We are in the middle of our second week of leading classes here. We mostly teach English, working on pronunciation and grammar through activities and songs, but we also got the chance to teach a 10th grade Biology class on Genetics, Heredity, and Evolution, which was fun to revisit and think of interesting ways to approach it. We ended up making a minion baby and having a paper plane competition (see below). I was surprised to find out that the kids go to school 6 days a week, including Saturday, but after receiving the schedule of our work days, I think I understand why: there is at least one holiday every week. People here love to celebrate. Today is Wednesday, and there is a festival going on in nearby Salem, so the kids stayed home, and we got to take the day off. It’s really nice to get some rest in the middle of the week, I kinda wish the US operated on a schedule like this.
how minion babies are made
Teaching “Natural Selection” through a paper airplane competition
After the whole food poisoning situation, the head of the school surprised us by buying us a microwave! I have never been so excited to see a microwave in my entire life. We also went on a trip to a supermarket called Reliance about an hour away to buy some mild comfort food. We were looking forward to this trip so much, we had already stalked the Reliance Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts and looked at all of their products online.
Driving up to Reliance was kinda like that scene in The Looney Tunes: Back in Action movie where they are stranded in the desert, and in the middle of the barren land in the distance they see a Walmart, and the background music is a choir chanting “Walmart, Walmart, Walmart…” (I haven’t seen this movie since I was 7, but this part stuck with me, I thought it was the funniest thing ever). Though smushed together in the back of a tiny car with no AC, we were almost jumping for joy at the sight of the red letters forming the word RELIANCE in the middle of the crowded city.
We got apples and pomegranates and carrots and cereal (knock-off Coco Puffs!) and oatmeal and frozen french fries and frozen potato bites and ramen noodles and nuts and peanut butter and jelly and chocolate and dish soap and dish scrubbers and we were just in heaven. We felt very American as we squished our giant bags of groceries into the already-too-small-for-us car, with Sam sitting on my lap to make space, but we were so happy.
I am grateful for the holiday today because our days have recently fallen into a nice but exhausting routine. I wake up around 8:00, eat cereal and fruit for breakfast (thanks to the magical Reliance), go to the morning assembly at 9:00 where we sing silly camp songs for a sea of smiling faces (they LOVE “The Banana Song”), go to our classes for the day, rest for a bit, play volleyball (our beach ball was a huge hit, but it got popped by the crazy dog), run around the track, eat dinner, hang out with the hostel girls (teaching them the “Cup Song” or making friendship bracelets), and then go back to the room and read or watch a movie. Last night we watched the One Direction movie, ate popcorn (I love you, Reliance), and argued over who was objectively the best 1D member (I love you, Liam). So yeah, things are pretty busy but also a ton of fun.
“can we take a selfie?”
The view from the roof