​Happy first day of summer school! This was my first day experiencing a schedule that’s more structured and closer to the school year schedule, though that still has some differences from what we’re doing now. The summer school is from 10AM – 4PM and involves two 2-hour class blocks each day, plus lunch and some free play time. It’s cool because one of the main goals of the summer program is to get the kids to think creatively, so the teachers are all doing interesting things with their classes. For example, the little kids had cooking class today and there are movies and beach trips and science experiments and crafts planned. Heck, if I was a kid, I think I would be all about this summer school.

Our classroom! I didn’t know that we got our own classroom and was beyond excited. How cool is this??

Our morning started at 6:30AM. Julie, Debbie, and I went for another run. I’m impressed that we made it to day 2! Everyone seems interested in keeping this going, so I think there’s a good chance of it happening regularly. The current plan is Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and one day over the weekend. We’ll see! The run was miserable, but it was nice to have some wake up time and run through the neighborhood without many people around.
After we got back, we ate breakfast, showered, had some personal quiet time, and then did a mini staff worship time to get our heads into the right place before starting our days. Then, Debbie and I used the rest of the morning to finish pulling together our plans for our first Mini-Ingenieros class!

We decided that the best way to do the map lesson was to have a big version that everyone could see. I did my best without a straightedge to guide my lines. 

We had lunch at 1, and at 2PM, it was time. Eek! Okay, deep breath. I know I keep saying this, but I think it requires repeating because it’s easy to forget when you’re not here. Our class is in Spanish. My Spanish experience is as follows: 5 years in middle/high school (which was almost 8 years ago), 2 weeks in college while contemplating a Spanish minor (the idea was clearly rejected), and about 9 months of semi-consistent Duolingo/reading my old textbooks/Spanish grammar internet searches after I decided that I wanted to come to Peru. In summary: my Spanish is kind of ehhh. Especially when it comes to speaking.

Debbie judging the finished towers.

Debbie took the lead on a lot of the talking, which I appreciated. We started out having the kids introduce themselves, and then we talked about what an engineer is (“we” meaning mostly Debbie, but I did say a few words). When we got to our first activity, a paper tower competition, Debbie told me to explain it and she would translate. I felt kind of stupid doing it that way, so instead I decided that I was going to just try to explain it myself. Yes, I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s what my brain decided. The result was… well, not terrible at least. I didn’t provide a lot of details, but Debbie and the class’s teacher, Vanessa, were there to fill in the gaps. I felt pretty good about myself actually. I just have to keep pushing, and I know that, but knowing it doesn’t make doing it any easier.

The paper tower challenge went so well! It’s only of those things that I’ve done a million times, generally for some engineering-related team-building activity. Each team gets a few sheets of paper, a 2-ish foot piece of tape, scissors, and 20 minutes to build the tallest tower that can stand on its own. The kids all participated and even seemed like they might be having fun! They clearly put thought into their towers, and I was proud of what they came up with.

The rest of class was spent attempting to teach the kids about maps. We used the map I made on Saturday and talked about what it was showing, colored it in, and then created a key. We also tried to explain how to give directions, and it seemed like the kids were getting it by the end, but who really knows? All in all, I was very happy with how everything went. The kids are, for the most part, well behaved and engaged. I know it’s only day 1, but I’m thinking that this is going to be the case for the rest of the time as well. These are some well-trained kids. Like all kids, I’m sure they’ll have their moments, but they know the expectations and how they’re supposed to act.

Tomorrow is the first day of trying to teach the little ones, so keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I hope that it’s as painless as today was.

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