Today the delegation was supposed to visit two marginalized schools on the outskirts of the city of Berlín. But they learned yesterday that none of the marginalized or canton schools were going to be having classes today because the kids would be receiving their school uniforms. So instead of going to the marginalized schools they decided to make a visit to the school where I teach. I would go to school at the usual time in the morning and they’d stop by 9:00am for about 1½ hours.
I was in my second period class, 5th grade, when they arrived at the school. We only had a few minutes before the bell rang so we chatted a short while with the students. When the bell rang we all went outside the classroom and they got to watch the kids have their recess. Laura and Will played soccer with some kids while the rest of the group chatted with other students. The delegation was all surrounded by a big group of students who were excited to see the gringos.
When recess ended we went to visit one of my 6th grade classes. I explained who the delegation was and everyone introduced themselves to the class. Then the delegation took some time to ask the students some questions in English that they would understand and the kids asked the delegation a few questions in English. Next the delegation asked the kids several questions about themselves like their favorite color, favorite sport, favorite food, what they like to do for fun, etc. I think the kids really enjoyed having visitors.
Then we visited my two 3rd grade classes. We did introductions and they asked the kids some more questions. We even sang the ABCs with one of the classes. It was a lot of fun. All the kids were impressed by how tall Will is and seemed to stare at him. The last class we visited was my other 6th grade class. This class has the oldest kids (teenage boys) in it so I was a little worried about how the kids would do but they did just fine. Overall it was a really good morning. I taught a little more in that class after the group left and then I was done with school for the day.
Lots of kids came to check out the gringos
Laura playing soccer
Watching the kids
Kathy is explaining something here
Elizabeth asking questions
Inside the classroom
6th grade section A
Talking to the kids
3rd grade section A
3rd grade section B
In my other 6th grade classroom
We all had lunch at the Pastoral House and then it was time to head for Alejandría to visit the homes of Blanca, Cecilia, Idalia, and Jesús. This was the third time I’ve done the walk to Alejandría down the tiny path through the coffee finca to Alejandría. Blanca led the way followed by Will, Mike, Mary, Laura, Elizabeth, and myself. It’s a beautiful walk but it takes a lot out of you. The walk today took about 45 minutes. It’s a skinny, downhill trail surrounded most of the time by coffee plants and shade trees. You had to find a good speed and be careful walking because it was very slippery. It was a balancing act just to put one foot in front of the other. But we all made it down in one piece.
First we went to Blanca and Balmore’s house. Blanca’s parents were there as well as her sister. Unfortunately, Blanca’s dad has been sick so we weren’t able to visit with him. We spent a little time chatting with Blanca’s mom and sister. They gave us all some bananas from their banana trees as a snack. I always like visiting their home. Shortly after that we went to visit Cecilia’s house. When we arrived I plopped myself down in the hammock and relaxed. We talked for a little while with Cecilia’s mother, Rosa, about life in the cantons. I played with the little puppy named Chocolate who was born a little over a month ago. I wanted to take him home but Ceci said no.
Next we moved on to the home of Jesús’ mom, Lola. There isn’t a whole lot of room inside her house so Blanca and I stayed outside. We finished cooking up the tortillas she was working on when we dropped by. Blanca split one with me and also shared some with the two dogs and the cat. I never knew cats like tortillas. We weren’t able to spend a lot of time at any of the houses because Blanca wanted to make it back to Berlín before the rain started. If it was raining then we wouldn’t be able to get across the ravine to the other side because of the creek that turns into a river. So we had to say goodbye. Kathy and Donna had driven to Alejandría so we all hitched a ride home with them.
Just down the street from the Pastoral House
Look out! Here comes Mary!
Blanca leads the way
Here we go!
Plowing down the trail
Hello back there
Surrounded by coffee
We're coming as fast as we can!
The water tank that supplies water
to all the families of Alejandria
The water was a little warm
There's good ol' Will
A cool looking beetle
One of Blanca's neighbors
Listening to Blanca's mom talk
Kitty at Lola's house
Inside of Lola's house
Can we please take him home?!
When we got back home I had asked if anyone wanted to go get ice cream. Well, this is a great group of people. How do I know this? Everyone wanted to go out for ice cream. We walked to town to get some ice cream. When I was explaining to everyone what the different flavors were I saw that there was a kind I didn’t recognize. When I asked what it was Sonia (the ice cream lady) told me it was “Leche de burro.” The group asked me what that meant and I started laughing and responded, “Donkey milk.” After everyone had ordered I asked Sonia if I could try some. She gave me a little bit and it was actually really good. Then I asked if it was actually made from donkey milk or it was just flavored like donkey milk. She told me it was actually goat’s milk. Good to know but I was kind of bummed that it wasn’t actually donkey milk. Oh well. Maybe somewhere down the road I’ll get to eat donkey milk ice cream.
"If God is your Father, you and I are brothers"
Sign on a bus
A gigantic cockroach!