Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Heat, rope jumping and Resilience

Finally the weather picked up with what we could expect for the season: it has been hot, sunny and even though we experienced heavy rain and power cuts last week it has been perfect weather for outdoor activities! 

As everyday the mornings are spent at school, currently being one I am assisting a different grade per day. Today it was the first grade and yesterday the second…..a lot of ‘la, le, li, lo, lu and ma, me, mi, mo, mu’.I didn’t know how heart melting and, simultaneously, exigent, was to teach little kids how to read and count. Even after re-explaining for half an hour the meaning of the letters in a word and that if there is an ‘M’ followed by an ‘I’ how do they sound together? If you know ‘M’ and if you know ‘I’…..then this little fellow, with half of his primary teeth missing, smiles while swinging his/her legs and says ‘LI!’…ok, not an ‘L’, it is an ‘M’...and we start all over again.

As for the afternoon activities we had Anne visiting for a couple of days, and she prooved to be a Mandala master, it was fun to see the kids colouring them but even more to draw it and having the kids giving it a try too! They were fascinated with her boyfriend, Martin. It is true they haven't seen a lot of male volunteers lately.

Martin and the kids

Mandalas in the making!

Last Friday the kids collected rocks on the way from the volunteers house to the school- yes, they came to ‘pick me up’.The rocks were  coloured for decorative purposes. It wasn’t that easy to find the best rocks to paint (egg-shaped and flat), but the kids worked it out. Once they had enough with it some asked to play UNO cards – that’s one popular game here – and this was how we’ve finalized the week.

Rock Painting 1
Rock Painting 2

Yesterday we played ‘Riesgolandia’, a board game raising awareness regarding natural disasters, building up both preparedness and resilience, we still had time for some rope jumping after!

Riesgolandia :)

Today…. well, today some kind of community celebration took place.... so only a couple of kids came. The 'plan' was to play STOP – a word game and a great way to practise both writing skills and Spanish vocabulary – but mainly little ones came today, so no STOP….there was paper and pen, so they draw…..I tried to motivate them with an educational theme: ‘who is your favourite super hero, and why?’ Batman, Superman, and Spiderman are strangers over here, they just shrugged their shoulders and said ‘saber…’ the typical Guatemalan way of saying ‘who knows…’.So, no chance to have the little ones reflecting on bravery, courage, strength, intelligence….still they draw what their world is about: nature and family. Certainly, bravery, courage, strenght and intelligence can also be found there.

It is funny that over here the less you prepare and worry, the more activities work out. It’s not the disasters’ type of resilience but a different kind, maybe as useful as the first one…

We are cooking some manual activities for the next few days – though STOP and super heroes are still on the pipeline, for whenever there is a chance to do so…. Do not miss our Facebook updates!
See you soon and all the best from Nueva Mercedes.

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