Many of the dormers come to school on Monday extremely tired and full of emotion from the weekend at home. They have extra bad behavior and just want to sleep the afternoon away. They are not allowed to nap up in the dormitory as they are supposed to use the afternoon for homework or socializing. This Monday, I had about eight girls lying on the floor of the large hall and on the landing of the stairs resting after they had finished their chores. Sometimes I wonder if it might not be more beneficial to allow a half hour or hour nap time in the dormitory on Monday afternoons to rejuvenate them a bit for the week ahead. Although on second thought, then they might not be tired for 8:30 bedtime!
Tuesday I learned just how hard it can be to teach English to a class of 25 disinterested teenage girls. I had a lesson planned to present vocabulary about common illnesses. My plan even included two games to help make memorizing and pronunciation more fun. However, upon suggesting the games no one was willing to play. It was even like pulling teeth to get any student, aside from one, to repeat or read the English words. Though I was frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm and participation, I plowed on teaching the vocab. After the class ended, I did see that some of the students had copied down all of the vocab and definitions. Hopefully, something soaked in.
Here's some exciting news: I am now joined in the afternoons by another volunteer! Her name is Wendy. She is Costarican, and she will be volunteering at Casa Maria for about a month to fulfill her service hour requirement to graduate from her university. She is 26 years old, and it is so nice to have another person on my side in the afternoon to make sure the girls all do their chores and don't get into too much trouble. Thanks Wendy!
Now I am eating everyday with a few women who work at the gift store, cook, and take care of the chapel. Before this I had been told to get my food from the cook and take it to eat in the teacher's lounge. But all of the teachers usually leave at noon, so I generally was eating alone. One day while I was getting my food from the cook, I misunderstood what she said to me. I thought she asked if I wanted to eat with her, so I said of course I would love to eat with you! Anyway, now I share lunchtime with Dori, Johana, Lourdes, and Gloria!
Friday was a celebration of thanks at Casa Maria, so classes were cancelled. Right when I got to school, I received a thank you card and angel cell phone charm from the school director. The festivities began with mass (where I read half of the prayers of the faithful), then tamales for staff and ice cream for students, followed by a two hour show put on by all of the various ministry sectors at Casa Maria including skits and dances by the daycare and students, plays by the students, and interpretive dance by the single mothers. Every sector also gave the Casa Maria director, Sor Roxana, many gifts and thanks for all of her hard work, dedication, love, and care. It was a beautiful celebration! The day before, I worked all day on setting up the stage, hanging the curtains, and decorating which was all quite fun and full of laughter! I was utterly exhausted by the end of the week...but I learned and grew more than any week so far :)
|Five 7th & 8th graders wearing thier outfits for thier dance performance during the Thanksgiving Celebration. (The woman in the 2nd row is the science teacher.)|
|The curtains and stage we crafted for the Thanksgiving Celebration festivities.|
|Children from the nursery acting out the Works of Mercy.|