I forgot to bring my journal to town.. So I might forget some of the details of the week in my post. But anyways, school was good this week. I am still teaching decimals. We are working on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals. This week for work, we didn’t work on the trial much, we did a lot of cleaning up around familia feliz. This is a lot of trash and junk everywhere so we have been working hard to straighten the place up. We have about 5 burn piles I think.. It looks much better! Also, Chris and I have started a new rule: we are not speaking any more English. We hate English (for now). It has been working! My Spanish has accelerated a lot! So basically the only time I speak English is on Sundays… A funny story from this week: we were eating pancakes on morning, and the word for pancake in Spanish is panqueque. And something during breakfast I ended up saying “pancaca” which means: bread poop. haha! All the kids had a good laugh, but I will never forget how to say pancake in Spanish ever again! Anyways, this Sunday was the Sunday to bring the kids. I took them to the pool again, they love the pool. That sums up my week! I am staying in Familia Feliz next Sunday so talk to you in two weeks!
Hello all. This week started off with a quiz. I gave a quiz over decimals in my math class.. they did okay… But over all pretty good. I saw a lot of 15/20’s. The next day I showed a video in class as a slight break between sections. It was a perfect day to show a video because it was raining all day during class. Usually we cancel school for rain but it started raining after we had all already gotten to school. Anyways, the tops of the roof’s aren’t the best, so I had a line of rain in the middle of my classroom! But we made due. This week for work Chris and I starting building a nature trail around Familia Feliz. So far we have about 142m completed. It’s good hard work. I like trail-building much more than working in the garden. I have also been working on a scaled map of the property. I bought a GPS app that has been really helpful. I have been walking around, marking house’s and trails. One of the boys in my house had to go home (he is not an orphan) because of discipline problems. Here is an example. In our house, we have a no eating rule, because the bugs are terrible, and all the eating is done in casa grande anyways. Another rule: they are not allowed to come into our room. One day, Chris left the room for like 2 minutes, and Moises, the youngest, went into our room, stole Chris’s cookies, and he was found eating them inside his bed! So he broke 3 rules: no entering our room, stealing, and eating in the house. I am sad that he had to go, I’m sure his life at home is much worse than here. Another boy had to leave to for stealing problems as well. On Friday, there was no school and we had a parent teacher meeting. About 10 parents came, and we handed out report cards, it went well. None of the parents had any problems with my class. On Sabbath, we went to church in Rurrenabaque. Chris, Agustin, Sam, and I did special music. We merged three hymns together and I played my ukulele. Our song kind of had a island sound. I think they liked it. On Sunday, I drove the big truck into town for the first time (which was a little scary) but it went well. In the picture you see a small section of Familia Feliz. You can see Casa Grande (the big house). This is where the girls live and where all of us eat. The little house next to it that says “Mi casa” is my house. You can see the beginning of our trail (the brown trial the goes down from my house). The field you see is where we play soccer and volleyball! Anyways that’s my week! Thanks for reading!
Hello all. Sorry I wasn’t in town last week to update. It was my turn to stay. Last week was my turn to make fires. So I was up at 5:30 making fires every morning. That week was fairly normal. School went well, I started teaching decimals in 5th and 6th grade math. They are staring to catch on. It is a new concept for them though. Anyways, the Sunday that I stayed at Familia Feliz was pretty relaxing. I just got stuff done around the house and watched the boys. In the afternoon, I played a lot of volleyball with the kids. It has rained a little bit in the past couple weeks. We missed one day of school for rain. Yes, they cancel school for rain. Then, on Tuesday, we went to the birthday party of Sergio, the restaurant owner of Nargillias. He is Adventist. We were the first ones to the party (because time is not as important over here), and it was big! I was expecting a small meal at the restaurant. But it was under a big tent-like thing with lots of tables and decorations. A lot of people were there, and there was a live band! It was quite the highlight of the week for us volunteers. But these birthday parties go late! We didn’t eat until 11! And we left at 12, and they hadn’t even eating cake yet! But I’m glad to say that I’ve been to a true South American birthday party! One interesting story from this week. I was working with Sam and Agustin in the rainforest, getting some fruit or something for the kitchen. We starting walking off the trail, and I figured that they knew where they were going. After about 30 minutes, we didn’t know where we were! Everything looks the same! So we were lost for a little bit. But we eventually found our way to the chaco (a clearing in the rainforest) and found our way back. But it was quite the thrilling experience. Also, I saw a HUGE lizard this week! Like three feet long! Then on Saturday, we had some visitors, the pastor of a church in New Jersey and his wife. They brought little gifts for all the kids, it was really nice. Then on Sunday we had pathfinders and I came to town, and that brings me to now! Talk to you next week!
