Thursday, May 26, 2011

... after 2 years ...

The time has come - my LAST day as a teacher! I started thinking back to some of the hilarious moments in my teaching career here, some of the worst moment, and some of the moments I will never forget. I decided to make a list of things I will/won't miss:

Will Miss....
  • Standing in front of a room full of kids knowing whatever I say, they will most likely believe it to be true - how powerful
  • When I see them using things I've taught them outside of school or out of class
  • When I hear kids using spelling words they wouldn't have otherwise known about
  • When I try to be mad at them but then they say something so funny I just break and they laugh at how weak I am
  • When their broken english doesn't make sense, or even when it does make sense, just used in the most hilarious ways
  • When they say "shrimps" and "homeworks" and "drink a pill"
  • Coffee in the mornings to get me through the day
  • "Surprise Birthday parties" in the teachers lounge with Profe Norma's Tres Leches y Coca!
  • Donya Ketty's burritas.....and sin nombres....and lunches....especially hot dog day
  • Seeing the girls actually start trying and improving in PE despite the negative connotation women get here for being athletic. 
Won't Miss...
  • The bell that rings after lunch time when we all realize we have to get up off the couches and go teach again
  • 7:30 classes
  • Kids yelling "I'M FINISHED"
  • Civic hour when its hot outside and I'm still sleepy
  • 3-4 hour meetings where EVERY teacher has to say their opinion about everything (teachers way)
  • When I miss copy day and have to bribe Maribel to make my own copies
  • When 2-3 of the kids gang up on me and try to get under my skin
  • Writing lesson plans!!!

This list is definitely on-going for the next week or so - but I am both happy/sad to see tomorrow come. I really have enjoyed teaching, I never ever thought I would go down that road, but thats how God works a lot of ways. I felt his power and him equipping me all along the way - and it turned out to be a total life-changing, life-making journey. Through all the good and the bad - I will remember most the good and always be thankful for this season of my life. Gracias a Dios

...Panacam minus the death hike...

Last weekend, most of the girl teachers headed to PANACAM- a national park near the lake for a little R&R and Candace’s B-day! We left on Saturday afternoon, caught a bus up to Los Pinos, where there is a very nice lodge and you can hike.
We played lots of card games, had a birthday song for Candace’s birthday & some girls went hiking on Sunday. I had done the hike before, so I didn’t feel like I needed/wanted to do it again because lets just be honest, it was terribly long and hard. But, Lindsay, Steph G$ and Candace were troopers and got up at 6am to hike before it got too hot. They made it back by the time the rest of us were done with breakfast and coffee :). After they got back a few of us when on a walk to a waterfall you could swim in and it was a lot of fun. The last time I went it was all muddy but it was nice and clear this time so we had to get in for some picture opps! It was a very relaxing weekend, its kinda nice to be in a place where there is nothing else to do but talk with one another, play games, and just chill! It was a great weekend getaway!

waiting for a bus to hop on!

gotta love public busses!

hand & foot

swimming hole

Saturday, May 14, 2011

...whats the name of this animal in english again?!....

If you have seen our list of "things to do" you know that the zoo is on there - we have been talking about going ALL year, so finally found a good saturday for a day trip! We couldn't talk anybody else into going with us so it was just me and my riding buddy Steph on this adventure! We caught a busito (little bus) downtown and headed about an hour towards our next stop - oh how I had missed riding public busses - fortunately for us this year we have had a lot of friends with cars so we don't have to ride the bus much, haha. We got off on the side of the road in this place we thought was right, talked to a lady at a pulperia and found out we were in the right place so caught a taxi up to the next town where we ended up at a pretty nice hotel, as we waited for a bus from the zoo to pick us up. Turned out they had just sent two bus loads full of ppl right before we got there, so they sent the security truck with two armed guards with vests and all after us. As he made room in the front seat for both me AND steph, he had to move his guns, but I half sat on his handgun, which was pointed straight into his leg as we went over all these bumps and turns, me and steph just kept looking at each other and laughing. 

