Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tender Mercies

So the day after I wrote my last email was pretty rough. As Kristen said, it was one of those “I love you not” days in my teaching book. But I guess it’s good to have opposition. I was going to wake up early and take a shower, but I was too tired, so I just pushed snooze and opted for a no shower morning. Then Juan Carlos was running late for school, so he was rushed. Then the teachers weren’t particularly talkative at the gate this morning. I was in Miss Jenny’s class again. The kids went to music class after devotional. It was in the same room as robotics, and with a similar atmosphere. All the boys were being so rambunctious but the girls were being really good! But the boys were all all over each other! Jumping, punching, kicking, strangling, threatening. Oy. But every kid has their own recorder, and the teacher called them all up one at a time and had them play something. Then she had them get into lines and pretend to be trains. There were three different lines, and each line would move to a certain chord. Then she played some music and had them draw the instruments they heard in the music. Then she did the same thing, but she played individual instruments behind a door and they had to write the names down. Lots of good, fun music ideas.The boys were just crazy!! Then when we came back to class, Miss Jenny divided the class into three groups to work on math/money some more. I was assigned to work with one of the groups. Really? You trust me to teach these kids math in my Spanglish?! Ok…so I did it. I started on an individual basis and kind of worked with each kid first. Then eventually I worked with the whole group and held up amounts and gave them fake money and asked them to give it to me. I think it worked pretty well. The kids were really cute about it. When we were done, we ate lunch. I ate with the kids again. After lunch, we went and practiced for the play again. It was chaos. The boys were being crazy as ever, and I had to come back to the classroom with Joaquin and Angelo. Not that that did much good, because they weren’t listening to Miss Jenny, let alone me because they don’t know what I’m saying. Finally the end of the day came, but I had to wait like 40 minutes for Juan Carlos to come pick me up. I did get to go with Gabriela to her to her institute class. The traffic was crazy because Bon Jovi was performing at a local university! But the class was good- it was about honoring your spouse and making sure you focus on them while you are married, especially when you have children. It really struck me that it’s so important to find someone you really just enjoy being with, because even though you’ll have kids, they grow up one day and then its just the two of you for eternity and I want to be happy with the person I’m with!! When we got home, Gabriela and I studied the Book of Mormon in Spanish. She is quite the amazing woman.

Mom sent me one of those corny religious pass along emails, but I really liked one of the quotes, especially after today:

“Do not give into sadness or desperation for what you are going through today. God knows how you feel…God knows exactly and with perfection what is being allowed to happen in your life at this precise moment”

He did, and does know, because the next day was just that much better because of that bad day!

