Monday, February 19, 2018

Antigua, Guatemala, February 19, 2018

Another week of school coming up and it is going to be great.  I have Sheny back as my teacher and she is awesome.  The four hours passed in a minute and I'm looking forward to the rest of my days here-

She is so organized, knows how to explain things in a simple way, is very fluent in English, writes down new words so I can copy them, knows when to change activities and is a pleasure to talk with.  Today she was telling me about some experiences she's had with nasty spirits.  She can see shadows and dead people so of course I was fascinated.  She is a hard worker, managing to save up to buy a PS4 which was her dream last year.  She plays soccer on the weekends, has 4 cats and rides a motorcycle!

Many people cook with wood and I guess this is where they buy it-

The differences in Guatemala are so profound.  How can this be 2018?  Such a simple yet difficult life.  

It was with mixed emotions that I headed for la biblioteca.  What menial tasks would I have to do today?  It's not that I'm above doing menial tasks, it's just that I could be helping so much more but maybe I am helping them by cutting and pasting and it shouldn't matter what I do, as long as it's helping.  I guess I shouldn't complain.  So, today I had to cut out parts for paper faces: a large circle for the head, two small and skinny rectangles for the eyebrows, a triangle for the nose, two medium sized circles for the cheeks, half a circle for the mouth and eclipse shapes for the eyes with a smaller circle on top.  There was a teacher workshop in progress and this was to help them with a possible art project.  Next, I had to put computer barcodes in new books as well as stamp the books in 3 places for identification.  During these activities, I took any chance I got to read to kids.  Of course, the reading is not just for them because I learn too although the kids picked books I wouldn't.  One about insects, the other about animals.  Oh well.  Vocab is vocab.  Organizing, sorting and discarding magazines and papers that are not useful for students searching for pictures was next and finally I had to wash the 4 tables.  Griselda did ask me what I would like to be doing and I told her that I could teach English, even though it will only be for the next 6 days.  She is going to talk to the kids that come and see if they are interested.  

Supper was awesome - chicken, green beans with onions and a grated carrot salad with piña, raisins, mayo and mustard.  While having supper, Marta told me that the Spanish school she's affiliated with charges students $130 US for a week homestay.  That's 954 quetzales.  Of that, she gets 500Q ($88.48 CAN).  That's for 7 nights accommodation and 3 meals/day for 6 days.  Sunday is Marta's day off.  The unfortunate thing is that all schools do it but the students don't know this.  It's the same for classes.  I paid $120 US for one week and I bet Sheny doesn't get much more than 500Q either.  What robbery!

Tomorrow is the day I've been waiting for.  I'm going to see Axel and his family in their home.  I've got 2 books - the first Harry Potter and The Little Prince as well as a game of Uno.  I'm looking forward to it!  

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