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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
Their brothers were spying around the corner ☺