Brooke vs. Kriol

Today the standard 6 students had an exam in San Ignacio, so I was in charge of the Standard 4 & 5 classes—and after my 40 minute lesson, I had nothing to teach them.So, they gave me Kriol exercises with the Kriol-Inglish Dikshineri, instead.

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I copied some words and created a quiz for your reading pleasure.

1.Does “backarop” mean

  1. to sing a rap about having one’s back
  2. to hit on one’s back
  3. to go in reverse
  4. a bag you wear on your shoulders

Context:Ah wahn backarop di kaa, soh moov owt a di way.

2.Does “memba” mean

  1. participant
  2. a large cat in the puma family
  3. a type of dance
  4. to remember

Context:Yoo neva memba yu oan bertday?

3.Does “nyoo” mean

  1. new
  2. me and you
  3. yoo-hoo!
  4. 12 noon

Context:We ga wahn nyoo Faada da fi wee choch

4.Does “prosikyoot” mean

  1. sort of cute
  2. prosecute
  3. prostitute
  4. still a youth

Context:Polees di tek lang fi prosikyoot di teef.

5.Does “bizniz” mean

  1. show business
  2. cheese whiz
  3. big nose
  4. personal life

Context: Stap poak yo noaz eena mi bizniz.


Bonus Round

Does “pis-a-bea” mean

  1. bed-wetter
  2. bee killer
  3. little green nut
  4. type of flower

Context:Mei lee gyal ten an ih da reel pis-a-bea.


When the Kriol lessons were over, I showed the kids some card tricks and then taught them how to play Kemps so we could have a Kemps tournament, which went well and was very educational, I think.With an hour left until lunch, even after the tournament, we had no choice but to resort to hangman.

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Me studying my Kriol, while they play hangman

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This is random, yes, but every day I stare out the window at this tree shaped like a duck, and I just wanted to share

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After lunch, it was volleyball until 3 (their big volleyball tournament is Thursday), and I am proud to say I took one for the team.This time it was teachers vs. students, and I did not have to play on the boys team.Although, now that I think about it, all the teachers were boys…

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Cheering squad

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My “one for the team”

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Tomorrow is my last day at San Marcos school, so we’re having a party.
Classes break on Thursday for a 2 week Easter Break.

It’s the beginning of the end for me here…


ANSWERS

1.C
I am going to put the car in reverse, so get out of the way.

2.D
You don’t remember your own birthday?

3.A
We have a new priest at church.

4.B
The police are taking a long time to prosecute the thief.

5.D
Stop poking your nose into my personal life.

Bonus:A
My little girl is ten years old, and she’s a real bed-wetter.

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Week Eight

Happy Leap Year.

I just have to say, first of all, it’s hot. Thursday is supposed to be 97 degrees, and they still make me heat my water in the morning because of a cough, which not only means I am bathing in hot water on hot days, but also it means I have been bathing out of a bucket for about a month now.

That said, here are some pics of class this week. Note the hot-pink Umbros, circa 1994. It may appear as though I am teaching them to fight. Rest assured, I am not. We are acting out fighting scenarios.

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This one is blurry, but I love it because everyone looks really scared of the invisible tomatoes I am pretending to throw at the boys who fell down in the pretend mud.

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All week, we have been playing volleyball in the afternoons to get ready for the volleyball tournament on the 13th. For some reason, they kept putting me on the boys team. I need to explore that.

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On Friday I went to Old Belize with Inez and had the best time. Besides meeting a famous Jamaican artist- I have no idea who he was, but the pic is nice- we got the Belizean rate, which is a milestone for me, free beach passes, went through the museum and learned the history of Mayans, Garifunda, Carib Pirates, British Hondurans, Chickle farmers and buckaneers. We even got to eat REAL chickle. Then we sat by the Caribbean and ate a huge plate of chicken Pirate nachos. I ordered them with an “Arrrrgggg!” and Inez hid behind the menu.

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Mayan ruler (like he’s soooo powerful now)

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chickle camp

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chickle farmer & pot

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Garifuna settlement

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Coffee roaster

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Famous guy

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coral reef pool in the making

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Pics of the beach and marina (and clouds, I like them)

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The ride home: Nelly, Chris, Keilee, Inez

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Antonia trying on hat, scarf and mittens for her trip to Canada in March. We had to do lessons on how to wear a scarf.

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Week Seven

I know 6 days is, like, a year in Brooke blog time, but its been a busy week.Also, my “chesty cough” turned into bronchitis thanks to dry season and dusty roads.I never used to understand why all the kids walked around with little rags until I got sick of hacking up a lung every day to and from San Marcos and got the bright idea to hold a washcloth over my mouth whenever I saw a dust cloud on the road.The next morning at school, when I showed up with my own rag in hand, it all came together for me.

I’ll give a quick run down of the rest of the week (and by quick, I mean long)

Monday

We did normal programming in the morning for the Standard 2-6 classes, but in the afternoon, Nelly (David’s wife) was sick, so I taught the Infant and Standard 1 classes. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of Monday- and yes, my shorts are totally hiked.

