Friday, August 7, 2009


helllllo there wonderful family and friends who are oh so splendid and good to me to read my blog!! so sweet!! thank you!! : ) i hope all you all are doing reeeeaaalllly weeelllll!!

I'M IN PACHALUM, QUICHE!! wooo!! my first night out of site!! i'm staying with my friend tiara in her site, pachalum! it's a little city, big town, 2 camionetas, 3 hours away from me in el chol! the drive was beeeautiful! over the mountains and hills, through the corn fields, squished next to all sorts of interesting people, alongside the colorful flowers overgrowing the walls next to the roads, the sweeeet smell of clean fresh early morning air, and then also the feeling of, my golly there is dirt all over me right now because these roooads!! my stomach hurts a little from the bumpiness f the dirt roads.. or it could be the teeny tiny bit of river water (straight from the faucet) that was in my coffee cup this morning after i cleaned it, and before i put my coffee in it.
the w ter is sometimes sort of clear, sometimes seriously brown. hmm, it puzzles me as well. i try to stay cleeear of it, because it's not cleeear at all! that's my motto, just decided right now!

anywhooo, wow, i feel so calm because tiara is in the shower and i can just sit here, very calmly and write to you guys. because i've always been rushing around with internet time. soooo, what to talk about, what to talk about! how are you all doing? hehe. i sooo wish you guys could answer me right now! si si si! so since you cant, i should probably just talk to you guys instead! soo about my site! oooh, it's really splendid! i walk down the street and people refer to me by name, and i have never met them before! and then i ask them their name, and we meet! it's really nice because it's a small town- 2,000 peeeps, so i'm gonna get to know a lot of people reeeally well! and they are gonna know me! what else? it's preeettty hot during the day, but oh man, when the sun starts to set, the clouds light up and a rich beautiful breeze brushes through the pueblo and it's just so lovely and wonderful. and at night, the temperature is nice and cool, like a perfect summer's night. me and my homestay brothers and some kids from the school have been playing soccer in the afternoons and the view of the sunset from the field next to the mountains is breathtaking! the cobblestone streets still make me smile every time i walk down them because they are just so cute! and every day i awake and walk out of my room, i greet the parrot that chills on our balcony! it's so cute.. and so i kind of run where it cant see me anymore and then it tries to move to catch my glimpse, then i run again and it does the same. it's fun for me, and i think for him too! he's green and then has some rainbow feathers and deep dark eyes that are just so cute!i want to hug him all the time but i really don't think he'd like it! anyways.. so that's a little bit about the environment of my site. when i walk to the two high schools down the dirt paths, like 10 minutes from the site.. they are both along the river and next to all these plants, and it just smells so rich and fresh.. i really enjoy those walks. i really enjoy walking all around my site because we all just say buenas to each other and it's just a really friendly happy atmosphere! we looked at the moon last night, it's almost full! it was coming up over the mountains, so magnificent!!

oh yeah, speaking of things that are magnificent to the people here- chicken feet! there were chickens feet stickin out of all the soups at the table yesterday at lunch.. except for mine, thank God!!!! but im pretty sure that what was in mine was like the heel or something because its like no part of the body i've seen before. but.. yeah, at least it wasn't toes and nails.. oh man, yeah, i think i might have to ask politely for me not to eat that. but then last night we had mac and cheese with some onions and spices.. so life is gooood!

sooo about my work here!!! so far i've visited all my schools a few times. this week i observed full days of classes!! it was really great to sit through the classes and watch because i can totally see what the style of teaching is here and why my position is what it is because so much of the teaching is solely busy work and the teacher reading things from his notebook for the kids to copy into theirs. and it's not a very conducive environment for learning and growth and intellectual development for these kids.. ya know? it's not really the way we learn, we learn by doing, we learn by being active, working in groups, exchanging with the teacher, positive encouragement, critical thinking, all those things. so as my position of working not only as a teacher, but also working on teacher training and teacher development, i am getting a sense of the challenges before me in terms of the habits of teachers here. but don't get me wrong, there are a couple teachers who reeeally impressed me during their lessons, they are energetic and did comprehension activities, and asked questions to the students, and were just like boom boom boom.. and so i have a lot to learn from them, and i will, and i also would like to ask them to help with me teacher training since they have a very positive foundation of actively teaching and engaging the students. all of this will go much smoother if i can work with key members o fthe community to work with other members of the community- and that is what i plan to do because that's what is sustainable!

so that's all in the future, buti've been thinking a lot about that as i've been reading a lot of my materials from the peace corps office from training. like a book called, first days of school about positive encouragement and classroom management. and then others about different ways of working with youth and then another with different activities to do with youth! so my mind is just spiiiinning with so many ideas! but i'm starting small. next week i'm going to observe classes again, and then meet with each of the directors of the four schools that i work at and ask them if it would be okay if next week i do a couple icebreakers with each of the classes to get to know the students names and whatnot!! because that's reeeally important to me, i want to learn all of their names! i'm preetty sure that i can!! so yeah, i've been thinking about different icebreakers, i was thinking about bringing options to the directors and asking them which one they think would be best for the classes. so yeah, that's next week!! i'm takin it slow. doing what feels comfortable.. but i'm really excited to get in there are starting working more with the students and teachers! i feel like more than not, i'm reeeaddy and they are ready for me, too! beacuse they keep asking me when i'm gonna start! so that's a little about my work right now!! i'll keep you updated!!

and for right now, i'm sitting in tiara's living room and we're gonna go get some breakfast-- i'm craving some eggs and beans!!! never in a million years would i think that i would crave that, but nevertheless, it's exactly what i want!!! and tortillas... hmmmmm!!! and then a couple more of our peace corps friends are coming to visit and stay the next two nights, too!! yeees, i'm soo excited to be here with tiara and then meet up with our other friends!! yeeesss!!! you all take care of yourselves, thanks for listening!! i love you all lots and lots and lots and i wish your days to be filled with love, peace and everlasting happiness!!! : ) take care!!!! : )


  1. Thanks for the news and views. will read it later and comment.

  2. Another very enthusiastic depiction of your life down there, Sarah! I so love the way you write. I can actually SEE you speaking what you're telling us, and you make it so easy to get a visual idea of where you are and what you're doing. It is great to know that you're enjoying yourself...well, except maybe for the chicken feet! Hope you enjoy your weekend away with all of your PC buddies...if they are all as enthusiastic as yourself, I can't imagine anyone will be able to get a word in edgewise with all the chattering going on! Loved the story about the parrot! You're right, he probably wouldn't like it much if you hugged him all day! Love you very much, stay safe and happy! Aunt Judy

  3. Sarah,
    So great to hear from you. Please send your address, when you have a chance.... Love, Hugs and Kisses, Mom