Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I have a class pet. His name is Freddy. He is a blue, white, and green striped fish. Freddy also is about three fists long and lives without water. Sounds like a special fish, hey? He is also stuffed. But that doesn’t make my class love him any less. I mean, he is not just any fish. Freddy can’t be contained to a fishbowl, but can often be found on the lap of someone sad, riding the bus home to spend the night in a child’s arm, or making his rounds on the playground. I wish I had words to express the joy mixed with amusement from seeing two girls from my class skipping while holding on to either fin. Today I had a note discretely passed to me in class. It was folded several times with a happy face, two stars, and a sad face written on the top. I stuck it in my pocket without reading it as to hopefully show my disapproval in passing me notes while I am trying to teach. I found it later, opened it, and want to share it with you:

Mis sarah caNay Gafa Frede.

Do you know what it says? :) Ha! I will tell you. It says: Miss Sarah, Can I have a Freddy? :) I love it! Today I was so terrorized by children wanting to hang out with Freddy that I took him into the principal’s office and told the children that he was being punished for trying to eat my pencil, and that it was totally unacceptable :)

Speaking of things I have…I have a student that is confused about his identity. I’m afraid of my influence on this situation! Ok, it starts with the roster. His name is listed as Rafael Leonardo. I thought, perfect, a ninja turtle in my class ;) I called him Rafael from day 1. He wrote Rafael on all his papers. It was great. Until I started hearing people call him Leo. Oh no! But…he was writing Rafael on his papers…but he never really responded all that well when I called him Rafael…now that I think about it…hmm…I began to call use both names at the same time. Saying Rafael and then sticking Leo on at the end to reinforce that I was trying to get his attention, in case the first name didn’t work all that well. I even flipped them back and forth Rafael Leo AND Leo Rafael. I noticed that he began to write both names on his papers…oh man. What is your name!?! Then I was grading one of his papers and I noticed that he started writing Rafael an only got through Ra before he crossed it out and wrote Leo! I broke out into laughter that he had now completed a name change. These days he goes by Leo. I try to be consistent in calling him Leo, but I get confused sometimes in the moment and all names come out in an inconsistent order. Poor kid.

I also have some Hierba Boldo. Any ideas? We’ve got nothing. It is a mystery tea that one of my housemates bought—thankfully not in a small plastic bag, but in a regular tea box. It strikes us as strange that there are nutrition facts, but no ingredients…

(Update: Hilary: “Ok, don’t get anything boldo. It tastes like paint thinner.”
Anna: “What is boldo?”
Hilary: “I asked and they said, ‘Oh, you know…boldo…the herb.’”)

I'm not sure how they made the decision to buy it...I suppose we are a slightly adventurous bunch--you know the whole Honduras thing...

As for me. Sometimes the weeks go as fast as the American chocolate in our refrigerator (believe me…VERY fast). Then there are the other days when the kids leave and I sit down on the child-sized chair, lay my head down on the table and frustration turns to tears. This usually ends in me getting up the energy to walk to Anna’s room to propose quitting (don’t worry, I’m not serious :)). We walk home, lay in the hammocks, make licuados, eat that dang chocolate, and prepare for another day. This week has been good. We switched up the seats and I moved the tables into a formation in which they migrate much less. You have no idea how much this helps. As the tables move nearer to one another so do the children that touch each other by accident and end up punching each other. The little things. I also know at exactly what time of day the fan needs to be turned on so that the kiddos (and teacher) don’t get hot and irritable. It’s still hard. This morning I joked with Anna, “Ok, if they come we’ll do it, we’ll figure something out. If not, no problem, I’ll find something to do.” :) I’ve been waking up before my alarm these days. Insane since it goes off at 5:35am. This morning I was pumping myself up as I laid sleepily on the board I fondly refer to as my bed saying to myself over and over, “Today I’m going to love the ones that are hardest to love.” It is always good to remind myself of the reasons I am here on the days when it is hardest to be here. When the kiddos pretend they don’t understand me, or just won’t stop chatting. When they put glue in each others hair or run away and hide under a cactus when they get angry. When communication with friends in the States doesn’t go the way I want it to, when I find an ant crawling into my breakfast, when I go into the bathroom wearing my towel and there isn’t any water for a shower. Those days it is important to remember why I am here.

It is hard to believe how soon Christmas is coming. It has always seemed so distant—at the back of my mind as a wonderful time in the future—dreading the cold, but savoring even the thoughts of seeing friends and family I love so much. Recently it has become a much stranger thought. The thought of actually going to the airport, my bags in the back of Don Wil’s truck (maybe me in the back of Don Wil’s truck) and getting on an airplane to go to the States, but coming back to Honduras. It seems weird and unnatural. Scary even. It is easier to pretend not much has changed when I don’t have to face it everyday. I think I’ll chew on that and write more later.

I love you and goodnight.


Blogger hooshotjr said...

Miss you mucho! I LOVE hearing about how things are going in Honduras...on days when things are tough, remember that I'm fighting jealousy of you and your hammock-laying star filled nights. :D I love hammocks!

10:17 AM  
Blogger ~*heather*~ said...

sarah! i stinkin' miss you!
hope everything is splendid...
i will do my best to send a real email this week sometime. things are crazy, but i will put it on the calendar so that i don't forget.

love always ♥

6:50 PM  

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