Busy, busy, busy these past two weeks! We finally got back to teaching full days in the escuela after all the disruptions for Independence Day. Something I’ve noticed here that is very different from home is the approach to education. At home nothing short of 20 feet of snow or a royal marriage will stop school happening. Here a meeting for the teachers, a doctor’s appointment or a national celebration all lead to a day off for some or all of the classes.
This approach has it’s benefits. It gives life more room to happen naturally. It puts family first, arguably the one thing more important than education. For example, this week there was a funeral for the grandmother of a girl in second grade,and there were no classes for anyone so that the teachers and any of the children that wanted to could attend.
However there are also the obvious disadvantages. There is much more disruption to learning. Classes do not always receive the same amount of teaching, even within the same grade. And for us it can be extremely frustrating when our small amount of English time is shortened, cut in half or even eliminated for the week, as is the case with third grade who often lose out on their two lessons for the week when we are not in on a Monday or Tuesday.
Anyway back on to all of our goings on. Last Friday we were invited to a dinner to celebrate Día del Maestro (basically teacher appreciation day) which was held at the escuela and hosted by the mayor. We were honoured to be included seeing as we’ve not been here that long. The evening included a singer from El Salvador, some party games (one of which we were volunteered/forced to take part in, we lost) and cake! At the end of the evening we were even given a wee party favour of a special mug filled with sweets!
During last week one of the girls from our 1st Grade class told us that her mum wanted us to come round to her house at the weekend so she could meet us and we thought hey, why not? We turned up on Saturday afternoon and it turned out they had bought a cake just for us coming over! We spent a really nice afternoon with them before going for baleadas with a friend and finishing our evening at church. We don’t usually go to church but there was a special service because the next day was Día de la Biblia (Day of the Bible, because literally everything has it’s own day here). We enjoyed it a lot more than the last time we went, probably partly because we could understand a lot more (!) but they also had a family band playing who were brilliant!
Sunday brought Day of the Bible but also another morning spent making tomato soup – who knew it could make us so many friends! This time it was with a teacher called Enedina that goes to the adult English classes (that still haven’t started yet…) and who is really lovely. We got back to the house in time to see the church’s parade go past and then hear more music from the family band.
In other news, last week was the opening session of our choir! We decided to start a choir at the escuela for every kid that wanted to take part, which the teachers didn’t seem to understand at first… We decided to do two, one for 1st-3rd grade and one for 4th-6th grade. So far we’ve not done much but we have taught them the first three lines of ‘O Flower of Scotland’! (I can’t insert the video I have of it here but if you want to see it you can go to my Facebook page, Sara’s Year in Honduras, and see it there!).
And now we’re gearing up for our first proper bit of travelling! On Saturday we leave at 4am to start the two day trek to Belize! Obviously the sole purpose of our four days there is to renew our visa and not sunbathe and swim in the sea… Obviously… I’ll see you on the other side!
A few more pictures of life in Candelaria –