It is so hard to believe that this experience is coming close to an end! I have five more weeks out of the nineteen that I am supposed to be here, which means that everything is going to go crazy fast. I am so grateful for this whole experience because if I stayed in the US, I wouldn't have been able to grow as much as I have. In my opinion, the best way to grow in anything is to do things that are outside of your comfort zone. This trip has definitely revealed some things about myself that I might not have known, and I have been able to learn and improve from these inner conflicts.
As far as teaching goes, I feel that I am getting to a point where I am comfortable with the idea of having my own classroom. I didn't think that I would get to this point for a while, but I am so excited! Also, I have gotten the chance to develop more relationships with the kids, and they are really starting to grow on me. There are still many times during each class when I will say a certain word and they will have no idea what I am saying, or they will say a word in spanish if they don't know the word in English and I will look at them the same way. But, these kids have really given me a wonderful example of how to teach an international student. Since all of the students are speaking in their second language, I have to constantly think about their vocabulary limits. In addition, I am constantly reminded that each student has a story. Since almost all of the students at my school live a "Beverly Hills "lifestyle", it would be easy to assume that they all have perfect lives, but that is far from the truth. There are so many students that are still hurting no matter how much stuff they have. I may not be able to fix their family issues, but I can encourage them. I may not be able to fix how they are treated at home, but I can give them a hug, which may be the only hug they get from anyone that day. I have definitely gotten a different point of view concerning the relationship between life issues and wealth. Even if you work at a rich private school, every kid who walks through those hallways have problems just like any other kid in the world.
I have also been able to take a few trips since my last post. My first trip was to Arenal, which is a huge tourist spot to see an active volcano. During the trip, I did not do any exciting excursions up the volcano, but I did go to a resort that had twenty five pools of different temperatures. So, basically there were twenty hot tubs with about five cold pools. It was a great way to unwind from a full week of teaching by myself! Then, the next weekend I went to another active volcano, Poaz, which was amazing! For this volcano, you are able to walk all the way to the top and see the crater. I went with a group of wonderful girls and had a blast! When we all walked up to the crater, we couldn't see anything because of the fog, but after the rain started, we could see everything. Unfortunately, being at the top was a lot colder than expected, especially with the added rain. Let me just say, that I am definitely concerned about going back to the States at the beginning of December because I have become a wimp towards the cold. Thankfully, we were all able to scurry down to the entrance and warm-up with some hot coffee. : D . We also got chances during the bus ride to stop and take pictures of the landscapes. So beautiful! Here are some of the pictures that were taken during the trips.
Who knows what will come up in these last five weeks, but I will keep you posted! Happy Halloween everyone!!
The coffee fields on the way to Poaz
Before the rain at Poaz
After the rain at Poaz
Oh these girls! They are so great!