Here are the thoughts of Joanna nee Lake as she spends time in Ecuador, and beyond... Disciple, Fairtrade Freak, Psychologist in the making. Now part of the Blundell Jones clan.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

oops! I hadn't finished!

Oops, published it by accident, still have more to say!!!
So this week with the kids... it's been good but have got frustrated with not being able to understand what they say and not being able to say what i want. they're great kids, really affectionate but also really aggressive (fighting a lot),i hope that when my spanish is better i'll be able to help them treat each other better! Spent my mornings with the second graders (about 8years old), helping them with their work. We've been doing the syllables ma, me, mi, mo, mu, and abit of numeracy. I think they need a lot of encouragment, and they find it really hard to concerntrate, and it seems to me (though i can't realy remember what i did at their age) that what they do is rather simple. but then i remember that these kids haven't had the opportunities like you or i, they've come from awful situations, so it's not surprizing they find studying difficult! little Israel, bless him, was nearly falling asleep!

my afternoons are unstructured, i'm meant to help with homework but as it usually rains in the afternoons, the kids can't be outside, so everyone is in the dining room which means it's very hard for those with homework to concerntrate on it!! Then i usually end up sitting there, kids being mental all around me! playing with them (which usually involves them draping themselves off you, playing with your hair) and sorting out arguments! (well with my limited spanish i can't really sort them out but just tell them to stop it!) Because it involves a lot of initiative taking and as i'm not very confident with speaking, i find the afternoons more difficult!!

as of this week we're having bible club twice, tuesdays for 4th/5th graders, thursdays for 2nd/3rd graders... maria hopes that Bev and I will run the tuesday one...she actually asked if i could do it next week but i declined!! though i think she'll have me doing it the week after!! aaahhhh!!! my spanish isn't that good, i'm so slow at speaking, but as she said, sometimes we need something like that to force us to take the next step! scary!!
one cool moment was when after bible class on thursday, Maribel (in my 2nd grader class) asked me to tell her stories about Jesus, the only problem was, a) i'm not that good at telling stories,and b) and couldn't think of anything in spanish, so ended up just singing a song we'd sung that day!

oo yeah the card'making business... it's an idea of Maria's... to give the older girls a skill and help them to earn some money... we spent wednesday trying to come up with design ideas but ended up thoroughly dejected and frustrated and downhearted! but yesterday as i couldn't go to Remar, i met up with Maria and we had another go... and this time it was really good, i really enjoyed it.. we think we've come up with some sellable designs using various techniques which we're going to teach the girls... i hope that one day they'll be able to come up with the designs themselves! so its really exciting!!

other randomn stuff to tell you.... Bev and i have come up with a great game that we play as we walk around, it's called 'Spot the Gringo' (Gringo being the name for americans, english etc), it provides us with quite abit of amusement!!! hee hee... one thing i hate it that "everyone" stares at me, with my whiter than white skin, and some make lude comments - sometimes i wish i could change my skin/hair colour and fit in. Bev's ok coz she's black and there are plenty of black ecuadorians - she says it's only when she opens her mouth that people realise she's gringo!!! n'vr mind, most people are lovely!!

oo big news, i've joined a choir!!! Quito celebrates it's independence at the beginning of december, and as part of the celebrations there's a concert, and i've mangaged to get myself in the choir!! very exciting!! it can be hard trying to sing in spanish, and i'm learning the songs after everyone else, i've had two rehearsals so far, but i've really enjoyed them! best be off, keep well one and all, hope you enjoy my garbled writings! xxx


Blogger the other Jo said...

hola chiquita!my goodness you've been busy!sounds like you're doing really well! I bet your languge is way better then you give yourself credit for -you were always overly modest in that area as I recall!It's funny, reading your entries brings back so many memories from Guatemala (sounds like you've already begun to build your own 'character building' list!surely it's not as crazy yet as our's was though?!)
Keep going senorita: dios te bendiga! xxx

6:06 AM


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