Every day since I arrived, the weather has been beautiful here. The sky has been overcast which blocks the hot sun, and as a result, the temperature has been easily bearable. It’s around the mid-70s, so perfect for summer without being miserable. Every day, everyone tells me that the weather isn’t usually like this during the summer. The sky is usually clear and the sun is hot, and it NEVER rains even though it’s rained twice since I’ve been here. When it does, it’s NEVER actual raindrops, it’s always just a mist… but it’s been actual raindrops both times. Well, I savored those days, and it’s a good thing I did because today was the end (though I have my fingers crossed for it being just a temporary break).
Today, the sky was clear, and the sun was brutal. It was okay in the shade, but as soon as you stepped out into the sun, you felt like melting into a puddle. Of course, today was field trip day (with the C3 kids, Vanessa’s 7-9 year olds. Tomorrow we’re doing it again with Ingrid’s C4 class of 10-12 year olds) which meant walking around Chilca in the middle of the day.
We packed the 13 kids plus 4 teachers into the Esperanza de Ana van (which is the exact same type of van as a Ghanaian tro tro… I thought that was kind of funny. They also use those same vans here for “buses” which seem like they’re basically the same as tro tros… overpacked, hot, and an interesting experience), and we were off!
Our “scavenger hunt” started in the main square in town. We had the kids do three rubbings (where you put a paper down on a textured surface and rub a sideways crayon on the paper to get an imprint of the texture) and a sketch of one of the surrounding buildings before we started our walk. I had some ‘fun’ attempting to talk to the kids when they needed help. Sometimes they looked at me with massively confused faces after I said something, and I called in Debbie or Vanessa for reinforcements. Vanessa is one of the only local staff members who speaks some English. She’s still learning, but her English is for sure better than my Spanish.
After the square, we trekked through the city, making stops at the police station, market, sweet shop, and school before heading to our end point, the park. For this class, all of the landmarks were already marked on the map, and we had them just draw our route and answer some questions as we went (for example, what color is the police station? It’s green, in case you were wondering).
By the time we finished, I was melting. There was no time to waste though, and right when we got back to EA, I had to run to the cafeteria to help set up for lunch. I was a machine when putting out the plastic chairs and silverware. I mostly have the locations of the double chairs and spoons memorized, and now I have a cheat sheet with the kids’ ages to help me when I’m putting out the meals. We were actually ready on time today! See? I knew we just needed a little more practice.
The rest of the day was mostly uneventful, just planning for classes for the rest of the week. After dinner, we played a game of Bananagrams (similar to Scrabble, but each person makes their own personal board and tries to use up all of their letters). In English, I’m pretty good at Bananagrams. In Spanish, as I found out tonight, I am horrible. Part of the problem is that the game is made to be played in English, so all of the tile quantities are based on that. There’s only so much I can blame on that though, considering everyone else was playing with the same tiles as I was (to be fair though, everyone was going pretty slowly). Anyway, in conclusion, Bananagrams in Spanish is not easy, especially if your Spanish isn’t exceptional. Shocking revelation, I know.