Big teacher on a little bike

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The kids think this is hilarious. On the first day I rode a normal sized bike to school, but I was too heavy and the tires went flat. So today, the kids in the house made me ride this little tiny bike with thick tires, and the whole ride to school people laughed and waved, and I just kept on pedaling. All day the teachers and kids and neighbors laughed when they saw me and said, “I saw you ride that little tiny bike to school.”

I have decided that tomorrow I will get up earlier and walk with the teachers.

So! Today was my first day of teaching. I taught three sessions: Standard 3 and 4 in the morning and another Standard 4 class in the afternoon. It went really well, except the last class seemed a little bit lost. It will take some time to adjust, I think, and to figure out how to communicate best. Everything here is so different than in the States, and each class feels like a different puzzle. Here are pictures of the first 3 classes:

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Ms. Ida packs me a lunch every day (yesterday for breakfast she served beef tacos, and for lunch, it was beef tacos in between two slices of bread…) Usually I stick around the school, but today I walked with Noreli and Fatima to their house. I met the rest of their family her mother cooked me lunch and sent me home with limes from the lime tree—there are lime trees, plum trees, orange trees and grapefruit trees everywhere. Oh, and lemongrass plants, which is what Ida uses to sweeten my coffee every morning.

After school—I honestly feel like each day here is an entire lifetime of things to tell, so sit tight—the kids I normally ride with had to stay for confirmation classes, so I walked home with two other kids who live down my little street, which is Branch Mouth area.

My personal escorts
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They escorted me right up to the door (I had to walk the little bike home because I flattened THOSE tires, too!) and when I arrived, Ida’s son offered to walk me to Hammock bridge, which is where the three rivers meet and head toward Belmopan. I could see all of San Ignacio from the bridge, but the bridge itself was SCARY, like, Indiana Jones scary.

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Not only that, to get to the bridge, we had to go through two chicken coops and a pig farm where wild boars roamed the hillside. I am not exaggerating, look:

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When we were coming back through, I recognized that the boy working was one of the kids in my class, and he gave me a tour of the pig farm.

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On the way back, we stopped at this little shop on the corner of our street because the little girls from the house were buying some flour, and we bought ice cream cones and popsicles for 10 cents each. It’s like 1952.

When we got back to Ms. Ida’s, her husband was coming home from the bush with the horse and cart carrying wood for the kitchen fire.

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Ida’s other son and daughter (different that the ones I had already met) were there from Placencia and Dangriga, where they work. The daughter and Stephanie asked if I wanted to go on another walk to the daughter’s house across the street, and she didn’t have electricity so we had to take lanterns. We spent about a half an hour there picking Jamaican limes, Mangos and lemongrass for Ida.

The uniqueness of today aside, I have to admit that last night I was a little bit lonely. I think it was mostly because I was observing all day at school and I felt like I was missing about 15 other team members…

Every time I remembered it was just going to be me, I got sort of sad. Also, I have been having this weird experience in the morning where totally forget where I am or what I am doing. Usually when I open my eyes and remember I am in Belize I get sort of depressed for about 10 minutes, especially when I remember I have to take a cold shower. Here is where I am living:

Out my door
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Through the sitting area
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Down the stairs
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Through the living room
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Down the hall
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Under the stairs
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Under the tin roof
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Into the bathroom
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And finally, to the shower on the left
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But if I can get through the shower part of my day, I’m golden. So if you are up at about 6 CST, pray for me.

Here is a praise: last night when I was just getting ready to go to bed and felt a little bit homesick for non-damp sheets and my good, old, familiar friends I heard three little knocks on my door and it was these three coming to say goodnight and help me pick out my outfit for the next day:

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Their brothers were spying around the corner ☺

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4 thoughts on “Big teacher on a little bike”

  1. spidery shower? seriously? i’m so sorry. i bet they’re not as big as the spiders in prague, though. am i right??? i would get them for you if i was there.

    go teacher brooke! your classes are so cute! what did you teach the first day? i didn’t understand your lingo.

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen [ephesians 3:20-21] look up the rest of eph. 3, and good luck with the screaming monkies. i love you! p.s. my mom is blown away by your blogs. she said she was crying reading them. awww….

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  2. and your title makes me think if the chris farley song, “fat man in a li-ttle coat” hahaha. and taco, schmaco. after all the walking you can donate all your clothes to me when you get back because you won’t fit into them :)

    oh, and i forgot to mention (iswear this was just going to be a comment on that chris farley song) wendy and i are planning to go to iceland in august!! woo-hoo!

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  3. So, you have already created a buzz! “The new American girl on the little bitty bike”. What, no umbros? Will the teachers allow themselves to be seen with you?

    And how DO you communicate? English? Spanish? Spanglish?

    I love the pics of the classes and kids…I can just hear you say, “okay, now everybody do something crazy!”

    I was thinking, on your first night back in the states, lets go to Abuello’s for TACOS! What’dya say?

    And, what is lemongrass…can you take a picture? I can’t quite imagine using something with lemon in its name to sweeten coffee…makes me pucker!

    So much to comment on and so little space!!! I love you! And I’m sure the boars have some biblical, spiritual significance:) MOM

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