Monday, February 16, 2009
On Sunday, Feb. 15th, we went to Huejotzingo as we normally do. Abraham and I walked around the neighborhood knocking on doors and inviting all the families in the area to come to a little party to celebrate el dia de amor y amistad. In Mexico, Valentine's Day focuses much more on the love of family and friends than on romantic love. When the kids and a few of the parents arrived, we first sang some songs and then read a few Bible passages. After that, we moved chairs outside in order to have enough room to play musical chairs.
When we'd played two rounds, amid much laughter, we returned indoors to eat from the small mountain of taquitos that Six had prepared. The day before, I had spent several hours preparing 250 heart-shaped gingerbread cookies - 200 for snack at church and 50 for the kids at Huejotzingo to decorate. At least in Puebla (I don't know about all of Mexico), people don't make cookies. In fact, hardly anyone uses the oven for anything except storing extra towels or dishes. For most of the kids in Huejotzingo, it was probably the first time they'd decorated cookies, and they really dove into the experience.
Throughout the afternoon, I took close-up pictures of each child. We will take the pictures to Dios es Amor and give them to families in the church in order that they can specifically pray for the children. Many of the children live with their grandparents, since their parents are working in the States. The majority of them can't read very well, if at all. With prayers of believers, we hope to see these children come to know God's love and care in the midst of challenging circumstances.
Friday, February 6, 2009
On Wednesday we celebrated the 100th day of school in my classroom. Like last year, I put aside the regular math and language arts curriculum, and instead we filled the day with activities like making necklaces from 100 fruit loops, measuring a row of 100 objects, and drawing pictures of "what I will look like when I am 100."
Just before lunch, they worked in teams to put together 100 piece puzzles, and I thought back to the previous year when I had done the same activity. Last year's class had a great time assembling the puzzles and working together. This year - well, it didn't go so well. Two of the three teams almost gave up after trying for only a few minutes. To keep them going, I cheered on every success and nudged pieces toward the correct place. The third team worked harmoniously and completed their puzzle before the others had finished half. I assigned the two from that team to help with the other two, and the activity went a little better after that. Each class has its own personality.
A few times in this blog I have mentioned my most difficult student. He is the one who is farthest behind in all the subjects and who is very easy to distract. God has answered prayer for him in part by supplying a man who comes in for an hour, sometimes more, almost every day. He works one-on-one with this student, helping him to learn letters and sounds and also helping him to focus better. The rest of the day remains a challenge, but it is a great blessing having an hour of help so often.
I have also mentioned my boyfriend Abraham in previous posts. He is not my boyfriend anymore...He is now my fiancé. On Tuesday last week he asked me (on bended knee ;-) to be his wife, and I accepted. We are planning to have the church ceremony on June 20th of this year. There remains significant paperwork that we have to complete in order to have the civil ceremony which is required in Mexico for marriages to be legal. We have not set a date for the civil ceremony, since it depends on when we can file the variety of papers necessary.