Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Host Family Visit

My host dad with my oldest sister, Dinora's first baby, Andrea. So precious.

Open Air Market

Open air market where we go every other Saturday. We get to bargain! I try to listen to what the Hondurans ahead of us accept as an acceptable price. Often the vendors take one look at us and triple their prices. You can see potatoes and to the far left is yuca. I'm not a big yuca fan. I've been told it doesn't have much flavor on its own. It's often used in soups in big chunks and soaks up the other flavors.

El Apartamento (The Apartment)

The after picture. Don't you love the stripes?! We painted the cupboards too.

This is our dining room/library.

The other half of our kitchen and you can see the corner of our living room. Our front door is between the living room and dining room. We live in an upstairs apartment with a front and back balcony.


These are some of my new friends. That's Mike on the stool. He and his wife (who is sitting behind him) live downstairs. That's my roommate, Leslie on the far side of the room and my other roommate is Day (that's her in the blue shirt). Miriam is in the gray. Fabulous people to know, all of them.

This is my room. It looks a little different now but basically that's it.

This is the sink part of my bathroom. I didn't take a picture of the other part...use your imaginations. ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Settling In

Hey all, I never thought it would take this long before I posted an update! Things are going pretty well here. I've got two great roommates and many other new fabulous fellow teacher friends and students. Classes began officially on Thursday the 16th. Last week was a week of retreats and spiritual emphasis. I went with the 9th and 10th graders on Wednesday to their retreat and then volunteered to go again on Thursday with the 11th and 12th graders. It was a great time for us to get to know each other and for them to subject their teachers to some good ol' fashioned torture. I was able to visit with my host family for a weekend about two weeks ago. I thought I would get down last weekend again but found I had too much to do here with making my first week's lesson plans. So, I thought I'd go again this weekend. Well, Friday at the end of the day a memo was handed out saying we would not be having class on Monday because of a potential strike by taxi and bus drivers, public school teachers and doctors. It's actually supposed to begin sometime Sunday evening which is when I would normally be coming back. So, I may head down for a church tomorrow but it will depend on what it looks like closer to time. From what I've gathered it is, as usual, over the price of gas being so high but still not being able to raise their taxi or bus fares. I also heard that the president, Mel Zelaya has made an alliance with the Peruvian government which many are not thrilled about. Apparently there are a lot of reasons people are upset with the government but the taxi/bus issue is what most people are talking about. It's a bit of a touchy subject at Pinares because many of our students' parents are in the government. Besides that, a lady I will be working closely with, her name is Bibi, is the cousin of the current president. It's probably a good thing I don't know enough about what's going on to stand on one side or the other. We're pretty secluded up here on the mountain above the city. We do not have a tv in our apartment so the only way I would hear news, unless I checked the Internet, is by word of mouth. So, if something important is going on in the news at home, please let me know!
Things are going ok with my jobs. Currently I'm having a hard time teaching the history of psychology to my students...they're bored and so am I. I keep telling them we've gotta plow through that to get to the good stuff. Hopefully, they'll find psychology as interesting as I do once we get into it. A huge blessing and big surprise has been that while I feel a little twinge of nerves when I get up in the morning and another little twinge at the beginning of class I do not feel scared of being in front of them and teaching. I thought for sure that my voice would be shaking everyday and I'd be just one big wreck but that isn't the case...thanks be to God...and to your prayers, I'm sure. The guidance counselor position is a different thing entirely. I don't feel like I have much of a clue what all I'm going to be expected to do, when or how. Hopefully I will be meeting with last year's counselor soon so she can go over things with me. I feel pretty useless and helpless at the moment. While a few students have come to talk with me about their plans/thoughts for college no one has yet taken advantage of me as a counselor. Hopefully that may begin to change now that many of them got to know me through the retreats. I can't really blame them for choosing to talk to the spiritual life counselors or other teachers they already know over me, almost a perfect stranger. Still, it's a bit difficult. I'd ask that you pray that I would have patience and would simply rejoice in the fact that they've got some many great options of people to talk their problems over with. Not to mention, just being glad if they're talking to someone! Ok, that's enough of a written update for now. I'm going to post some pictures yet so you can see where and with whom I'm living and working. Take care y'all. Miss and love you lots.