Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Honored, humbled, and feeling part of the community

Maggie and I were very sad to learn that Jorge was suffering from back pains this morning. Thus my planned activities in the vegetable garden were postponed and instead I headed out with Don Chepe and a group of students to an overgrown spot by the fishpond to carve out a large composting pit. One student hastily hacked away at the tall grass with a machete while I attempted to accomplish the same task with my shovel - not as easy, but definitely fun and enjoyably toilsome. This particular group of students did not speak very much English at all, but still we were able to work effectively as a team and enjoy some of the North American rap music that one of the students was playing from his phone. Almost as soon as we had cleared the area and dug out a good-sized pit, the clouds swept in over us and unleashed a torrential downpour, causing us to scurry up the hill and seek shelter next to the rather stinky pig pens. 

Digging a composting pit

Once the rain let up enough to venture down the hill we returned to Jorge's classroom (still without Jorge =( .....) where the students immediately set to coordinating and choreographing a dance routine to a Spanish/English version of "In The Still Of The Night"; I spent the time writing in my personal diary about the past weekend's activities, which included a beautifully serene solo hike into the woods where I discovered a tree comprised of spiral-bent branches that formed a veritable organic portal up into the canopy. Fernando Luis, the young man whom I became fast friends with during the classroom painting activity, convinced me with a wide grin to put down my notebook and dance with them for a little while; he's quite the smooth salesman.

After class I enjoyed a scrumptious lunch with Maggie that comprised of flattened, fried plantains and a colorful array of steamed vegetables, rice, and beans; I think I am becoming addicted to the local Lizano sauce! After lunch I headed over to Sergio's classroom where I reviewed different means of transportation with the students, including written and oral comparisons (which car is bigger, faster, more expensive, etc.). I was pleased with the knowledge, proficiency, and progress I witnessed during these exercises. At the conclusion of this class period I joined Karen in the teacher's salon to continue working on the bilingual brochure for C.T.P. We added a sixth and final category to the catalogue: Colegio will offer tours of the grounds, classrooms, and all four major products that the students are engaged in. The proceeds from these tours will go towards helping fund the projects themselves. I am proud to have contributed to such an important undertaking that will surely benefit the school by offering an English translation for those guests who would need it. The day was joyously concluded with a short but exciting game of dominoes between me, the vice principal of the school, and the accounting teacher. I am continuously honored and humbled by how wonderfully well the staff treats me; I truly feel like a part of the community. 

Entry submitted by: Justin

Message of the Day – Justin: “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie

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