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. 

14 November 2011


     A few weeks ago in school we made monster paintings! Each kid got three blobs of watered down tempera on the paper and then blew through a straw to create their monster, then we added eyes.

To many things to post about.

Me and Keili playing dress up with the things her Aunt Adrienne sent with Grandma and Grandpa.


         We did some fun stuff in school last week in our centers. I have some pictures for you. Recently most of our craft projects have been music makers, because our classroom collection is lacking and it is no fun if only the teacher gets to make one!
Playing the Apple Game. Role the dice and read then number and then put that many apples (beads)  on the tree. Get rid of yours first and you win!

Writing their names with stencils.

Kazoos!!! Kevin told me he would hunt down the person who sent one of these home with his kids,  cause yea they are kind of annoying but way fun. Toilet paper roll, wax paper, and a rubber band.

Some early arrivals helping me prep our tin cans for projects. My part of the prep way worse, old evaporated milk at the bottom of a can after opening to wash it- disgusting. 

Painting with Monster Cars!

Paper- Macheing balloons to make maracas to make music of course!

Some of the chalk art during free play outside.

         During my afternoons I make a lot of messes in my house creating things for school, of getting stuff together and coming up with ideas to take home to do with the kids at the orphanage. Last week I collected some rocks from Auden's worksite and I painted them to look like dominoes. Kevin told me they were flawed because they don't sit on the table on their sides like real dominoes. But kids like hoarding things in their laps anyways, so I didn't see it to be that big of a problem. And it cost nothing. 
Homemade dominoes.

       Speaking of things costing nothing, I have recently been telling people to save all sorts of things from milk cartons, to eggs shells, and they all look at me like I am crazy but it is fun for the children! Last week I asked the moms if they could bring to school their used milk cans. They all looked at me like I was crazy and asked why I just told them it was for a project. We are going to make little drums (more music) and we are going to make the tin can luminaries- pictures to come when the projects are complete of course.
This is the Wall Auden Built

       I may have mentioned previously that Auden and Wendy had purchased a small piece of land about 3 blocks down from where we are currently renting. Recently they have begun to build. Auden did all the digging to prep the land to pour the concrete by himself with the help of one worker. Then he was able to hire Maura's son Henry to pour the columns and the floor thanks to a donation. After that he was able to purchase the materials to begin building the walls, but doesn't have extra money to hire help yet- it is a future plan for sure when the rest of the money comes in. However, for now he is stacking his bricks by himself. 
The bulding. It will have two classrooms. Auden working on the left one in the middle a hall, the right another class. Behind that a bathroom, girls and boys. Then in the back an apartment for a teacher and one for Auden and his family. They will also be able to build a second floor, and to the left they will build a sanctuary. 

     Last Monday I had some time in the afternoon and didn't have anything pressing to do for school, so I walked down to help if I could if not just to take a picture proving that he is actually building his wall and not anyone else. 
I have to be honest, this is posed. I had already finished my work, when Auden said he would take a picture to prove I helped.

    At first he had me filling in the gaps between the blocks with cement but it was getting in the way of his level string, so then I filled the holes in the cinder blocks on the bottom of a wall so he could begin building up.
    I didn't do much work, but I tried. Then I wheelbarrowed some cinder blocks from the pile to his wall, with the help of 2 of our moms. They had seen us on the way to the school because it was their week to clean, so we moved a good load of blocks to him then I had to go and unlock the school for them, etc. 
Carmen's mom helping out.

    He is actually out working today again, but I am sitting here while a mom cleans the school, and trying to rest I am super pooped from the weekend, and kind of have a little head cold I want to annihilate. 
Starting the second wall.


       Kevin created a behavior chart for the boys house at the orphanage a while back, you do not want points. At the end of the week the chart decides who gets to watch TV and play video games, and who gets the reward of chips and a soda. At the end of 5 weeks if they have less than 9 points, I believe, for the whole time period then Kevin treats them to chicken at the polleria. I always get to go, and he lets me bring baby too. Baby love chicken and fries.
     Recently we went just us to get chicken cause dinner was kind of skimpy, and baby got to tag along, and we took him to the 3rd floor for the first time. the 3rd floor has a playscape ball pit included. So I went in with baby and he warmed up to it but wasn't good on his own yet. Then I took all the kids who did excellent on their report cards and baby came again to get chicken and play. And he loved playing with the girls in the pit but again had to be with someone. This past weekend it was time to take the boys again and baby was in there throwing balls at them, and laying on his back wildly kicking his feet and swinging his arms giggling. 

