comes through the irrigation ditches and it basically floods their yard. I went finished packing realized baby was no longer in the house and I found him in the middle of a mud puddle regretting his decision and asking for help. Of course he sat down first so his clothes were all muddy and his shoes were suctioned in and couldn't get out himself, so I had to go in after him- it always seems to work that way.

Enjoying the 'swimming pool'.

"Mama, Mama..." Said in an extremely whinny, I don't know what to do tone.