Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rainy Days

We are officially in the rainy season and I am so grateful for the cooler temperature. School was more organized today. Carlie and I went around the room today with my notepad and wrote their names down so we can start learning them. Now I have to learn their faces too. Interesting fact…when kids go to private school like the one we are at, all the kids have to have short hair close to their heads. Don’t know if this is for hygiene or for uniformity. Anyway…

Worship is held Wednesday mornings at the school so we got to go. They pray, sing, clap, and sing Hallelujah! After they were done we stood in the front of the class and sang ‘I Am a Child of God'. Not nearly as exciting, but they liked it. To spice it up, we also sang “Popcorn Popping on an Apricot Tree”…with hand motions!

Our class went ok. We taught about the scientific method and how it applied to a little volcano experiment we showed. The teaching did not go over very well and we had to simplify it a LOT. But the Playdough building around the medicine cups we used was a hit! All the kids wanted to touch the dough so I broke off little pieces and let everyone help put it on the cup. We put baking soda in the cups and then added vinegar to make it fizz over like lava. As they were gathered around I tried to explain in very very basic terms how volcanoes are like mountains with holes in the top. Steam comes out because of the very hot rock inside. It bubbles all day until it finally explodes out of the volcano. Sometimes this only happens once every 50 - 100 years or more. Looked like they understood but it is amazing what they do NOT know. Not their fault, it just isn’t taught to them, or they haven’t been challenged enough in their critical thinking skills to really think hard about new things, etc.

At the end of our teaching we graded some assignments outside as the teacher took over the class. It was raining, of course, and very calm. Some of the little kids on break were playing in the puddles. Cute. And one little boy was sleeping outside his mothers classroom as she taught.

This was our first temple day. Yeah! Lynley went with 6 of us girls, and Tyler, so he could baptize us. We had to call ahead so they could fill up the font especially for us. Only two other girls were there so it was kind of like when our family was on our church history trip and we went to Nauvoo to find we were the only ones in the whole temple! How fun. The stained glass was beautiful and the temple was very clean…a strong juxtaposition to the world around it~

Tonight for Ashley’s birthday, we went out to eat at Dynasty Restaurant for Chinese food. Yummy, but my stomach hurt as soon as the food hit it. We have not eaten nearly enough in the past few days, and getting a well-balanced meal is impossible. Lettuce is too hard to clean so we can’t eat it and fruit and vegetables are scarce. So my tummy was tender to actual food. Seeing as how I am in charge of picking out what food we order from here on out, things should be a little better. We are going to order more as well, because the amount we are served in the hostel is only enough for about 8, and we have 17 people! Ahh! Good times~

So, I’m discovering that if we ever encounter a problem with our room or how something is working the hostel workers tell us it is because of the rain. Sometimes this makes sense, like the rolling blackouts (as we experienced in the middle of dinner tonight), the bullfrogs that have taken up residence in the puddles outside our window, and the internet shorting out, but other things like our toilet not working??? Um…what? Now it’s just a joke between us.

This weekend we are going on our first excursion to the rainforest and a nice beach. I am so excited! We have been working hard and getting used to this whole new world, so a break just to play will be nice. I have become the group beautician apparently, so I am often styling hair for the girls. We try to make the best out of what we have for beauty supplies. As I’m typing, Jordyn just asked if I wanted to French braid her hair. Haha!

I saw this little girl playing in the rain today as we were waiting to leave the school. She finally saw me and waved. They always wave. So polite and happy.

My days are feeling more organized and I'm learning better what to expect. The rain has washed away the constant smell of roasting pine nuts and pot to leave a nice hot Smokey wet smell. Ty would love the overcast weather. Sure beats the stifling heat. We're off again to finish up our AIDS training so hopefully all goes well. Here is the photo of my bleeding leg when I finally arrived at the orphanage. Nice!

Love you all and hope all is well in the U.S. Eat some food for me and send me the "I am SO full" vibes so I can fake myself out!! haha