Getting back in the swing of things

I kind of fell off the blog wagon. The last month has been weird, and I haven’t been writing much for some reason. But I’m back! Here to give a quick update on what I’ve been up to.

The school year just started at the beginning of February, and I’ve spent the last few weeks observing, co-planning, and co-teaching with three teachers. I’m working in three different secondary schools, and it’s had its ups and downs. It’s been a great experience working with teachers who really want to share ideas, try new things in their classes, and improve their English proficiency. 

I’ve faced a few frustrations too. I don’t know my students yet, and they don’t have confianza with me, and sometimes that means that they don’t participate. One of our goals is to increase the use of English in our classes, but at this point, some students are frustrated even when the only English words I say in an hour are the vocabulary words I read off the board.

I just have to keep reminding myself that progress comes with time. We’re only a few weeks in, and I’ve only taught a few classes, and eventually things will start going more smoothly.

I also have to remind myself that some of my classes have been wonderful, and I’ve been able to build confianza with my counterparts and some of my students.

During games of hot cabbage (in which students pass a ball of paper around until the music/noise we make stops, and then the student holding the cabbage has to answer a question in English) students usually pass the cabbage as fast as they can because they don’t want to be called on to speak. But one girl in class last week held onto that cabbage the entire time because she wanted an opportunity to practice. I appreciated her so much in that moment, especially because other classes had felt like disasters start to finish. 

Yesterday while I was in the park using the wifi, a group of girls came up to me and started asking me questions (in Spanish) looking up music videos for me to watch, asking to see pictures of my family and the United States. I loved that they approached me outside of class and wanted to learn more about me.

  • “Do all people in the United States have eyes like yours?” (Nope.)
  • “Do you have kids?” (Nope.)
  • “Are you married?” (Nope.) “Why not?” (Lol I don’t know, partially because nobody has asked me yet?)
  • “How old are you?” (25) *horrified faces because I’m an old maid in their eyes*
  • “You don’t look like your sister!” (No, I don’t. She’s tall.) “She’s white!”

Every day here is a new adventure. I love this Peace Corps experience, and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to serve in Nicaragua.

I’ll try to be better about updating you all on my life here. I just had an amazing weekend in EstelĂ­ for my friends’ birthdays, and *fingers crossed* I’ll find a way to put it into words.

Ttyl.

Last Words

Written on February 1, 2016 (5 days after)

Sitting in my cubicle, crying at my desk because my coworkers left me a sweet card with lots of handwritten notes.

Thinking about last words.

I got to the house. I kissed his cheek. He kissed my cheek for the first time in weeks. Usually he was asleep or too tired to do it. But that night he did.

He was semi-comatose. He didn’t really speak directly to anyone else except to say “let me out of here.”

I told him I love him. I told him Jasmine loves him.

I sang him “All Along the Watchtower.”

Before I left, I said, “I’ll see you soon. I love you.” I kissed his cheek.” He said, “I love you.”

I said, “I love you, Dad. I’ll see you soon.”

And that was the last time I saw him alive.

Semi-comatose, and he managed to give me one last “I love you.”

Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for that. I think you knew that would be the last one. I think you found the strength to give it to me.

I said I’d see you tomorrow. I said I’d see you soon.

It didn’t happen the way I thought it would. If I’d known, I would have stayed all night. I would have flown Jasmine in on a $1,000 flight.

It’s okay though. I may not have seen you the way I thought I would, or the way I wanted to, but I do see you. I see you everywhere.