Finally we arrived at the zoo paid our $10 bucks and started walking around. The animals looked pretty healthy and well taken care of, they just looked bored to death, there wasn't neat cages with water and lots of land, just iron bars and fences. We got to see a bunch of different animals, buffalo, lions, zebra, puma, cheeta, macaws, ostrich, monkeys, and more! When we got to the spider monkey cage - we saw one of the monkeys had found a frog - and was carrying it around and cuddling it like it was a baby! It was the cutest thing ever! Anywhere the monkey went, he would carry that frog around in one hand, making sure not to crush it or hurt it! After the animals we had a nice little swim in the pool and did some reading for an hour or so before we needed to head to town to find a bus to take us back to Siguatepeque. 

The guards had told us they would take us back into town so just to walk to the front and have somebody call them over - however, they were conveniently waiting for their gringa friends right as we left the pool, so we asked them if it was a good time and they were nice enough to stop whatever they were doing and take us back into town. This time, he folded up his gun (it was a big one, not a hand gun) and put it beside my leg at my feet with the handgun still on the seat in between us. Once back into town, we caught another bus back down to the highway - once to the highway, we saw a bus on the side of the road dropping ppl off so we took off running across the highway hoping to get on it - however they started moving as we were catching so i banged on the back of it to get their attention, then they let us on. There was only two seats, one in the back and one in the front, I ended up in the front seat with the bus driver. After about 15 minutes the driver started talking to his "helper" the guy that opens/closes the door for ppl about ME, they were talking about how old I was and were betting against each other! After a few minutes, the driver asked me how old I was, when I told him there was a funny reaction from both of them as I found out which one had won the bet - so he had to pull over and buy the door man a coke because he had bet that I was 25 or under. hahahah it was pretty sketchy but funny at the same time. I gave him an english lesson the rest of the way back to Sigwa - he was a crazy man thats for sure - at one point, he stopped on the side of the road and stole a cart full of nice flat rocks that were being sold, but left unattended, so he stopped our bus, hopped out and stole them - as he was getting back in he looks at me and says "nobody!" so thats how i knew he had stolen them! Another funny story, when the busses pass each other they give a honk or a flash or a wave or something - but for one bus, the both flashed at each other and then both drivers took their hands off the wheel and pointed at each other for a few seconds leaving the bus driving itself - it was funny and scary all at the same time. Finally we made it back to sigwa - alive and well - after a great day traveling to a new city and seeing a new place. It was so much fun, Im glad we got out of the house on a saturday and got into some adventure! Pics to come....

Friday, May 13, 2011

...Copan, Honduras...

We flew back to Honduras on Saturday night- great decision because we got to surf in the morning and it left plenty of time to get to the airport, even with all the traffic. When the tickets were booked, we thought that we were back to school on Monday, so it would be nice to have a day to travel back to Siguatepeque and relax when we got there. A few weeks before Semana Santa we found out we got Monday off, because of some other random holiday- thus the Copan trip was born.

We spent the night in San Pedro on Saturday & then were up on Sunday to get the rental car at the airport. This reminded me that we were back in Honduras, because the rental car people weren’t there and were basically not worried about us as all. Anyways, we headed to Copan, luckily missed a bridge accident, and made it to Copan. The road there is super beautiful and actually an easy drive (for Honduran standards J ). Also on the Copan trip was another teacher, Rachel, a student teacher who was in Honduras for 2 weeks, Steph & her mom

When we got to Copan, we decided it would be fun to go horse back riding- and maybe see the sunset! We went on a 2 hour ride around the fincas (ranches) of Copan and even up to a Mayan hospital. It was super cool & our guide Honduran guide was really nice. Our horses were a little crazy and liked to run, but it was really fun!

The Mayan Ruins of Copan

On Monday morning, the group got up to go see the Macaw bird park, however, I had already been there so I went and found some typical breakfast and had a few cups of coffee and the food below in the pic as I did some reading and writing. Then we went to the Ruins where we got a guide to tell us all about the history of the Mayan ruins we were seeing. It’s pretty interesting & I guess the most ridiculous part is that the ruins are from like 400 AD. Sooooo old and it’s amazing that some of them are still standing!

my favorite typical food in central american - Honduran breakfast!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

...Samara Beach, Costa Rica...