Thursday I felt like three months isn’t going to be long enough. The morning was ok, I was really tired, and I was kind of feeling daunted by the routine. I decided to try and be more loving toward Joaquin so he would behave better, and it worked! Kind of…They had robotics this morning again, and they didn’t really listen to me anymore, but at play practice I was able to maintain somewhat control of Eros and Joaquin, which I consider to be quite the feat!!! At the end of the practice, Mafer and Danielle came and gave me a big hug! It always surprises me when the kids get really cuddly, and the kids who are cuddly changes regularly! I think that’s what draws me to them, is trying to get them to like me…Then at recess we played tag, kind of, with the kids. It mostly consisted of the teachers running after the kids, tickling them, then chasing other kids. That was good bonding for me and Joaquin because it created interaction where I wasn’t scolding him or restraining him! (And I had a blast!!) I went to the bathroom afterwards, and I stopped by the sink to wash my hands, and Amanda called me into her classroom. She asked me what I was doing after school (at first I thought she meant after I was here in Peru, but she clarified for me) and I told her nothing, so she asked if I would be interested in going home with her. I said yeah! So she said she’d talk to “Mister” (Juan Carlos). That gave me something to look forward to!! Looking back, it could have been serious reason for concern, I mean I hardly know her! But I just didn't have time to worry, and everything turned out great! Then at the end of the day we listened to The Ugly Duckling by “haans chreestian andersohn”. (Hans Christian Anderson) They had a song they sang with the book and the kids LOVED it! It was in English, but they all pretty much sang it verbatim! The power of music! You ask them to say anything without singing, and they're done for...Then it was the end of the day!!!!!! I played the Peruvian equivalent of ring around the rosy with some of the girls for a little bit, then Amanda was ready to leave, so we started walking home. It was probably a 5-10 minute walk. When we got to her house, and I met her mom and grandma. Her mom is simply a doll!!!!!!! I love her to pieces!! We watched T.V. for like 5 minutes, then her mom fed us a delicious meal (I felt like a hobbit today- first lunch, second lunch, third lunch…) Then we played “yengha” (Jenga) and started a puzzle. Then she asked how often I talked to my family, and I told her I had only talked to them once, so she was like, let’s go call them! So we walked down the street to the local international telephone store, and tried to call my mom but she didn’t answer. It costs money to call though, and both Amanda and her mom were totally like, Go! Call her!!! Their generosity was so touching! It’s not like they have a ton to spare! Then we stopped and bought some eggs on the way home (she just asked for a certain amount and they put them in a bag!). Then we helped “Momma” peel potatoes (with our hands!) and then arrange the table with food for her party. We were talking about holidays and food, and Momma asked me what food I don’t like and I said I don’t drink coffee or alcohol, and they were totally cool with that, like they weren't shocked or surprised or anything! Amanda doesn’t either!! Then people started arriving. There were only about 15 people there- just friends and family. I felt really honored to be there! I mean, Amanda hardly knows me and she invited me to her family birthday dinner!? That goes above and beyond! No one else from school was there! Amanda was really good at trying to keep me in the conversation! I was still a little lost and didn’t know what people were saying. I’ve decided it’s exhausting trying to guess what people are saying all day…Amanada’s sister Lucy came home from teaching pre-school at like 7:30! I really like her too!! She’s very sweet! Before we ate lunch and dinner, Amanda asked me to pray! So I did! Later, we got out the cake and we were about to start singing to her, and I realized, wait! I don’t even know how they sing happy birthday! When they started singing ‘happy birthday!’!! They also had some other songs they sang that I didn’t know, but I could join in on the happy birthday part. I like their songs better though…then we took pictures (I’m pretty sure I was a good foot taller than most of the girls there, as usual….) and ate cake! I didn't have my camera though because she invited me at school and we just left from there:( Triste! (Sad!) Then people started leaving, and I talked with Amanda and Lucy waiting for Juan Carlos to come pick me up. Both Lucy and Momma asked me if I had a boyfriend! One of their first questions! Too funny! But the evening was simply lovely. I love that family so much! They filled my arms with food to take home too! Momma asked when I was coming back- muchos pronto of course!!! Very soon! I felt very much at home with them! I told Momma I wanted to learn Spanish, so she was talking to me in Spanish and translating ish for me all night! Too cute! Juan Carlos came and I had to leave, and they all said their goodbyes in Spanish , so I don’t know exactly what they said, but I think it was to the effect of “We love Kate, she’s welcome anytime!” (At least I hope that’s what they said…) So I hope to return many times!!

