Saturday, August 15, 2009

My umbrella's wet, but so am I...

It rains here in Xela. Everybody is surprised by how little it has rained this summer, though. I'm kinda grateful for that, because... I like rain, but I don't like getting wet that much, and it takes quite a while for stuff to dry here, even when it´s not raining.

I´ve finished with the two weeks of orientation, and tomorrow, CLASSES!! Scary.... I´ll feel much better once I kind of get the hang of things, like how exactly to prepare what to teach, how long to talk/lecture, what homework to give... I just hope that until I get the hang of things, I can prepare everything I want to prepare and still have a little time leftover to study Spanish and explore a little.

I started with Spanish classes right away when I got here, and I´ve arranged to meet with my teacher (who lives near the school where I work) two times a week, until I feel like I have more of a schedule, and I might add more classes. This is a pretty cheap place to live and to study Spanish, so if any of you want to come on down... :) Just take safety precautions. And don´t be dumb.

So the school! The new teachers (both the ones who haven´t worked at the school before, and the ones who have no teaching experience) started Orientation the 3rd of August. Everybody else came the 10th. The school is a small Christian school that was started in 1961 for children of missionaries, but it has since been opened up to others, and now the student population is 85% Guatemalan. They do not accept more than 15 students per class. The city of Xela (pronounced ´shay-la) is pretty much all stone and concrete, but the school is on a very green hill that overlooks Xela, and it´s really nice. Thankfully I work at the top of the hill, and I do not need to climb it if I don´t want to. :) Estoy contenta, or "I´m happy."

I will be teaching physics, biology, chemistry, and global science as my "core courses," the ones that everyone has to take, and I´ll teach French as an elective. :) I can´t wait to giggle to myself over the pronunciations... Although when I was in France, I very much enjoyed listening to people speak French who´s first language was Spanish. Most of the time, I like that more than French people speaking French, because the ....spanophones? espanophones? pronounce every syllable, unlike the French. My class sizes are 3, 6, 13, and 15 students (not respectively). It should be an interesting experience! I hope I do well.

As for people I work with, it seems like it´ll be a great year. We are mostly younger than 30, but there are people of all ages around. We come from all over the States, but there´s a concentration of people from Texas and Oklahoma. The school´s director is from Texas, which explains the heavy recruitment in the area. :) A few of the teachers and staff members are permanent residents of Guatemala.

I can´t think of anything else that might be interesting to know... Well, I guess I really want a scooter! They look fun! And fast. THe shower water gets heated as it´s coming out of the shower head, so water pressure is not strong. My host family doesn´t think I really mean it when I say I don´t really want to eat bread for every single meal. It´s an unknown concept, not to eat bread. I have eaten many more potato- and wheat-based carbohydrate products here than corn-based, contrary to what I thought would be the case... All the lights in my host house are....not incandescent... A little dim-ish, but do-able. I get looked at and stared at a lot, and I don´t really like it, but hey, what can you do. Just not come, I guess. :) All in all, I do really like it here. I love the family that I´m staying with, and I am looking forward to finding out what God has in store for this year. Right now... "HA!!!! Joke´s on you, God!" is all that´s coming to mind, for sending me on a fool´s errand to try to teach science and French. On verra, on verra: We´ll see, in French. (Oy, that´s another thing -- I can´t speak Spanish because French keeps popping out of my mouth unexpectedly, AND I can´t speak French, because Spanish has started to replace it! My mouth is so confused.)

Anyway, if you have anymore questions, let me know! For now, hasta luego! See ya later!


  1. The prepositions were always hardest for me to keep straight when adding a new language!

    You could dye your hair a bit darker, lol, but not too dark or you'd get stared at anyway. I can't bring myself to recommend getting a tan since tan is essentially a sign of damaged skin. :P

    Sounds like a pretty place. Hurry up and get pics up on flickr already!

  2. <3 you Tab! Thanks for updating this, it's awesome to read what you're up to down there. Prayin' for ya, I really hope teaching is as awesome as it sounds.

    You're the best!