Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bienvenidos a LYBS

This is where I'll be spending the better part of the next 10 months or so, so I might have gotten a little carried away with the details. You know how I can get :)

My first night’s sleep was a little choppy, but I was exhausted and got at least a few hours of solid rest. The neighbors’ dogs are pretty noisy, but we’ve been told that’s a good thing; scares away any potential predators of course. I woke up a little warm (ok, sweaty) and wondered what happened to my fan. Turns out the power went out sometime around 4ish am! I was up and at it early, and ready for Chele to tote me to school at 8am. Please refer to above (below?) bleachless produce cleansing fiasco, and take a minute to wonder what breakfast was like. Stumped? Yeah… breakfast was much later than I’d hoped, and I worried my little body wouldn’t forgive me. Luckily all the excitement of the morning had me pretty distracted from my stomach. I took a whole mango and pineapple to the school in hopes of finding a washing lesson and a knife once I got there. [I’ll get to it later, but I wound up getting a tour of the school and a meeting with the principal before I was able to steal away for some food. But again, with so much to take in I really didn’t even realize I was hungry until the end of my meeting!]

Chele arrived at the house a little after 8am, and it was nice to see a friendly (although very new) face. He hopped out to help me with the gate, my door and my bag. A gentleman I am telling you! When we pulled up to the school I was filled with all sorts of flutters. LYBS is adorable. I’d been there in March with FOBF, but we were only in the side yard and didn’t get a tour. Walking in through the front gate was pretty neat. The entry is painted primary shades of red and blue, and stepping into the school I noticed the long hallway led straight out to the side yard. Classrooms came off each side of the hall, along with a couple offices and bathrooms, but the hallway was open on each end and something about the full-on nature airiness made me smile. A few of the Honduran teachers were there tutoring some students, but I had a chance to wave to Allan without distracting him too much from his teaching.

 I went to Emely’s office and chatted with her for a bit. The school didn’t have any power either (I learned that when it’s down, it’s down for the whole town not just a few neighborhoods like I’m accustomed. And what’s funny is no one calls the electric company [ENEE or something like that?] or tries to find out why. The power is out, “no hay luz” and it just is what it is) so it was a little dark in her windowless office. She gave me a tour of the school, and introduced me to the people we passed. I met Wilson, the guidance counselor, and he seems great. There isn’t a lot of access to the ‘standard’ classroom wall art, so they get a little creative. Wilson is apparently very artistic. He made these great foam cut-outs to hang on the doors of each classroom. I also met Mrs. Bueso (Veronica) but she was tutoring a little boy in math, so we haven’t talked much just yet. First thru Fourth grades are in the main building where the directora and subdirectora (principal and vice, respectively) have their offices. Fifth and Sixth are in a little building beside the main one, then this is the first year for seventh grade (yay LYBS for expanding!) so they’re in a new wing that was built between the 5th/6th and preschool building. Seventh grade shares its building with a brand new library that is stacked with books—ALL in English! Apparently they were all donated from somewhere in Mississippi. Anyone with textbooks, teacher’s editions, books on phonics, and any story or chapter books (ages ranged 3-14 or even higher) send them our way! There are a few little round tables in the library, and I’m pretty excited to take my class there, help them pick out books and watch them enjoy the library like I did in school. Remember “library day”? What fun. The preschool is a long building with a couple more offices, and then classrooms for all the little ones. Their grade levels are done a little differently; they have something called preparatoria that falls between kinder and first grades.

Once Emely finished my tour “Miss” Magdalena had arrived and was ready to meet with me. Magdalena is the directora (principal) and ‘secretly’ Emely’s sister. They call everyone Miss and Mister with these adorable Spanish accents—sort of like mees and meester. Magdalena is a sweet little woman, and you can tell her heart is in this for the kids. She teaches at a public school, and runs LYBS so she is incredibly busy. We chatted for what I’d guess was about an hour and it was great hearing stories of the school. I know I say everything sounds better in Spanish, but the way she speaks it’s like she’s narrating some dramatic play, her voice rises and falls at just the right moments; it’s like she gives her stories life and more meaning if that makes any sense. I’m also noticing more and more how much facial expression the people here (and I’m thinking most Spanish speakers) use to give more emotion to whatever they’re saying. Did you ever know you could point with your lips? Just pucker them out, and move your eyes wherever you want the person to look.

Magda talked with me about the importance of a commitment to the children and their education. Some of the kids at our school have been through a lot (or might still be going through a lot) and need a positive support system in their life. Apparently there have been some major issues with teachers abandoning their classes and fleeing for the States in years past. I can’t imagine doing that to the little guys! I guess if there were some sort of crazy family emergency, but sounds like some of these teachers weren’t here for the “right” reasons. Lots of stories I could share about that, but why focus on the little negatives? I assured her that I’m here for the kiddies, and just the kiddies. Well, and for the great views and chance for a little adventure, but mostly just the niños.
The Preschool

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