​I had a much-needed break from teaching classes today. Wednesdays are fun/play days (as if every other day isn’t also all fun and playing) which means beach trips/movies/free time to play outside. I luckily didn’t get recruited to help out at the beach, so I had some time to work with Debbie on our next activity for class.

We’re doing a scavenger hunt-type quest through Chilca, and I had to edit/simplify a Google map a bit to get it to look how we wanted. We came up with some things for them to do as we walk through the city. The older class will have to label a bunch of buildings and put the symbols into their map legends (because that’s what we talked about last class). The younger class has the symbols already printed on their maps, but they still need to trace our route and answer some questions as we go. I think it’s going to be cool! They have to do some sketching, talk about what sounds they hear, describe their surroundings, etc. Plus, it’s out of the classroom, so that automatically gives it an extra fun factor.

How beautiful is this handout?? Vanessa told us we still have some grammatical issues, but I’m not too worried about that.

One of my other daily duties is helping to get the cafeteria set up for lunch. The kids all have assigned seats, so I’m responsible for putting out plastic chairs for the kids who are in school (and the little kids use two chairs stacked on each other, so I have to put those in the right places), setting out forks (spoons for the little ones), and distributing meals and juice. This all supposedly happens in a half hour, but we have yet to get it done on time. I’m starting to get into a groove with the chairs and forks, so we just need to work on the food and juice distribution. Getting the food put out for everyone just takes a while because Delia, the chef, basically handcrafts each meal for each kid based on how old and big they are and how much food they need. It’s kind of amazing, but as you might imagine, it also takes forever. Then, I need to search the seating chart to find where that kid goes because I obviously haven’t memorized the names and seats of all the 50ish kids yet. It’s just the first week though! I’m sure it’ll all be under control after a couple more attempts.

Debbie and I finished up our handout in the afternoon, and I spent the rest of the school day helping with Julie’s class. She has 7 kids, ages 1-3, so as you might imagine, things can get interesting. She’s great with them, but sometimes it’s nice to have an extra set of arms and legs to capture the ones who are trying to escape (which is always at least one of them). I spent about 20 minutes playing with Mr. Potato Head, 30 playing with blocks, and the rest attempting to communicate with the kids. Between the fact that my Spanish is a work-in-progress and that they’re a bunch of 2 year olds who are on their own quests to master the language, I’m sure you can understand where some communication issues might come into play. Two-year-olds speaking English are hard enough to understand.

My churro in all of its sugary glory

Once school ended, Debbie and I walked to the town across the highway, Benjamin, (much closer than going into Chilca) and made copies of our maps. I bought a churro on the way back from a man with a churro cart under the pedestrian bridge. It was 1 Sol (so about 30 cents) and was, no contest, the best churro I’ve ever eaten (don’t ask how many churros I’ve ever eaten because it’s probably less than 10… but that’s just because I didn’t have access to THESE churros. Expect that number to skyrocket). It was so fluffy and donut-y, and inside there was a caramel-like filling. Plus it was obviously covered in sugar. I love sugar.

Anyway, we’ll see how the trip to Chilca goes tomorrow. Pray that we don’t lose any kids!