Saturday, May 24, 2008

senior events and little chicks

Last Friday night the high school students and the staff of PCS met together at the lovely home of one of the PCS families for the seniors' banquet. This year's class was large (for PCS) with eleven graduating, representing five different countries. The banquet was formal, and it was amazing to see how well the high schoolers "clean up." I enjoyed the chance to wear an outfit from Kenya that is too formal for most occasions.

After the second failure of the attempt to hatch eggs in my classroom, I told the kids I'd try to buy a couple of chicks for them to see. It took quite some looking to find any still at the cute, fluffy stage of life, but finally my roommate Janelle found a veterinarian that sells chicks. After a few attempts to arrive at his business when a) he was in and b) when he had chicks, she was finally able to buy them on Tuesday. My students are absolutely wildly ecstatic with the little peepers. For my part, I've discovered just how loud, messy, and demanding they can be! However, they are only in my care for one more week, and then one of the students will take them home, since school ends Friday.

Last night the eleven seniors graduated. The ceremony lasted two hours, what with most of the speeches having to be translated into Spanish. After the ceremony we stayed for the reception where the proud graduates and their parents and friends took millions of pictures, laughed, and cried. My own high school graduation doesn't seem that long ago, but that's how time flies. Please pray for these eleven as most of them soon leave their families, friends, and country for college.

While the graduation was cause for celebration and joy for the PCS family, the people of Dios es Amor had reason to mourn last week. A fifteen year old who had been part of the youth group on and off had a baby two weeks ago. She and the baby were both doing well until on Tuesday night the teen began having convulsions. Early Wednesday morning, she died. Her funeral was held Wednesday night at her home, and many of the church members attended. Her mother is not a believer, and of course the whole family is grieving. Pray for their peace and that Bety's death will bring the rest of her family to God.

Tentatively, I can declare I am returning here next school year. There has been so much confusion and difficulty with finding the classes I need to take to renew my credential over the summer, and for the last five months it has looked like I could not return. Things would fall into place and then just as soon fall out of place again. However, with two weeks before I return to the U.S., it finally seems all the pieces are in place. Thanks to those of you who prayed. Keep it up!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spirit Week

Spirit Week was quite entertaining. On Monday, after staying up til midnight Sunday working on yearbook (and spending way too long on it the rest of the weekend as well), I didn't have to worry about combing my hair or putting on make-up or anything. I pulled my worst wrinkled clothes out, pinned a pillow case to my shoulders, spilled some yogurt on my tee-shirt, and declared myself Sooper Slob, champion against the forces of cleanliness.

Tuesday was Weather Disaster Day, but I couldn't think of anything creative, so I wore regular clothes. On Wednesday the school was full of bright, clashing colors for Fashion Disaster Day.

Thursday was my personal favorite. With the help of face paints and a torn white shirt with red paint, I transformed my face into a mess of bruises and covered one arm with bandages for Fake Injury Day. You should have seen the reactions from people on the street as I came and went from my apartment!

On Thursday evening, I spent some time assembling a plastic bag dress. I don't recommend plastic bags for their comfort.

Friday night is the senior banquet. The ten of them are leaving for their trip next week, and then they graduate in a week. After they graduate, the rest of us only have one more week of school.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


At the beginning of the year, my neighbor and fellow teacher Bethany Tyler and I volunteered to help with the yearbook. I should have known that meant take charge of it. Now we're pulling long hours trying to get it finished so it can be brought back from the company in the States by a family coming for graduation. Last night the two of us stayed working at school until 1:30 a.m. That's why we get paid the big bucks, right? And here I am again getting ready to lay out some more pages.

Other than madly cramming in hours on yearbook, not much has happened this week. The kids had their spring concert on Thursday, and it went very well.

Next week is teacher appreciation week - yippee! It's also spirit week, for no particular reason other than that the kids like to dress up in weird costumes. We're nearing the end of the school year. That is so hard to believe!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

the Spring Fling

The spring fling was supposed to start at 10. I woke up at 9 this morning - marvelous! - and still had to find and print out the pictures I'd use for face painting. When I arrived at the seminary a little past ten, set-up was still going on. Asi es México. It was fine though, because most people didn't arrive right away anyway.
I painted faces for awhile, but the most popular by far was when I called one of my students over to paint my face. Another of my students saw him painting and wanted to do it to. And so it began. For the next hour or so, the students painted each other and had a fabulous time.

Alyssa's artwork...

At the end of the Spring Fling, the water slide was opened up for anyone who wanted to go down. Sure, why not?

Friday, May 2, 2008

boa instructor

We've begun studying jungles and rain forests in class. It's quite interesting, especially when we talk about "boa instructors." Do they instruct people to death? I'm not sure, but you must be careful not to be caught by one if you ever go to the jungle.

Once more into the breach...

The bugs are back yet again. On the menu for this afternoon is spraying the room again and washing the bedding in scalding water again. Oh what fun. At least this last time the spraying and bedding-washing lasted for more than a week before I began to be chewed at night once more.

Did I mention my window fell out on Thursday last week? We have windows that swing on hinges, and they can swing quite violently in the winds that come with the rains most afternoons these days. On Thursday last week I stayed late at school lesson planning, and when I returned home, the shop keeper for the store downstairs pointed out my shattered window and its metal frame laying on the sidewalk. When I talked with our landlady, her first statement was, "I'm not going to pay for it. It broke because you left it open while you were gone." Who knew?

For almost a week, I had a black plastic bag taped over the window, and the rustling of the bag and its flapping in the wind kept me company each night. Several of the staff members at school worked to get glass back in the frame and then to return the window to its rightful place. Yesterday, they installed the window again. Hooray!

Tomorrow I'll be face painting at the PCS carnival all day. I'll be uploading pictures of that tomorrow evening.