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Tuesday

Mexico!Antonia needed to go to Chetumal to buy decorations for Confirmation, which is this Monday (its cheaper to buy from Mexico or Guatemala).We got up at TWO-THIRTY in the morning to catch the 4am bus from San Ignacio to Belize City to Chetumal—a SIX hour trip, arrived in Chetumal at about 10, then caught the 3pm bus back to Belize City. We got back to San Ignacio at about 9:30.It was a long day, but really fun.Antonia managed to cross and re-cross the border with an old passport, crossed back into Belize with 6 bags of decorations and talked her way out of the tax.I paid $37.50 plus $40 in transportation and bought nothing.

Before we left, I met two Americans from Portland at the 4am bus stop in San Ignacio. They were also headed to Chetumal to backpack their way through Mexico.They were the first Americans I’d seen since January 4th and I almost jumped into their arms when they left. I told them they might make the blog.

Antonia at 3am waiting for the bus

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Portlanders and me

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Best moment of the day: hitting sunrise and sunset with the Caribbean out my window and Michael Jackson’s Number one Hits on the ipod.It was really great to be able to see the northern part of the country—Orange Walk and Corozol Town.

Wednesday

Prepared for San Marcos’s annual soccer tournament.The boys and teachers went into the bush to gather sticks and palm leaves to make the goals and shelters.I taught the girls and the Standard 2 & 3 classes (an by taught, I mean we played hangman and jacks all day).

Making the shelter

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Lining the field

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Washing dishes- well, they’re washing. I’m like, what is this so-called “cooking utensil” ?

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Teaching (before I knew they had the camera)

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After I realized they had the camera

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After they’d had enough “teaching” from me

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Wednesday night, we had a total Lunar eclipse, and I stood on the porch singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to Inez and Bryon.

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Thursday

Soccer tournament!10 boys teams and 9 girls teams came.They played from 8:30 in the morning until about 6:30 in the evening.The winners were Duck Run 2 and La Gracia.My job was tournamenteer (I made that up—it means to create and fill in the brackets throughout the day…)

Behind the scenes- taco prep

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Your favorite tournamenteer and mine

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The sequence of finding out I had blue streaks all over my face after the marker burst

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Santa Familila team

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And victory dance after first round

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Santa Familia teachers (they tried to get me to switch sides)

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Duck Run II cheering squad (check out the kid in blue tights)

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Coach David

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Cute Infant 2 student with her aforementioned rag

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Nelly (David’s wife) and Imanuel (David & Antonia’s brother)

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Rousing game of Jacks

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Winning teams and trophies

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Sunset (after an hour of picking up trash…)

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Friday

Half day, spent mostly in church going through the Stations of the Cross.Its really interesting and meaningful for me to go through the Lenten period with everyone here.And it helps to be doing it with kids, since I am learning and things are slow and simplified to teach them.The rest of the morning, I did Math with the Standard 1 class.

Whew! I think I’m caught up. I’ll try to stay in touch this week. Don’t forget about me, please?

Week six, I heart you

Week 6

I can’t believe I’ve been here for 6 weeks!

And I can’t believe I forgot to tell you that we had a tremor this week. I think it was Monday or Tuesday morning. I got up because i felt my bed shaking, and (funny line of logic here, beware) I thought someone was ironing outside my room, that the ironing board was bumping the wall, and the wall was shaking the table, and the table was shaking my bed. But when I looked, no one was ironing, and the ironing table was about 3 feet from the wall…

Later I learned it was a tremor. That made more sense than an animated ironing board, but, you know, I was sleeeeeeping.

Here are some pics of classes this week.Every morning the kids line up and sing the Belize National anthem while raising the Belize flag.Then they do morning prayers together and begin class.I can almost sing the anthem myself…

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I have know idea what’s going on here, but obviously it was VERY funny…

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On Valentine’s Day, I went with the Standard 6 students to a science bee in Los Tambos.San Marcos school won second place, out of about 8 schools.

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Think if this is what it looked like outside your classroom window

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The bus

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In the afternoon, we did an art lesson in each class and made Valentine’s Day cards.

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My two valentines

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On Friday night, Santa Familia school had a Valentines Day Festival. Lots of food, games and dancing…

The girls

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The boys

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The teachers

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And these jokers

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My Santa Familia Valentines

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Oh, and PS: My phone card didn’t work. I guess on double minute days, everyone tries to call and the network gets jammed :( So much for my $20 worth of happy phone time.

Bryan Buffington Wilson

Bryan Buffington Wilson

That’s right. I said Buffington.

He’s the type of brother to walk into your gymnastics class and do a standing back tuck, when you’ve been practicing for over a year—he was just there with your dad to pick you up.

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Today is his birthday.Happy birthday Bryan!

Update: I am teaching two classes in the morning and doing an art activity with the Infant classes in the afternoons at the San Marcos school. Here are my new classes:

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Classes on Tuesday afternoon were canceled to clear a soccer field.It was only supposed to be the standard 4, 5 & 6 classes, but the smoke was so bad everyone had to go outside. I got a kick out of the infant classes- they just pulled up their plastic chairs and watched, like it was a soccer game or something:

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I did not get a kick out of the tarantula…

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Tomorrow election day in Belize, so all schools are closed tomorrow and Friday. That means 2 days off, yahoo!

Miss you!
Love you!
Tell my brother happy birthday if you know him…