Bear boats

The more I think about it, the more I realize how much the team week threw me off. I’m currently feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed, and I was trying to understand what is different about this week that has me feeling that way more than usual. I think that it’s partly because I didn’t accomplish much of anything last week since we were so busy, and now I have an extra week’s worth of things on my to do list. The other part of it is that I’m in the planning stages of a few different things (including my trip to Machu Picchu before I leave Peru, some stuff for my time in Armenia, and some randoms), and that always gives me a feeling of unrest until the planning is finished or at least underway. No need to worry about me though… I’ve done a re-write of my to do list, and that’s making me feel a bit better. Now I need to get to crossing some things off!

Robot construction in progress! Debbie has been making the kids wear safety goggles even when they’re not doing anything that even remotely requires them. It makes them look like they know what they’re doing though, doesn’t it?

Otherwise, things are going well! We had our second robot class with the oldest kids this morning, and the excitement of making robots hasn’t worn off yet (thank goodness!). The half of the class we worked with today hadn’t even started their robots yet. We got them through the entire assembly process, and they had time to get started on cutting and stripping the wires to prepare them for soldering. They all did a great job with that, and I was excited because I want the kids to do as much for themselves as possible. The older class is definitely capable of doing most of the work with just a little guidance. Soldering will happen next class, and hopefully we can figure out a way to get them involved in that as well without having any safety issues. I think they can handle it, especially if they keep behaving as well as they have been. They’re taking this project really seriously.

Spaghetti, chicken, yuca, and carapulcra.

Lunch today was spaghetti, yuca (which is apparently the same as or similar to cassava… which I spent all of my time in Ghana not knowing what it was – even though we had it at the farm and I planted some – and too lazy to look it up), chicken, and carapulcra. Carapulcra is a Peruvian stew that probably varies dramatically depending on who makes it and where you are. From what I could gather while eating it, Delia’s carapulcra consists of potatoes, sauce that I couldn’t identify even if I tried, pieces of chicken (watch out for stray bones), garlic, and I have no clue what else. I know, that description couldn’t possibly be more unhelpful. All I can say is, I’m no food connoisseur, so that’s the best I can do. In summary, it was pretty good, even though I was sure I was going to choke on a hidden chicken bone.

Julie’s class loading their boats with bears.


Tuesdays are little kid engineering afternoons, so Julie and I teamed up to make aluminum foil boats with the two youngest classes. It’s questionable how much the kids actually did in her class (the 2-4 year olds) vs. how much we did for them, but it kept them interested for close to an hour, so that’s all that really matters in my book. Each kid got a piece of foil and as much tape as they needed, and after they finished, they put their boats into a tub of water and loaded them with these little plastic bears we found in the supply closet. Julie even fit in some teaching about how the bigger boats with higher walls held more bears and got the kids to compare the numbers of bears that each boat held to see which boat worked the best.

In the slightly older class (4-6 year olds), there was a bit more chaos, but the kids actually built their own boats (some with a little help from us). They had way too much fun splashing around in the water, but somehow we survived and the kids possibly enjoyed it and learned something? We’ll just say they did. None of you were there, so I can make things up like that. Let the records show that class today went perfectly according to plan and the kids were totally under control and engaged and they built fabulous aluminum foil boats and now they all want to be engineers. Wow! We did a great job, huh?

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