Very sorry that I haven’t blogged the past couple weeks! It has been a very busy couple of weeks. This blog is going to be a compilation of my past couple weeks. I gave my students their first test on fractions. I feel like it went pretty well. I have a practice test that was basically identical to the real test, except with different numbers. So, any student that paid attention did very well. The students that I noticed were paying a lot of attention got 100’s, 90’s, and 80’s. But the students that goofed off during class did much worse…like 50% and such…But the overall average was 77% which I guess isn’t too bad! Okay one crazy story from the past couple weeks: We were walking back from the Wednesday night worship and I stepped over a very poisonous snake! Sam saw it after I stepped inches from it in flip flops! They saw that this snake kills in one hour. My angle was definitely watching over me! A couple days later I started feeling a little sick but not too bad. That night we went out to eat for Sam’s birthday. I ordered the pesto (I will never eat pesto again, you will find out later). After the meal, I started to feel a lot worst, and later that night, you can guess what happened. No need to explain. Well the next 2 days were pretty miserable, I was sick in bed and my sickness moved to other parts of my body. But after the couple days of sickness I started to take Cipro, and within 2 days I was completely better. Never going to wait that long to take Cipro again! The Sunday after I was sick it was my turn to stay at Familia Feliz and watch the kids. Sam and I took all the kids to some river nearby to swim. I had no intentions on swimming, but I ended up swimming anyways. The water was very hot, like bath water. And very muddy, but it was fun. Later that week Chris and I went to help hermano Juan with some work at our water source. We had to carry bags of concrete like 2 miles. But the bags were like 110 Lbs! It was very hard and halfway through it started storming really hard and raining so we ran back to the car and drove back. There was lightning so it was dangerous to continue working. Also in these past weeks, Chris and I were assigned to a new house. So we now have our own house with three boys: John, Choco, and Moises. The next Sunday after we moved, I bought a plane ticket to Santa Cruz to complete my visa paperwork. The flight was very enjoyable and beautiful! I had a layover in La Paz, and I was cool to see. Once I arrived in Santa Cruz I met up with Miguel and Oriel. The rest of that day we did nothing. The next day I spent all day doing visa paperwork and that night we left in the bus for Trinidad. The next morning we arrived in Trinidad and found a car to rurre. The car was full of us three and three other random people. The worst part was that I started feeling sick right before we left for the 8 hour (ending up being 12 hours) trip. I threw up 2 times on the trip, there was a political roadblock that we had to wait for an hour to clear, and we got three flat tires on the way. One of the flats, we had to wait for the same type of van to pass by to see if they would be willing to loan us their spare, because we already had used ours! Anyway, it ended up taking 12 hours and was the craziest trip ever! It has been pretty normal since I have been back. Chris and I have been working hard to gain the respect of our three kids. There has been a lot of crying, missed meals, memory verses written 50 times, the other punishments. But progress is being made. On Saturday we took the kids on a hike, it was very nice. There was a small waterfall (like 4-5 ft) that we saw on our hike. This Sunday is a special day because we take all the kids that were good throughout the month to town. So today we took the kids to a pool here in rurre! It was lots of fun. The next week went by really fast! It was a pretty normal week. All was well in our house this week. Chris and I starting building a nature trail at Familia Feliz! Right now it is pretty short, but we hope to expand and make it longer. It is a lot of machete work though, because the rainforest is thick! But building trails is fun. We bought 300 oranges for our house this week. I have been eating probably over 10 oranges a day. We also bought 5 watermelons (they are coming into season here) and they are delicious!!! Anyways, sorry I haven’t blogged the past month. But that pretty much sums it up. I won’t be in town next week because it’s my turn to stay and watch the kids.
