Lots of updates!
Friday- After school, Carly and I went to the waterpark and hung out with some of our kiddos. Later that evening we embarked on a three hour bus ride to Belize City to watch our friend Raul play college basketball. The basketball arena was very different from our arenas in the U.S. It was covered by a metal roof, but was open on all sides with the sea breeze coming in. A big tournament was held over the weekend and the games were so intense. I can say that I witnessed several dunks and some injuries as well. After the game, we realized that we were stranded in the city as the buses had already stopped running and our arranged ride with the basketball team fell through. The team had decided to stay the night and we weren't prepared to do that. Carly and I had to end up paying $250 for a cab to take us back to San Ignacio two and a half hours away. Now we will know to pay special attention to the bus schedule.
Saturday- We got up early, packed, and got great breakfast at Pop's. Our friend Diane came to pick us up around noon to leave for Placencia. Placencia is about three hours away from San Ignacio. Needless to say, we did a lot of traveling over the weekend. Is it bad that I enjoyed the long car ride for the simple fact that we got to sit in air conditioning? Unlike in the states, there are no laws regarding child restraints here. Therefore, Carly and I had a five year old, Chelsie and a two year old, Eva in the backseat with us the whole time. It was a verry entertaining car ride. We arrived at Placencia and checked into our beach front cabana at the Tradewinds. Our cabana was complete with a hammock on the porch, a king size bed, a full size bed, and a kitchenette. We started off the evening by taking a nap in the hammock. We played with the girls in the sand enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was like a picture out of a postcard. We walked right out of our cabana and we were at the beach. Diane brought tons of snacks, so we just relaxed outside on the beach. That night, Diane treated us to a night out on the town. We ended up going to this place called Robert's Grove, which is a super fancy resort. We were treated to dinner on the beach front, complete with a live band, and a buffet. Everything from fresh fruit, salad, seafood, and steak was on the buffet. I finally got my shrimp fix, so I was a happy camper. We found out later that dinner for the three of us was $250 and was graciously paid for by Diane. She brings a whole new meaning to the word hospitable. Later that night we walked around on the boardwalk and checked out the different restaurants, cabanas, and small town activities that were going on. Around 12:30 a.m. we called it tonight. I don't remember dreaming or even falling asleep and then next thing I knew the sun was shining in through the windows and a little girl was calling my name. The cabana had large, open windows on all sides. Chelsie had climbed up in a chair, peeked her head through the window and was whispering, "Miss. Rogers! Miss. Rogers! Can you please get up now? You promised me you would go to the beach and play and you've been sleeping for forever." As much as I wanted to go back to sleep, I just couldn't ignore her. So, I got up and went out on the porch, only to find out it was just Eva, Chelsie, and the babysitter Chantel. Their parents were still asleep. Chantel took the girls to the beach and I went back to bed, with the promise that we would join them later. You have to know that this was at like 6:00 a.m. Next we were woken up by Diane who brought us breakfast in bed. I feel like breakfast in bed is something you experience on your honeymoon, not on a study abroad trip by a good friend. I wasn't going to complain though. She brought us cinnamon toast and ham and eggs. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect morning, waking up in paradise and good food. Diana asked us to let Chelsie tag along with us while she went to go see her family. We played in the ocean and on the beach, then we took her out for ice cream at this place called Tuti Fruti. It was the best ice cream I have ever had and to make it even more perfect, they had my favorite flavor, mint chocolate chip. Placencia was such a great trip and I am so glad that we got the opportunity to go with our good friend and her family. We got back to San Ignacio around 8:00 and had a pretty simple night in order to recuperate from all the fun we had over the weekend.
Monday- I really miss my kids over the weekends and its and indescribable feeling when they first see you and run up to giving you a hug like they haven't seen you in a year. My teacher is back this week and so it is a little weird adjusting from teaching everything to co-teaching. I am very impressed with how my teacher scaffolds the students when introducing new concepts. I am still working with my Spanish as a first language learners during the Language Arts block. We've worked on words with the -ll ending and used it as a bridge to introduce contractions with will. Each week the teachers have to do evaluations on their teaching practice and how students responded to the material. Since I was in charge last week, I completed all of the evaluations. I think this is a great way to reflect on how the lessons went, what steps need to be taken next, and what could be done differently,etc. Monday afternoon, Dr. Harrison arranged for Carly and I to go to another school to observe. We went to a Nazarene school here in San Ignacio. I was in a Standard II class, which would be our equivalent to 4th grade. Everything was so different, from the way they kept books, to the teaching styles, to discipline for the children. It was great to get to experience another school, even if it was just for an afternoon.
Tuesday- I continued my work with my group of students and participated in co-teaching exercises with Ms. Chavaria. After school, we went to the river to cool off and grabbed a late dinner with friends.
Wednesday-Today is a holiday, Labor Day, so there is no school. We are celebrating by going to the village of Ontarrio with some friends to swim and hang out for the day.