First day of school in Nepa-, sorry, Nicaragua.
I got up this morning when the heat went from pressing my skin to punching it. The rainy season starts in a few weeks, but for now I sweat. During the bulk of the day the hammocks swing languidly, and the “pulperia” stores do a brisk trade in cool sodas.
My new friend came to collect me on her way to the school next door, where she valiantly tries to teach the kids yoga and art. The feeling quickly reminds me of Nepal, in it’s beautifully welcoming friendship and absolute chaos.
I am reminded again of the monumental task of US schools in converting children into factory workers who sit in orderly lines and obey.
Around 8:00 I follow Teresa, who works with the library, over to the school, she gives me a tour of the new building and introduces me to the principal. The new building is not in use yet, they are waiting for the mayor to come down in a week or two for an official opening and vote-securing hullabaloo & photo op.
I meet Alex, the large fellow with a kind face, who teaches English. He is initially wary, as are most English teachers I’ve met whose English is far from perfect when they meet a native speaker who claims to be an instructor. After I show him my sympathy and respect the wariness fades and we chat comfortably. We decide I’ll come help with a couple of today’s classes, then run my own lesson with half the 9th graders tomorrow.
We head to his first class and find them taking their final exams. Oops, miscommunication. Instead we stand around and chat some more. Did I mention it reminds me of Nepal? A moist hour later we walk into his second class to find the biology teacher beginning her lesson, the class laughs, we turn around and leave. Nnnnnepal. Nnnnnicaragua.
We go over the plan again for tomorrow. I will show up at 7:45 and take half the 40 9thgraders out to the covered area, where I will attempt a short lesson about baseball (Nicaragua differs from the rest of Latin America in that futbol is the second most popular sport. I‘ve already seen a few Giants hats, which always makes me happy.) Then on Friday I’ll come back and take the other half.
I don’t really expect the lesson to work, but I am looking forward to the experience.