Saturday, August 30, 2008

how to prevent frequent grocery store trips and the accompanying expenditure

My method for not having to visit the store often or buy groceries, or for that matter cook much, is to get a lingering case of mild food poisoning within a few days of arriving in Puebla. It's not a system I'd recommend, but I must admit that living on Sprite and crackers (confession: an exaggeration) saves lots of time and effort. I keep thinking I'm over the effects of the contaminated food, but then each day wears on and I feel less and less like eating.

I have a few points to ponder: What exactly is it that makes Pepto Bismol so dismayingly pink? And how is it supposed to settle an "off" stomach when drinking it makes me gag? Any answers to these questions?

Week one of school is over. I had five of my students: one student's parents enrolled her and her siblings in another school without telling PCS, and another student was still in the States but will be in school this Monday. A class of six students may seem small, but I'm glad the numbers are low. This class is younger and has much less school experience than my previous class. Only one of them reads really well, and her comprehension has large gaps, because English is her third language after Korean and Spanish. We'll be doing a lot of intense reading and comprehension work this year.

It's absolutely the coolest: my students, though few in number, each represent a different part of the world. One is Korean, one half Korean-half Mexican, another Poblana, another Canadian, and the final one doesn't know where she's from (very missionary kid!) although I think she's from the US. The one coming on Monday is from the States. Of my six, half speak English as their first language, but the other three are working on English as their second or third language.

Speaking of English, starting very soon, I'll be leading an informal ESL class at my apartment on Thursday nights. A PCS teacher who retired at the end of last year and moved to the US used to teach this group of young adults and adults, and she asked me if I'd take over. We're going to be reading through The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to start. Tea and crumpets, anyone?

The building next to ours is undergoing massive remodeling, and watching and hearing the work proves time and again what I've been told. Here in Puebla manual labor is far cheaper than using machines to do the same work. Day after day, a small group of laborers have been using heavy hammers, shovels, and other such tools to knock down almost the entire house.

And if the proper tools aren't available for the job, well, improvise. Looking out the window this morning, I saw two men tidying an overgrown lawn. One had a weed whacker to cut, and the other was cleaning up the scattered grass. He didn't have a broom or leafblower, but he did have a piece of cardboard to industriously scoot a bunch together, gather it onto the cardboard, and then carry it around the corner to a growing pile.

Now it's time for me to get to work as well, not with a piece of cardboard, but with computer and plan books. I need to lesson plan for next week and also prepare for Back to School Night on Monday.

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