So after a drive back around the lake from the volcano we headed to the coast for Playa S├ímara! It was about 5 hours away and boy were we glad to get there when we arrived! We stopped a few times along the way, any time we saw something really random or cool (hint to the large picture of the cow). We stayed at a very very cute little place owned by an american couple that just picked up and moved their life to CR and built a hotel on the beach. We spent the first day on the beach all day, the crazy sun-loving gringas were the only ones laying in the sun - all the ticos (CRicans) were under the palm trees watching us burn, haha. Every night we ventured into town and tried out some tripadvisor suggestions - we were never let down! PS _ i love trip advisor now! 

monkeys at our hotel stopped by to say HI
The next day we headed to a different beach to look for Pablo and Cristian, a couple of guys who put up a sign and teach ppl how to surf! They were really great, and got me and Steph up on the surf boards pretty quick! I was really surprised by how easy it was, I always thought it would be difficult. So we surfed for another hour more after our lesson on and off b/c we were getting tired and rash burns on our arms/legs, haha. Then we headed back to get ready for dinner - we found a great place right on the beach with some great american food - another trip advisor winner! haha. The next day we were suppose to leave but Pablo told us we could come back at high tide at 8am and surf some more for free before we left - so we took him up on that! Woke up early early, had a couple cups of coffee and some fruit and went back down to the beach. 

After that we had to hit the road to catch our flight which was leaving around 7pm from the capital (another 5 hours away!) So we did some more driving- we did A LOT of driving throughout CR, but it was all fun and exciting, not like a boring road trip where all the interstates and exits look the same - I enjoyed it. You gotta stay on your toes as well being a driver, because driving rules are NOT the same here! AHHHHHH Costa Rica was sooo amazing, we had such a great time and got to see 3 very different "faces" of the country - loved every single minute of it and I was so glad to get to go with Steph and her mom, they were a blast!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

...Monte Verde, Costa Rica...

Okay Ill start from the beginning! So the Friday before semana santa was Mini Olympics, aka, the craziest time of the year for me - woke up at 5am to start working on the day, getting the equipment ready, making sure the fields were ready, and make coffee for everyone because it was going to be a looooong day! The day went very smooth, so immediately after the awards ceremony we jumped in the car for san pedro to stay at Villa Nuria for the night. We had an early flight the next day, but we made it to costa rica around 9am but had some time to kill because steph's mom didn't get in until 12. So we caught a shuttle to the Denny's, where we experienced our first culture shock being away from Honduras! The prices were even more expensive than they would be in the states, so we split a breakfast and took advantage of the all you can drink coffee, haha, but bfast was still like $15-20 bucks!! So finally once we had Steph's mom, Carol, we headed up the mountain to Monte Verde, a mountain community started by Quakers. It was 3.5 hours on pavement and 1.5 hours on a dirt road going up a mountain, I was really starting to wonder what in the world could be up there. The driving is much safer in CR, which I was very thankful for! Once we got there, we checked into our neat little hotel up in a cloud forrest and started planning the next 3 days. In Monte Verde we did several excursions including: waterfall hike and swim through this ladies back yard, went on a hike in the cloud forrest with some serious bird watchers, went on a cheese factory tour (awesome), and visited lots of local art museums and delis, and caught the rodeo that was in town! It was a very cool place, but we decided to leave a day early and go visit the Arenal Volcanoe. But before we do that, check out some pics from Monte Verde...
we're ready, got the hat and all!
Pass the Pigs after our overpriced shared breakfast!
this is how we found out about the rodeo!
enjoying the scary dangerous rodeo!
crazy ticos running with the bulls
the stare down - this guy was asking for it all night
stopped along the river to do some reading

our serious bird watching group
Quetzal - famous bird in CR
our hotel in the cloud forrest - Bel Mar