Probably a lame title for my post, but that's all I got. Great grammar for an English teacher, no?
It has been a long while since I updated this blog. I think I have already been back in CR for a month. Tomorrow starts the third week at school; I know that much.
The school year seemed to get off to a bit of a rough start, but I figure that's a normal thing with the first week of school in any place. We just had a lot working against us. I came back excited to see the new classrooms that were to be built over the Summer break, but only saw the same pile of lumber I saw last year. We got our classroom assignments, and my classroom is so new that it's not even built yet. The time frame is one month, but that was 3 weeks ago during teacher orientation week... enough money wasn't raised. The project is projected at $7,000 for 3 new classrooms, and we need about $3,000 more.
Fortunately for me, I still have a roof over my students' heads, but that's not the case for everybody at Futuro Verde. All of the elementary grades have classrooms, although 3 of us will move once (or if) the new classrooms are built. The high school grades have to share classrooms until that point, which is difficult. To have two grades and two teachers teaching two different subjects in one room at one time, is not ideal. So far the grades that have to share rooms have been having classes outside under the mango trees with a portable white board or either in the lunch room, if other grades are lunching at that time, of course.
The school was also short 3 teachers, until last week when hiring was finalized. Everyone has pulled together though and we're doing the best we can with what we have. I didn't have my 6th grade math series until this past Tuesday. I got the new text books that I wanted for my students (yay!) because the publisher realized a 6th grade version, but they took a long time to get here from the United States. We had a week without math books, oh my!
There's other little things, but the important thing is that everything seems to be coming together finally. The heat here, though, is excruciating. It is incredibly dry, since last year's rainy season wasn't so rainy. The school was without water for two days, which was not so good. We are fortunate enough to have a water tank that fills up as a reserve, but it seems that ran out too. Fortunately water came back mid-day on Thursday. Another problem with the heat is the dust. The school is on a dirt road, because the majority of roads here are dirt. The dust created by the passing cars and traffic is terrible. It's like this big red cloud, and I know it can't be healthy for us to breathe this stuff. I remember it started to get bad at the end of last year, but it is sooo much worse now. The classrooms have to be wiped down several times throughout the day because of the dust that comes in. In addition to trying to raise money to build classrooms, there has also been an effort to raise money to put molasses down on the portion of the road in front of the school. Ideally, it would be paved, but molasses will keep the dirt down and is cheaper in the short term. We'll pray for a paved road after we can see and breathe.
Anyways, I am happy with my classes and with my [temporary] classroom too. I brought back many fun things to decorate, and did A LOT of laminating over the break too. I know it will all have to come off the walls once I get to move to my new classroom, but I wanted my students to feel situated in their space while they are there, however long it may be.
Another exciting thing is that I moved last weekend! I no longer live with the host family in Cóbano, because I was ready for a change this year. I found a house in Montezuma. It's literally just one room and a bathroom, and then a porch and kitchen, but it's enough for me. So far I'm happy living by myself. I did make a large sacrifice when deciding to move: the luxury of hot water in the shower and the convenience of a washing machine. I can only have so much, I guess. It sounds crazy to say that I don't have hot water or a washing machine because my apartment in St. Augustine had everything. Even a garage where I could park my car. Now I take a dirty, hot bus. That's how things change though, because clothes can be hand washed and I've found that hot water is just a luxury that I can live without. I have what I need. And there are monkeys in my yard, so that's an added bonus!
I think that's all for now. My body is yelling at me to let it go to sleep because I hiked the waterfalls with some friends today and then walked up the Montezuma hill. That means nothing if you have never seen the hill. Should be called a mountain. Just a typical Sunday in Montezuma. ¡Pura Vida!
P.S. If you feel led to donate to the school’s classroom construction fund, you can help us out online by buying supplies. Thank you!