    And now if you take baby to get chicken and stop at the second floor, he walks over to the stairs going up, looks for approval, and says yeah?


      I mentioned that I took the kids who did excellent to the polleria for dinner, but didn't mention that most didn't do so excellent, resulting in a ban of the television for the entire month of November- for all of them even if they did well. So, I have been trying to think of more things we can do at the house on the weekends that doesn't involve the tv.
      The girls like making Friday a dance night, so they taught the the hora loca dance that is played at any party you go to in Peru. In turn I taught them the Cupid Shuffle, they liked it. They also ask me to do exercises with them, so I just throw some yoga, lunges, arm circles, and calf rises together and they are whining at me in pain.
They have also been painting their nails, but they don't stay painted that long.  They scratch them right off then do something else the next day.

     Saturday, however, is more difficult to entertain them. It is so long, especially when the Pastors are at a conference and there is no bible school for the children in the afternoons. So this week the plan was to use the rest of my soil and seeds from school and we could color eggshells to be faces and plant the seed in them, because they had had scrambled eggs one morning and Kevin had them save the eggshells. (However, he then left and forgot to tell Juana and she compulsively cleans so the boys house shells were gone, and the girls didn't tell Arlita who also compulsively cleans so she threw their out too- they had even rinsed them and everything!) So, only a few girls got to plant some seeds when like 6 eggs were used in the kitchen (and I forgot to take a picture- their faces were cute).
     Since I had been using a lot of recycled things in school for our projects, I remembered back to my childhood and the days of Skip-it's. So I brought the necessary supplies to make one like my mom me when I was 11. The girls thought I was crazy the whole time I was putting them together, when I took them outside to show them what to do with it they asked if I was ok. After I showed them how awesome I still am at Skip-it they were pretty impressed and wanted to try it.  Some of them were naturals, others smack their feet a few times with the can.
Betsi mastering the Skip-it. A taped lid, some rope, and a tuna can.

Even Ricardo was a pro, the girls were impressed.

     I also took my curling iron because girls love to do each other's hair, and they all requested that I bring it again next weekend so I will. 
Mary after I curled her hair. She laughed the whole time  cause she has never had curls, but she loves it and wants curls everyday.

     I thought it would be a fun idea to make cookies with cookie cutter I had bought for school since that is a processed task and could take up a Saturday making gingerbread cookies for 30 kids. However the oven was in use all morning for Maribel's baby shower as were the pans I needed, and I had to make my ginger and cloves into powder myself, so we did it Sunday instead. Which meant it was more rushed, but it was still fun!
Merly, Greisi and Sibila helping me cut out cookies.

Jacky showing the little boys how to cut out cookies.

Baby wanted to help too. 

He loved the flour.

More boys helping us out!

How does the chicken cross the road?

     In America, the first thing that gets put into a plot of land being readied for development it the water lines, and anything else they want to put under the ground. Then they build houses and such after. In Peru it seems to have been quite the opposite. Since most areas come to be because people just squat on the land first and then it slowly develops, the part of Pacasmayo the orphanage is in is just now getting sewage and water. Which is really good for them, it will better the standard of living for sure. 
    It would have been nice, however to have a little warning of what was happening. 2 weeks ago the started digging wells at the intersecting street corners, a little inconvenient for traveling in a vehicle. Last Tuesday Kevin comes to visit me in Trujillo and when he goes back Wednesday there are fifteen foot ditches on 3 of the 4 sides of the open space in front of the orphanage. One of which being 10 in front of the door and main gate to the orphanage. Directly blocking any vehicle from going in or out. 
This is what the front of the house looks like now.
     Unfortunately no one at Casa de Paz was forewarned of this event, and so the Combi (the van) is stuck inside until said ditches are filled. It could have been moved into the church if they had been told ahead of time, and would still have use of the van for emergencies or to take the kids to the beach like they asked this weekend, but it is Peru. So it is also grounded?
the giant ditch

The planks the kids get to walk over to get anywhere outside or the orphanage.

    One of the ditches was filled on Saturday so here is hoping the rest are filled quickly too!

05 November 2011

Some videos.

This is baby playing his first video game on the computer. It is on fisherprice.com , all he has to do is press any key and something pops up at him. He loves it and asks for it every morning I am here. He also knows more keyed commands on my computer than I do! Haha.

Kevin and Paolo throwing some rocks at the beach, being boys. Fun day.

This is for Wendy some of Josiah's first little running steps to mom. This was at our garden trip, he may be walking this week!

This is a video of Saul. He is one of the younger brothers that came on our field trip, and all he wanted was to catch a pigeon. He wasn't successful but has an adorable laugh!

