30 April 2011

Give me an arm

         So, a very long time ago, well during one of my first few weeks in Peru I made a slight error in a word. I was asking one of the boys for my hug and in Spanish a hug is abrazo, however, still brushing up on my Spanish I accidentally forgot my a, so instead I said brazo- which is arm. I asked for an arm, and he caught it so he gave me his arm. So, tonight when I got home he asked for his arm and I gave him my arm, and like always a good laugh. 
        People always say, everyone remembers the little things or it is the little things that add to your everyday to make them special.  It is true. I have little things with about everyone I know. Little inside jokes, things that make no sense to anyone on the outside, but to me and that person there is a story behind it. 
      I am updating my blog today specifically for my Mexican, Victoria. She is my Mexican and yes I call her that, one she is in fact Mexican, and the first time I went to her apartment as we were trudging up 3 flights of stairs, I questioned her as to why on earth she lived on the 3rd floor. With no hesitation she replied, "It is because I am Mexican." From there the joke grew, and has lasted now for almost 5 years.  Victoria is one of my best friends, and she is one of the people who most consistently floods my inbox with her random thoughts, some longer than others or some demands. Like this one, ' You need to update your blog... I've been faithfully checking it daily... .' (Personally I thought I had been doing a lot better at updating)
      Thus the update, which lead me to thinking about the little things that make relationships unique. Something about every relationship I have is special. Sometimes, the little things just happen and they stick, other times, especially with kids, you have to find something little to begin to form that trust to begin the relationship, and then it generally stays as well. 
      Besides educating children, as a teacher you have to form a special relationship with each of your students, a bond. With every kid just because you are their teacher does not mean they are immediately going to respect you and listen to your instructions or follow your rules. So, this past month not only have I been doing my best to put together lessons from the little bit of curriculum I have and the limited resources, and then making my own teaching aides by hand, and teaching 17 3-5 year olds, but I have also been looking for little things about the kids. Little things that make them who they are, and also little things I can use to gain their trusts. 
      For a whole week straight one of the moms was 30-45 minutes late picking up her son. We would sit outside waiting. The second to last kid would leave, he would be left. I would ask him where his mother was, he would tell me she is down at our 'ranch'. 'Why?' I would continue. He would reply with she is washing clothes or she is cooking lunch. Then 2 minutes later I would ask him again where was his mother, the same would pursue, I would ask again, and again. For about 10 minutes, then finally when she wasn't there we would go inside and start cleaning the classroom. He stacks the chairs, I sweep and continue to ask him where his mother is. But now he is a really good helper in the class keeping things clean, and willing to put things away. And when he is off track or gets unfocused, all I have to say to get him on track is "Y tu mama?" and he smiles and does what he is supposed to be doing. 
       There are many many other small things that I have been finding with the kids, and the little things I have made into inside jokes, but to tell a bunch of inside jokes would take a really long time, and some of them wouldn't be as funny cause they are inside jokes. 

29 April 2011

New Address

Before I forget yet again...

My friends in Trujillo who live in a better place to receive mail than me, are going to let me use their address so here is is.

Marie Esther Tello/ Samantha Thomas
MZ "D" Lote 37 2° Piso Urb. La esmeralda
Trujillo- La Libertad- Peru

So, if you were holding off on sending something via instructions from my mother, the hold has been lifted. If you have sent something to the old address no worries I can still receive it but let me know, and the date it left. For all things sent in a box, please send me an email letting me know the date you sent it so I know to be expecting it cause the mail folks here just aren't so timely sometimes. Letters go directly to the house. Anyways that is that. Love.

