Busy Month!

Trip Start Nov 12, 2005
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Trip End Sep 19, 2007


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Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated things...but life has been so busy for me the last little bit!

The week of January 23rd...I started taking Karate and Belly Dancing classes at the SESI club. The Karate was great. I got such an amazing work out. I like having some place to vent my frustrations and just beat the shit out of a punching bag. Having taken Taekwondo for 2 years I am picking up Karate moves rather quickly and have "great form". LOL. One day we had this intense kicking and punching class. I was just wailin' away on the bag and earned the nickname "Fists of Fury". I like being an empowered chick.

Belly dancing was fun too...but not very instructive. The class had been going on since October...and the students were working on two full choreographed dances. Christtine and I were totally lost and just followed along the best we could. But no one actually took us aside and showed us how to DO half of the stuff that was going on. I will find an actual dance studio and hopefully have more hands-on teaching/training.

On Sunday there was a professional surfing competition. It was so awesome to watch! This one dude had the best wave ever...and scored 10s from all the judges! Needless to say, he came in first.

February 1st we got another ESL teacher. Marc from New York. He seemed really nice and I took him grocery shopping and gave him a quick tour of the nearest interesting places to visit. I made some really fancy rice and we then had some ice cream. Christine and Laura Lee were out of town at the time...so I was the only one around to play welcoming Committee.

February 2nd we got TWO more ESL teachers. Melissa from Seattle and Katie from Arizona. Lidia...my boss from Chicago was here and so she took us out for Pizza. Everyone seems really nice and hopefully we will all get along and tolerate one another for the next year or so!

Friday we went out again...to Galope. Galope is a "rodizio" style restaurant (i.e all-you-can-eat-meat-buffet). The school Director Marcelo took us out that time. We were having so much fun! Everyone was just talking up a storm like we all knew each other. We were joined by Alex (who has been with us since 2 weeks ago). He had some days off like Laura Lee and Christine.

Saturday I needed to be up and at an orientation meeting with all the teachers and stuff. After lunch though I was free to do my own thing...so I took a delicious afternoon nap! Sunday was also a nice relaxing day...for ME anyway. All the teachers and teaching assistants were out getting all the classrooms ready.

Speaking of which...in the pre-school room...there was this old dresser that some of the T.A's had started painting cartoon characters on. I jumped right in and asked if I could contribute. I used to draw a lot back in Junior High and early High School. Then school got in the way...then consequently...life. I started with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. They came out really nicely! I then added Hello Kitty and the Powerpuff girls. I had one whole door all to myself! People were just so damn impressed that I could DRAW and PAINT. Yes people...I do MORE than just answer the phones and add to the decor! LOL!!! I'll post the paintings I did here so you can see.

Monday, February 6th and Tuesday February 7th
First two days of school here at ATIVO. It's been a ZOO. There are kids signed up in the wrong classes...we've been changing some of the contracts...moving kids to other classes...
Then I get parents coming in complaining why their kids aren't in the advanced level when they have been in the first level for 2-3 years...Parents who come asking me why their son's/daughter's best friend is in a different class than them...
CHAOS. I've been dealing though. We have a new Program Coordinator: Irene. