This is the first week of having full reigns of my classroom. I really never thought I would call anything “my classroom”, but the teaching thing is really growing on me.
Yesterday I did my fair share of “why are you standing up…?” and “if you talk again the two of you will be separated” but those low lights were definitely overshadowed by the enjoyment during the classes. The trainee’s are eager to talk about themselves and their lives (who wouldn’t be?). At the end of the class, a few trainee’s started throwing questions at me: how old are you? are you married? do you have a boyfriend? how old are your kids? where in America are you from? The most excited they got was that I was from Kentucky, because they know of KFC. I’m pretty sure a few of them think I eat only fried chicken.
The vibe I get is that the trainee’s are very curious about me, about why I’m here and about what it’s like to be American. Many of them comment on my eyes–it never occurred to me that blue eyes would be a rarity here, but they obviously are. A few girls this morning got about 5 inches away to look at my eyes and told me they had never seen blue eyes in person before!
Sunday night we went to the Sea Wall, the wall which “protects” the city from the waves of the ocean. Its about 3 feet high and two feet wide. Apparently the waves crash over top of it even on a normal day’s high tide, and we are convinced that any abnormally large wave could easily flood the city (its 8 feet BELOW sea level; heavy rains will flood the streets during the rainy season and we’ll just hope no huge waves come to town during the next year). But anyway, during the week the Sea Wall is not considered safe–drug activity, very desolate and potentially dangerous. Sunday’s are the exception. We walked there around 5:30 with the 20-something-year-old Sister of Mercy and arrived at the beach just in time to see the sun set. The waves are not what you expect when you think of “Caribbean waters”, aka the water is just brown. The beach is scattered with broken glass and trash, trash, trash. People line the Sea Wall for the evening and night, there are tents and trucks with food and drinks, and music blaring every couple hundred yards. It was great: the breeze from the ocean meant we weren’t sweating for the first time in two weeks, the people watching was fun, and we felt like we were actually socializing in South America! We hope to make it a weekly event. (Side note: one of the tents selling jumps on a trampoline was a Penn State tent! I was so excited to see it, but quickly understood that it was either donated or handed down because the people inside of it had no idea what Penn State was. Either way, it was fun to see.)
Last night was our first South American full moon. How many times have we heard the “its so great to know that no matter where your loved ones are, they’re lookin’ at the same big bright moon”? Yeah, about a million,and its cheesier and cheesier each time its said. I hate to say it, but I truly thought it last night while looking at the huge white shining moon. It really is crazy to think that we’re thousands of miles apart, but the moon my parents saw driving home from work and the moon my Grandparents saw from their back porch was the same moon I saw from the street covered in trash in Georgetown, Guyana. The world is really big, but looking at something even bigger makes it feel small enough.