Sunday, February 04, 2007

choir and preschool (first week of school)

It is very very hard for me to teach preschool in a foreign language, in a foreign culture, having had so little time to prepare. My motto is that it will only get better. My Spanish will improve, the kids will get more used to being separated from their parents, and I will get better at teaching. I HOPE that they will also become better behaved, and that I will understand the culture better. This school is not run the way I am used to schools being run. Some of the preschoolers walk home alone, and people are always dropping by my classroom and ¨disrupting¨ the activities. Apparently this is normal for them, since another volunteer from the U.S. says that the other teachers don´t seem to mind. So I need to get settled in. When they complete the school we might move the preschool over there, but who knows when?

On Thursday Homar, a Nicaraguan translator, came to my class and taught for half an hour. I just asked him to teach them how to play tag, so that I could learn the vocabulary. In that half hour I learned SO MUCH! I learned phrases not often used around my host family´s house or in church or on the bus: sit down! stand up! quiet! listen! tag, you´re it! run away from her! make a circle! grab his hand! turn it (gluestick)!

Wow. I slept 11 hours on Friday night after that week of teaching.

In other news, my host dad is the pastor of the church we live next to, and his dream has been for the church to have a choir. Well, what do you know, I took a conducting class during my 4 years of studying music in college. This past Thursday was our second rehearsal and I got them to sing in ¨3¨ part harmony! There were a few other notes thrown into the mix, but no matter. I really enjoy directing the choir, which is about 20 or so youth. I feel like I´m in Sister Act, and when I mentioned that my host dad said he loves that movie, so we´re going to watch it on Monday night.

I really look forward to the day when I´m fluent. Fortunately, I believe it will come before the end of the school year! So, in conclusion, things here are Hard and Good. My being says a big Yes to the big challenges of living and working here.

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