...is a phrase I get a lot at the colegio (you're always working!). Yeah right! I started at the colegio on Monday after coming back from a pig roast in La Esperanza (more later). I think that I have mentioned before that the previous volunteer bulit a library before he left. The library is now the teachers lounge and the old teachers lounge is now the library. Arrrggghhh. It's pretty frustrating. I spent the first half of the week organizing all the books trying to make sections and alphabetize (working at Borders really came in handy here). I did a complete inventory mainly because it gave me something to do so I appeared busy. The teachers (or "profes" in Honduras) kept telling me, "You don't have to do an inventory. We did one last year and have the list....somewhere." Exactly. Somewhere. That's been work at the colegio. To give you an idea of how the system is here, I'll tell you these little facts:
-while school has officially started, the colegio hasn't made a master schedule for 2006 so the kids are attending classes from last year, doing work from last year and will be expected to change their routine once the master schedule is finalized
-three teachers have yet to show up to teach, which means that some classes are just 25 kids sitting in a room for 35 minutes waiting to see if they will be taught
-the teachers have held impromtu (sp?) teachers meetings in the middle of class-the director will say "teachers meeting" and all the teachers stop teaching in the middle of their class and go to the teachers lounge--they just walk right out
-bells ring for no real reason, usually a bell signals the end of a period or start of one, here they are used for audial pleasure???
Last week I worked in another town about a 15 min. jalón away, Las Lajitas, which translates to, small town with hilly and complicated roads that gringos can't walk on. I was with the head nurse at the health center and we were doing a census. It was pretty interesting and sad at times. We would to to a house made of mud, stones, and sticks to find a 26 year old mother with 4 kids living in a single room. The kids can't attend school because the family can't afford unifors. Moments like that made me feel stupid for ever complaining about "the cell". Some of the people we visited insisted that we eat something or have coffee with them. Usually they offered ice cream, pepsi, cookies, or lollipops (the major food groups here), but one woman said, "Take these cucumbers. They are fresh and delicious." It was just strange that she handed us a bunch of cucumbers, really sweet, but strange. I took them home and showed some girls in San Ramón the benefit of putting the slices over their eyes.
On to the pig roast! It was fellow Hondu 7 Qalim's birthday and he wanted to throw a pig roast/keg party. It was too hard to get a keg to La Esperanza so he had a fridge full of beer instead. Unlike my last visit, I caught jalons right away and made it there in about 5 hours. Almost everyone from Hondu 7 attended and it was really nice to see everyone and talk about our sites/adjustment period. As for the party, the pig (which was slaughtered that morning after its final meal of cookies and Honduran Doritios) was tasty and the company was great, but a lot of people were sick when they came to La Esperanza so not many people drank or danced. I was a downer too because I had to catch a 4 am bus to San Pedro to get back to my site right away (boo). I slept at my friend Melissa's apartment, along with 15 other people, which made it a wall-to-wall sleepover. As I was walking to the bus station, another bus saw me and offered me a ride to the station.
"You can't walk alone at this time--you could get murdered!"
Just what I wanted to hear at 350 in the morning.