Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today started out like any other “school attachment” day. I was up and ready for my school observation. I walked up the road two minutes and reached the primary school I was assigned to for the day. School is set to begin at 8am so I was there at 7:45 and no one in sight. By the top of the hour four grade one students had joined me, and more trickled in over the next fifteen minutes.

The teacher arrived at 20 past the hour and class began. However only five students were present in the classroom I was observing. Finally at 8:45 the entire class of nine students were in their seats and engaged in the number lesson. There is a small piece of grass in the school yard which has been taken up almost completely by a huge water drum. Therefore recess consisted of running around it, standing around eating snacks and hanging on my back, arms and legs. The students even argued to hold my hand and I was the cause of a few “close call” fights. The afternoon I attended the classroom next door to oberve grade one. These students were very energetic and talkative. They were never completely quiet for the teacher to do his lesson, it was frustrating to see. The students got up and wandered, went to the bathroom and just found anything to do, other than the work. It is amazing to compare the US classroom and Dominican classroom. When time came to go I was ready, I made my way home and prepared an egg and cheese sandwich. Only a couple hours later my host mother made me a large meal of fish, dasheen and plantains, and of course her homemade grapefruit juice. I was stuffed.
I went to my room to start on the pile of homework I had. But not shortly after my host mother said there were girls outside waiting to go for a walk with me. I couldn’t let them down. These were the girls from the school I was at in the morning. We walked down the road to where I will be living. The lady who lives about is the kindergarten teacher so she knew all the girls. I talked with her for some time about renting from her and she informed me on some useful information. We sat on the porch overlooking the mountains and the sea. Her brother and friends were playing a game of cricket in the road the school girls were running around building a fort and picking guavas from the tree. We started a game of catch with a half inflated soccer (‘football’) ball and lasted about an hour. We were refreshed with ice pops* from the lady down the road. The sun was setting so we make the walk home. I made the mistake of lifting one girl on my back because as soon as I put her down the next girl was in line. I carried four out of the five girls up and down the hills getting my workout for the day.

*Ice pops: coconut and other ingredients poured into a plastic baggie, tied on top and frozen. To eat it bite a bottom corner and suck out juice and ice.

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