04 November 2011

Fun Week

Rock Time
         This past Monday when I was off from school chilling out in Pacasmayo, Kevin and I went took Paolo to the market to do some shopping. After the market we were super hungry and bought some bananas and went to the beach to throw some rocks. Paolo is not so talented at walking on the rocks but he loves it. you have to be careful though because he always tries to pick up the biggest and throws it right next to your knee or leg or ankle, yes it hurts. 

Picking up the big rocks, of course.
Remember these?

          Every memory of my own preschool experiences, and church nursery school includes a set of those cardboard, brightly colored, brick blocks. If you need help remembering here is what they look like. 
photo stolen from target.com
       Well a few weeks ago I realized that the milk boxes here are basically that exact same size and shape.  So I started saving my milk boxes, and had Wendy do the same. I wish I had thought of this sooner because we could have close to a hundred fun boxes to play with and could build a giant fort for ourselves. Because over a period of 3 weeks I have 26 colorfully wrapped blocks not even counting Wendy's 7 or so from this week.  So if we had been saving since March in preparing for school with the amount of milk we drink, we could make a city of milk boxes. ( I drink between 3-5 liters of milk a week, Wendy has 2 kids and almost go through a liter a day, if we have juice on hand that is even more boxes!-each box is a liter)
Before and After
    Wendy will be well prepared with blocks for next year. 
Our stack of blocks, it even grew by 14, 2 days after I took it when I got Wendy's boxes!

Baby gets new clothes

    Babies grow pretty frequently and quickly as everyone knows, which means they need lots of clothes. The orphanage has a whole storage area full of clothes for all sizes of kids boys and girls. For good reason it is under lock and key, and only a few people have this key. However, the problem is that the people who have this key are never there when I am, and no one else seems to have the motivation to go search for clothes like I do. So the poor baby has been squeezing his head into too small shirts for a while. And Friday night when the poor guy couldn't stand up in his footy pajamas cause they were too tight, I knew this weekend it had to be done. But I didn't get to it till Tuesday cause Gina wasn't there all weekend and she has the key. So Wednesday morning I receive an email from Kevin with a picture of baby in some of his new clothes.
Soccer Jersey and shorts with tall socks to accompany one of his favorite words- Goal!

And his little pumpkin Kevin and I picked up for him because he loved the pumpkins the kids carved so much, this is the one he can play with,  Monday and Tuesday I just kept putting his snacks in there, he loved it. 

Paseo (Field Trip) to the Botanical Gardens

Keili and I waiting at the gate for the kids to arrive on their bus for our adventure!!!
        One day when I was heading home from the mall I felt like walking a little before hoping on a bus.  Since I was walking I noticed more things than, and I came across the Botanical Gardens. So, that week I took Keili on an exploratory trip cause it is free (!) and we wanted to see if it would be a fun trip for the kids (Keili, age 3, my test subject). At the end of the trip Keili informed me it was a good idea to bring the kids. About a week ago we finished our unit in school about plants, and we finally were able to go on our field trip to the botanical gardens in Trujillo. 
     It turned out to be a really great trip, all the kids absolutely loved it! Upon entering we were even taken around part of the gardens by someone who worked there. She taught us about all the animals there, and some of the plants. The kids payed attention pretty well for the most part. At one point they were distracted and she asked if the rabbits were covered in feathers and some of the kids said yes! She sure got them, haha. After our tour we sat in the grass, ate some snacks and the kids chased pigeons!
Taking a peak at the map while awaiting our guide. They have a section for all the regions in Peru, the coast, the jungle, and the mountains
Turtles! By far one of the kids favorite thing at the garden. 
Then we saw the aquatic turtles, there was a big one, a little one, and a middle sized one.
The Peacock, or the royal turkey as it is called in spanish.  He thinks he is all that. 
Looking at the birds from the jungle, he even flipped upside down for us.

Me and my "nephew", Josiah. Who may be walking this week, he took some pretty good quick strides solo this day while hanging in the grass.

Segundo, Neiver, and Richard taking their picture with the turtles somewhere behind them. I love their faces.
Chasing the pigeon. I thought I had taken a cute video of this, but turns out it was only  like 10 secs long and 5 of it was the ground, good job Samantha. 

Me and my students who came. 

Here are some of our plants

        I remembered to take a few pictures of our plants before they got sent home today!

This was one of the beans that we started in baggies, with a cotton ball soaking in H2O ad taped to my door. 

These are some Marigolds. 

These are the Portulucas, if that is even how it is spelled.