16 April 2011

Birthday Birthday

     Well as many of you who love me and know when my birthday occurs annually without the help of Facebook, my birthday was this past Wednesday, and it was a different birthday. Normally I would have celebrated with many of you as we have done for many years, going out to dinner or trying to surprise me. I would have celebrated with my family, mom would have made my birthday dinner and a cake for me. Instead I celebrated with a wonderful bunch of people I didn't even know on my last birthday. But I thought I would share how the day went for all of you who missed it.
      Well school, went really well except that a kid showed up 45 minutes early for school- I got over it because the kids were really well behaved and the day went wonderfully. After all the kids left and I was about to head upstairs for lunch with Hermana Maura and company, her and Katy (daughter in law) came down singing happy birthday to me bearing a pudding desert that they made for me. After lunch I was able to get a whole hour nap- which was glorious, and afterwards my Peruvian mothers came by to give me the traditional Birthday hugs. When Wendy and Auden arrived, and I received a huge birthday to you hug from Keili. We played, Kevin came a bit before church and we all had conversation in English that was above the level of a 5 year old, which was nice. After church Auden and Wendy took us to Pizza Hut. Pizza hut here makes me laugh, because it is a very nice place, with no sketchy salad bar in the middle, and the waiters are all wearing ties and such.
      Pizza Hut was completely packed so we had to wait a bit, we got a booth and ordered and then we seemed to wait forever. That was because they burnt our Pizza, so we got free garlic sticks, and after like an hour total we got our pizza. It was good, it could have been better if Peru knew about free refills. O and I found 10 soles under the booth, it is still in debate as to whether it fell out of the Lujans baby backpack or not, but it was my birthday. The day ended at the house with a red velvet cake Wendy made for me with cream cheese icing- so good. And then the Lujans stayed over so Keili shared my bed and I was kicked all night long, but the day had been great!
     But birthday didn't end Wednesday. I came home yesterday night, and as we were walking in the girls charged me, and hugged me and I was told I couldn't come to the house yet, so I went to see Baby first, then I was collected and taken to the girls house. The lights were off, and the girls started singing birthday songs to me, and there was desert that the older girls made for me and I even got my own juice box! It was beautiful. I got more birthday hugs, and then I was told I had to do the birthday dances-which are really long and repetitive, but it was really fun, and my girls are all wonderful.
    So, even though I missed my mom's home cooked birthday meal and going out with everyone, everyone here made my birthday awesome. So, thanks for all of the birthday wishes and emails, they were fabulous.

Check out some new pictures  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=983092248387&id=29627113&aid=2527831&l=7775fa052a

11 April 2011

The Color Yellow

     It has been a while since all of my Pre-school and early childhood courses from school. Which feels so weird to say that since I just finished school less than a year ago, but the last two years was mainly focused on the Special Education aspect of my degree- so it was weird starting to teach pre-school this past week. It was definitely a new, challenging, and really fun experience for me, it is going to be an interesting year for me of testing patience, getting kids to stop crying and hitting each other, getting them to use the bathroom properly, and at the same time teaching colors, numbers, letters, values, art, music, PE, and everything else that comes wrapped in curriculum.
    So, a little more about the colorfulness of my week. First off, we finally received the curriculum from the regional head last Friday as we were literally driving to the highway to head home for the weekend. So, my preparedness for the week wasn't what I was hoping it would be, but we survived. The week wouldn't have been possible without my new friend, Vasti. Vasti came with Auden and Wendy on their return trip from the US for a few weeks, and last week she was my assistant- a God send because nothing in Peru goes how you thought it would. I anticipated that there would be many late arrivals, given the nature of generally all Peruvians, on the first day, so we began by coloring and just chatting with the kids until about 45 minutes after the start of school- and some kids still didn't get there till an hour after the start. There were also many interruptions the whole first week. There was the painter who came and needed things, but I couldn't deal with him, so the Senora helped out in that. There were all the rest of the mothers trying to enroll their kids in the middle of the school day, I finally put up a sign for them to come before school the next day and the ages yet the persisted to knock and interrupt. There were children who were leaving their moms for the first time in their lives, one kid even broke the glass on the door with his fist, but he promised not to break it the next day he just kicked the metal bottom of the door. One lady even tried to leave her 3 year old at the door, even though I told her we couldn't accept any kids that were just three, had to call out the door to her to come back.
       Don't worry in all of the chaos there was also learning! We learned about circles, the color yellow, the creation of the world, we read stories and checked for some hint of comprehension, we played games, and learned how to wash our hands. But the week was an overall success for not having all the materials I would have liked to have. In this week I hope to find more of a rhythm to settle into. The kids are awesome, and most of them really excited to learn. Vasti and I already were picking out the personalities of who is going to be the class clown, the leader, the hitter, the crier, etc. This week we are moving onto the color red, sharing, and other fun things.

03 April 2011


So, as you all have witnessed I haven't been consistently about to connect to the internet the entire time here.  And I am here to let you know this week I will not have internet. I am moving to the new house in Trujillo and it is not yet set up, so I won't have internet until Friday night, unless I go find internet, but being the first week I have a lot to do so I may not.

But a shout out to Laura and Dad whose birthday's I will miss on the 5th and 7th!!!! I love you and wish you the best and on the weekend I will bless you both with a call from me. :)

Be praying for me it is going to be an interesting first week of Pre-School!!!!