Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Social Work & Soccer

At the end of the school year, there are 1001 activities that the students and teachers need to complete. Today, we took our 6th graders to complete their mandatory Social Work. The students each provided a new desk/chair combination to another school in the city. We traveled to that school today to deliver the chairs, share time with the other students, pass out cake, candies and sodas, and play some soccer with them. The other school was a completely Spanish school, unlike the English school that I teach at, but after so long in this country, I'm used to being around Spanish. We started the morning with the National Anthem, the Pledge, and some words by the school's principal and by my co-worker. Then our students went classroom to classroom, passing out slices of cake, soda and bags of candy.

It was a nice trip and many of the students who were really helping surprised me. We expected the students to help serving the cake and other things. Many of them stepped up to the plate to do just that, some of them going over and above what needed to be done. To be honest, I really saw true characters in those students.

This brings me to the point that I really want to continue to do volunteer work when Javier and I return back to the USA. When I was younger, I did some volunteer work at an animal shelter, but I think that when we return, it would be a nice way to give back to whatever community we are living in. We can find an organization that we are interested in and give some time weekly to help others -- people, animals, nature, whatever it is that we fancy. I like that. It would also be a way for Javier to give back to the community where he living and feel more involved.

After we returned to school, we had some classes (finally my 5th graders finished their research reports, and we are going to watch a video tomorrow that I made especially for them), and for the last half of the afternoon, I took my 5th graders out to play soccer instead of sit in the stifling classroom doing nothing.

You know that my students love to play soccer. It's fairly common in this country and many kids play soccer with just about anything that they can get their hands on, including caps of bottles. Sincerely, I never thought kids could be so obsessed with the game of soccer, but here in Latino countries, that is how it is. What strikes me as funny is that 40 kids can be playing on ONE field with ONE ball, and it makes no difference to them.

I'll miss most of my kids when I leave. :[

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Been a long, but very long, time...

Time has flown. Literally. The last time I wrote was the beginning of the school year and in less than two weeks, it is the end of the school year.

Writing has been the last thing on my mind, considering that my job is pretty much demanding and when I arrive home, I either: a) continue working/grading, b) take a nap, c) watch tv with Javier and try to relax, or d) make dinner. Thankfully the end of the school year has created a lot of free time for me when I arrive home, but next week I will certainly be grading until my eyes fall from my head because of final exams.

I've been very, very happy with my job this year and I've enjoyed most of the moments there. There are many of my (150) students who I love and cherish deeply, who have impacted my life in numerous, wonderful ways and who I will miss desperately when we return to the USA. I have met people who I would consider my new lifelong friends, who I have spent good and bad moments with, who have shared in my moments of joy (my engagement, my birthday, discussing wedding planning) and in my moments of sadness (Javier's denial of a visitor visa, feelings of desperation about being far from home). Those are the people that I wish, pray and hope that I never lose touch with. Thank goodness for things like Facebook and email, otherwise I'd fear that I'd never see their lovely faces again.

The wait for Javier's fiance visa has been pretty long, and the US immigration hasn't even approved our petition yet. I'm hoping that he will have his visa in August but we don't know yet. I'm crossing my fingers.

I'm ready go back to the USA, but I know 100% sure that I will miss, dearly, the people that I have met here and the people who I'm close with here. Friends are friends regardless of places, cultures, countries, etc. And I want it to remain like that.