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Archive for August, 2010

Send Me On My Way

I have been trying to find new and creative ways to teach my English classes. At the suggestion of my friend, Jonathan, I am using music and lyrics. By printing the lyrics to a song, I can play the song and have the kids read along to the lyrics. I then take random vocabulary words from the lyrics and use them for this weeks lesson.

The first time I did this experiment, I used the song “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. It’s a pretty easy song. The tempo is pretty mellow and the lyrics are repetitive. The kids seemed to enjoy having something kind of different for their class.

This week, I decided to use “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root. If you don’t know this song, it’s also pretty repetitive, but a faster pace. I wasn’t sure of how this was going to go over, since the song is pretty fast. The kids loved it. This morning in Ingrid’s class, the kids had me play the song four times, and by the third time they were singing along. It was so cool to hear them singing in their broken English, to words that they had just learned a half hour before. I couldn’t stop smiling. This was by far one of the best teaching moments that I have had since I got here.

If you are not familiar with this song, I’m going to attach it here… it’s the live version, but you will get the jist. Enjoy… just like the kids at Limon have.

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Making Lidia Smile

Everyday in La Limonada there is something to smile about, something to cry about, something that brightens your day, and something that breaks your heart. If we are lucky, these things don’t happen all on the same day… at least not in this order.

There are so many situations that have impacted me… I hear a new story everyday that opens my eyes and heart just a little bit more. Lydia is a very special 9-year-old girl. I can honestly say that Lidia affects me every single day. She is the saddest little girl that I have ever seen in my life. I consider it a personal challenge everyday to make Lidia smile. Most days it doesn’t take much to do this. She is always in need of hugs, and willingly talks to me everyday. Lidia is patient when I ask her to repeat things because I can’t understand the Spanish the first time around. She’s a great student in my English classes. She’s just special all the way around.

This week, we got permission from Lidia’s mother to cut her hair short. She’s been infested with lice for months, and this is the best way to try to solve the problem… it’s an ongoing battle. The volunteer who cuts the hair of the kids at the Limon school gave Lidia the cutest haircut. All of the hair that she was hiding her beautiful face behind is gone now, and what remains is a sweet and sad little girl. With the hair gone from her face, it’s now easier to see just how hurt this girl is. I explained Lidia’s story to some of the folks visiting from River’s Crossing Church in Cincinnati this week. When the women from this group met Lidia this week, they were moved by her beauty. Lidia received gifts of new headbands to show off her new haircut, which also helps to keep the rest of her hair out of her face. I’m so moved by the generosity of folks who come to visit us here in La Limonada. One of the women mentioned to me that she could really see how much I love Lidia, and how lucky she is to have me in her life. I disagree. I am the one who is lucky to have this child in my life who only wants to be loved.

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You never realize how little things can be amazing things. I have seen a person freak out over seeing a cow for the first time. I have watched a girl cry at her first sight of snow. Last week, I witnessed a first that literally brought me to tears.

We had the pleasure of taking the 3 to 5-year-old class to the campo last Friday. The campo in La Limonada is a big empty “field” that is covered with dirt. There is literally nothing on it except a few goals for playing soccer. We decided that taking the kids to the campo in the van would be much easier, since there were only 3 teachers and 16 kids. They got so excited during this 3 minute ride… it reminded me of the first time I went on a roller coaster. The kids jumped into the van and were so excited. It was kind of nuts. I turned to Leonor, the teacher of this class, and asked if this was the first time that most of them had been in a car or van before. Her answer was ‘yes’. I immediately had tears in my eyes. Going over the speed bumps was the greatest part of the ride. We opened all of the windows in the van so that our arrival at the campo would be known by all of the other kids. The kids were so excited.

It really is the little things in life that make the big experiences…

 

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you make look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault

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