Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cycle 3... time flies

Cycle 3.... my last cycle of teaching... time freaking flies!!!!!

We had a week break before this last cycle so we took a trip to Colombia! I know... such a rough life that I lead these days. I left right after my last class of cycle 2 and a bus ride, plane ride, and taxi ride later I was in Santa Marta, Colombia. Santa Marta is a beach town and we spent a day hanging out by the beach and then the next day we went snorkeling. We saw some beautiful coral and fish... it was a blast. The next stop was Cartegena were we did a city tour of all of the beautiful buildings and learned a lot of Colombian history. We had a ridiculous tour guide who turned into more of a photo shoot director... everywhere we went he had a new pose that he wanted us to do. The best was in a random water fountain where he proceeded to tell us, just throw the water up and laugh, more, throw more water. Later he showed us his head shot and told us that he is often an extra in movies... we have a picture to document:

The day after our city tour we decided to take a boat ride to a gorgeous beach... playa blanca. The water was so blue it was amazing. However, getting there was kind of traumatizing. As we were on the
boat a canoe with three boys paddles up next to us. They were paddling really fast to catch the boat and grabbed onto the side. It looked like the boat was going to just let them have a ride which seemed nice because we were in the middle of the ocean, but then the boat stopped. The boys jumped into the water and our captain told us that if we threw coins the boys would catch them. It was the most degrading thing I have ever seen in my life... the boys dove for coins as people threw them and kept them in their mouths. It was like they were animals doing tricks. I have seen many different ways to make money here but that time I had to look away I was so disturbed. Luckily on the boat ride back that was not part of the trip.

On a funny note... I went in a group of 4 Americans girls- fellow volunteers. In Ecuador occasionally people will ask us if we are sisters, but usually only if 2 of us are together. In Colombia, EVERYONE asked us if we were sisters.... apparently we are quadruplets. We don't even look alike!!!!! (picture below... cast your vote if you think we are sisters) This was becoming pretty hilarious and then on the plane ride back it went to another level. The flight attendant was giving out tax and customs forms, but she only gave us one. When we asked her for more she said no, only one per family. It took us awhile to convince her that we weren't sisters but she eventually gave in. Ridiculous!

We made it back to Portoviejo just in time to celebrate my birthday and my friends were great! We had a little get together at my house and then we went out to a discoteca and danced all night. On the TV screen at the club my friends had them write "Happy Birthday Jeder"... since that is what everyone here thinks my name is. Then they preceded to pick me up on their shoulders as people sang happy birthday. Insane, but I love them!

So despite all of the traveling, I have actually been working! Cycle 2 went really well and I feel so much more comfortable in the classroom. I am able to adapt a lot more if things don't go exactly as planned and my instructions/classroom management have really improved. I did a lot of fun stuff in my classes last cycle, but my FAVORITE thing was a Word of the Day in my intermediate and beginner 3 classes. I taught one slang word a day and used them as extra credit on tests. The students really loved them... some of their favorites were B.O., its a piece of cake, stoked, and sketchy. We had journals as well and some of the students would try really hard to include them in their journals... it was awesome. On the final test I had them choose 4 word of the day's that they remembered and write a story with them for extra credit. Below is an example of what my intermediate student wrote:

I have problems: Frist, I lost my job and now I am broke and I need a job hunt..!! Second I have a little crush on Carlos, my friend but he is a player and I don't like that so when he says: "I like you" I played hard to get, but I fell in love with him! and I don't know what I can do!! I need to chill!!!

How awesome is that???? I can't wait to see what Cycle 3 brings. We have a new volunteer in town so we are able to offer even more classes. She is super sweet so I am excited to work with her.

It is sad to think that my time here is coming to an end, but I am definitely going to make the best of my last few months here and aprovecharlos!