Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Busy, Busy, Busy"

“Busy, Busy, Busy

Busy all day long.

We work all day

And we have fun.”

The above lyrics are from a song I heard in July of this year.  I was observing Hayley Wilson as she taught the English classes that would soon be mine, and for some reason this song has been stuck in my head ever since! 

Life lately has been pretty busy and eventful. Here are some highlights:

Discipleship with Alexis

 I have started meeting with Alexis at least once a week to spend time with him in God's word. For those of you who don't know much about this boy, let me enlighten you. He stole my heart three years ago when I came to the GSCH for the first time. He is 12 years old, and he is just as rotten as he is sweet. Boy, do I love that boy! 
I have been so encouraged by these small teaching times. He even came up to me the other day and said, “Bailey, mas versiculos” which means, “Bailey, more verses.”

Tamales with Abner and Alisson! 

I had mentioned to Abner that I wanted to learn how to make tamales. He made me a deal: He would teach me if I promised to make them for my family during my time at home. Of course, I agreed! While Des and Joseph Ramsey and Tom and Alli Herring were visiting, he invited us all to his house to learn.  It was a complete blast! 
I can't tell you how much of a blessing Abner and Alisson are to the home. When I walked into their house that night, I saw Franklin and Luis – two teen boys from the home – in their kitchen helping.  I was SO impressed by Luis, who did whatever was needed without even having to be asked. Abner's taught them well, and both boys were enjoying their time there!
The tamales turned out great (and we even made baleadas afterwords!), but the best thing about the evening was spending time laughing and visiting with everyone.
These plantain leaves were picked freshly from our plantain trees!

Making Baleadas!  (Flour tortillas, refried beans, and mantequilla)

English Classes

My English classes have been going great! Last week, my 5th - 8th grade students created skits to present to the class. I was very proud of them and what they came up with. Their subjects ranged from “The Teacher and the Rebel Children” to a secret agent and a burglary. 
It's hard to believe my teaching time this year is almost over!  I'll be headed home for the holidays in just a couple of weeks.
7th Grade

6th Grade

8th Grade

Yay, Group Work!

This student cracks me up!  He is the youngest in the class, and is hilarious.  He's always smiling.

This little one (Viviana) is not in my English classes, but she wanted to hold my backpack during recess.  I am excited about the opportunity to teach her Music class next year!

Rain, Rain, Rain!

It has been raining a lot lately. It rained all night long for two nights in a row, which unfortunately flooded the bridge and caused all kinds of damage to the bridge and power lines. Men from the community have been working hard trying to repair everything. The bridge is now passable, and after three days in the dark, the power is now back on! 
The drop off you see is where the road is supposed to be (where you should be able to drive off the bridge.  There is about a two feet from the bridge to the top of the water, and about 3 feet from the top of the water to the ground underneath.  Workers were swimming in the water!

Other Little Things ... 

I got a package from my family – guitar chords and picks, goldfish crackers, Dove dark chocolate, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon playing cards (LOVE!), and dog treats for Julio! Julio says thank you for the dog treats, and the other teachers say thank you for the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate just makes everything better!

Seily and Lilly were hanging out by the teacher cabins after school one day, and they commented on my fingernail polish. I ended up painting their nails!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! I am excited to finish up these last few weeks and head home for some time with my friends and family for the holidays! It is so crazy that I'll be on a plane to come back here in just a few months (January 27). I am so humbled and giddy that God would allow me to serve him here. It is hard, but it is rewarding. Love yall!

"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  (Matthew 9:35-38)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Kids, Kites, and Casitas

I had a wonderful time at the Casitas (the houses the kids live in) yesterday.  Everyone was in such a good mood! I assume this is because they didn't have a full school day yesterday. Most of the kids were outside playing in groups together, and I was happy to see everyone helping each other with the kites, and sharing the marbles – and no one was fighting! I loved it!

My first stop was Casita 3, where Julissa, Lluvia, and Yolanda listened to music and played games on my iPhone.  It was nice to just relax on their porch and sing songs with them.  Someone (Lester, I think) picked one of the big, red flowers that grows outside Casita 3 and brought it to me. Then Julissa, who is very talented at doing hair, arranged my hair in a pretty side bun and put the flower in it.  She somehow did this without a ponytail holder – that is talent!  When I decided to leave Casita 3, Julissa told me, “Don't take your hair down!” I told her I wouldn't, but unfortunately the wind didn't cooperate, and the up-do fell apart.

First I saw Julian trying to get his kite up. I tried to help him, but there was no wind. I eventually walked over to Carlos, who was making kite string from some string segments he pulled from a mop. I'm not sure if this was allowed, but the kids did it anyway. And I think it was an innovative use of their resources!

And it turned an un-usable kite into some fly-able fun!

Roberto had the string tied around his wrist for a while. I'm not 100% positive, but I think I saw him acting like he was Spiderman and the kite string was his web, shooting out from his wrists … Goober.

I was flying a kite with Lipzy for a while by the soccer field, and she yelled over to me, “Bailey, sing the 'This is real'” song. I didn't know what she was talking about at first, but then I realized she wanted me to sing the Camp Rock song. Once I started singing it, I realized that it describes my journey here pretty well.

“This is real.
This is me.
I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be now.
I'm gonna let the Light shine on me.
Now I've found who I am. There's no way to hold it in."

(That's as much of the song as I remembered, but it fits!)

I walked back over to Casita 3 and saw Yolanda sitting outside with a frisbee full of mud. Ana Melissa was gathering flowers for her, and she was arranging the petals very prettily on the mud-canvas. I sat, watching her create her nature art – I had no idea how creative she is!  She was using her resources to create something beautiful.

And now I'm off to teach!  Buenas Dias, World!