This week has been really busy! We held an evangelistic series at the army base in Rurre, so I was out late every night doing that. I’ve been going to bed at like 9 here, so getting back at 11 is late for me. This week I was teaching 5th and 6th grade math. It went very well. The great thing about math is that it’s universal. If I can’t explain something in Spanish, I just write it on the board! It’s nice. One of the nights this week I had to stay the night in the hospital with Moises. He was having stomach pain and had to have surgery. It was a very miserable night. Let me explain: Trying to sleep in three metal chairs is hard. Also, Moises was throwing up all night and needed help. There was an old man next to us that was coughing up stuff all night too… the room smelled like throw up. But it was worth it for Moises, he needed someone there to help him. It was a small price to pay to help him! When I left the hospital in the morning, I took a moto-taxi to familia feliz, which was an adventure! I had never been in a moto-taxi before. It was much faster than a car taxi because I didn’t have to wait for the car to fill up before it left. The highlight of the week was the end of the evangelistic series on Saturday. I think 25 soldiers were baptized! Amazing. After that we marched with the army and pathfinders through the city. Pretty fun. On Sunday, Sam, Chris and I took a boat to the other side of the river and explored the section of town over there. Not much to see. Overall pretty good and busy week!
Here is a picture of the evangelistic series.
By the way, if you would like to see more pictures, I try to post new ones every Sunday.
I have decided to start doing weekly blogs instead of daily blogs. My days are becoming more usual, so I think a weekly blog will be more appropriate. This whole week I was on fire duty. This means that I had to wake up at 5:15 and make a fire by 5:30 to start cooking the beans. I enjoy making fires, so this task wasn’t difficult (except for waking up at 5:15). On Monday, Sam and I worked together in the morning doing various tasks such as fixing lighting and some maintenance stuff. In the afternoon we took la bomba (the pump) down to the creek to get some water for the plants. We filled up large drums with water and transported them up to the garden area. Also, on Monday the water turned off for most of the day, so I thought I was going to have to bathe in the creek! But luckily the water turned back on right before my shower. On Tuesday, Sam and I started constructing a green house. In the afternoon some of us SM’s went to a local farmer and bought some fruit. I bought 20 coconuts and 50 oranges for 30Bs (about $4.35 USD)! Fruit is cheap! Now I pig out on coconuts (the water is the best) and oranges! Wednesday was pretty normal. I ate like 10 coconuts though! On Thursday we cancelled school and worked in the garden all day. We needed to plant and water a lot! After work I played capture and flag and soccer with the kids. All I need to say about that is this: I need to get better at soccer. They schooled me. Oh yes and today the water was off all day so I had to bathe in the creek. It wasn’t too bad though, I’ve been backpacking a lot. Friday was super chill. It was raining all day so they cancelled school and work. So I spend the day relaxing and playing with the kids. On Saturday, the guys from my house prepared a special music and performed it for church. We sang El Vive Hoy (He Lives Today). It went very well. On Saturday night we organized some games for the kids. We bought some cookies, and played that game were you put a cookie on your forehead and try to eat it without your hands. The kids loved it. On Sunday we came into town and Chris, Ashana (another SM from Guyana), and I hiked up the La Cruz again. Then Chris and I bought some stuff for the week. I bought a fan because I know its going to start getting hot! Overall a very good week! Miss my friends and family!
Today some of us went into town. Chris and I went on a hike to La Cruz. (the cross) Its a cross that stands upon a big mountain overlooking Rurre. It was a great hike. About half of it was sleep stairs, and the other half was scrambling up rocks with sleep cliffs on either side. The path was very steep! But it was so worth it! The top was so beautiful and had a great view of Rurre! There was a table up there under some shade. Chris and I want to come back but bring a sack lunch. Anyways, we climbed back down and ate lunch and headed back to Familia Feliz.
Here is me at the view!