Friday, Welcome October!! How? How is it already October?? Time is flying!! Today was a pretty good day. I thought we were going to go to a ballet during school, only to find out that it’s at 7:30 p.m., so no missing school for me. The kids were really excited when Miss Jenny wrote October on the board instead of September! (They celebrate Halloween in Peru!) But the morning was pretty much business as usual. At one point, Miss Jenny took a girl out to get sized for her costume for the play and I was left in charge of the whole class. By myself. I handled it pretty well I must say, and the kids were VERY well behaved! (for once) I read them a different version of the ugly duckling that Mafer (her dad went to law school at BYU, and she was born in Orem. She's my little translator! Priceless!!) brought from home. It was kind a weird version, like the English was old English-esque, but the pictures were beautiful. I was surprised how attentive they were, especially since I’m sure they didn’t understand most of it. Then I dismissed them in groups to go wash their hands and get ready for lunch. We all ate our lunches without incident or injury! Miracle of miracles! ;) Then Miss Jenny came back and saved me! Then we went up and practiced the play. All the girls wanted to sit on my lap! At one point I had Ximena and Mafer on my lap, and Jocelyn, Angie, and Arianna leaning against me! They are sooo cute! But then, my boys had to go be their crazy selfs, so I had to go back to the classroom with Joaquin and Angello. Luckily Miss Erica was there to give the appropriate reprimands and instructions. When the whole class came back, we did math, combed and brushed their hair and got all packed up. I feel really bad, because I'm pretty sure I made one girl cry for brushing too hard! But they just kind of do a mass fast paced line, so I wasn't paying much attention. (She is still talking to me though :) Got to love kids!) Then I finished reading the Ugly Duckling, and they went through their lines one more time. I had a little knick on my thumb today, and all day the kids would see it and say something in Spanish, I’m guessing to the effect of, “oh no! what happened??” It was precious! Then I went home with Mister (that’s what everyone at school calls him “meester”) and took a nap. Of course, Diego (the member of the church who speaks really good English) called about the activity that night while I was asleep so Senora Clara came into my room with the phone and was like “hola, la telephone” –wake up call, literally :) Unfortunately, I couldn't go to the activity because of the ballet :( But that woke me up, so I started getting ready for the ballet. After picking up some dry cleaning, and picking up Jessica and Miss Jenny from the school, we were off to see the ballet. It was called “La Hija Del Faraon“, (The daughter of Pharo). The costumes were very beautiful and the set was great! We all went to dinner afterward (which I would have preferred skipping seeing as it was 10:30…but alas) and then came home. Apparently there are tests tomorrow, so more school :P school, school, school. And no conference because other broadcasts are banned because of elections. Moui triste! Miss Erica asked me tonight if I had a boyfriend! Is that a normal question to ask in Peru or something?? No boyfriend for me. Why as Mamma asked? Ask the boys.

At the play with some of the teachers from the school. Please note the apparent height difference.

So Saturday we came into school for two hours for the exam. I’m not sure what it was for, but I went into the school regardless. Afterward, they had something they called a promotional, and they sold food! Hot dogs on a stick w/ mayonnaise and ketchup (Peruvians love mayonnaise!!) tartes (chocolate cake, jello cake, crème Brule kind of cake) and sandwiches, and soda. I had a hot dog and a chocolate cake. Then I went with Mister to go get his car washed. We went to this little parking lot and they hand washed the whole thing. While we were waiting, Mister asked me if I have a boyfriend. Oy. I said no, and he was like, why?? You are a pretty girl! Well thanks, tell that to the boys my age! Then we picked up Gabriela, and went to a seafood restaurant for lunch. I actually liked it! I had octopus!! And who knows what else…but it was good! I feel like I’m always eating here! But it’s good food, so it’s ok. The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful, I talked to Amanda and her Mom on facebook chat :) I think we're going to go to the zoo next week! I also listened to Elder Holland's talk, SOO Good!!!! He gets me everytime.

Sunday morning I woke up at looked at my watch and sat bolt upright because it said 10:30, and church is at 11! SO I jumped out of bed, washed my face, went into the kitchen to ate some cereal, then noticed the car was still in the garage and no one else was getting ready. Turns out my phone died in the night, and my watch was on timer, not the time. It was really 7:30. Nice. So I think I'm going to be taking a nap later. They're not allowed to watch Conference in Peru this weekend because they have elections today (Sunday) and everyone is required to vote. But I'm going to try and catch a few minutes here and there if I can online!

I’ve been thinking, wondering why I don’t have funny stories about why my kids say to me. Then I realized; I don’t know what they’re saying, so they probably are saying really cute things, I just don’t know it. So sorry I don't have any stories about cute things my kids say. Those will probably come later! Well, I love you all! Everything in Peru is great! (Except I wish I had my rice sock...alas!)

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