It feels like the first three weeks have been an adjustment period. The first week was a honeymoon and finding my way in the world here. The second week I started to make acquaintances with people other than Joaquin and the teachers. Unfortunately, I seemed to lack the capacity to just relax and spent the third week recovering from fatigue and cold symptoms. But it feels like I’ve hit a stride. I am able to get what I need to done and not feel pressured 24/7. So what did I learn this week?
Things seldom go according to plan back home and never go according to plan here where I have to use a second language.
I came with activities to fill time in case an entire class that had nothing to do. I’ve had to develop puzzles and other things for students who finish in class assignments early.
“Gringo” is the term people use here to refer to those of us from Europe or from the US of European decent. It would be odd at home to refer to or call someone whose name you don’t know by an ethnic slang term, but here it is common and intends no malice or offense. One new friend forgot my name and when we exchanged contact information, I saw her enter my contact name in her phone as “gringo.”
I learned the “pescado frito” may translate to “fried fish” but don’t expect fish and chips style fillets. I also learned how to eat fish when they cook and serve the fish whole. Watch out for those bones.
Instinctively telling someone to “watch out” is useless here. I need to learn to respond with “cuidado”.
“Bailando” by Enrique Inglesis is an amazing song.
A better appreciation for how much kids love music. I brought a small Bluetooth speaker with me and we play music in class the last five minutes while we collect supplies and do other tasks. The girls love it and hand us song requests throughout the day. One of the best tools I brought with me.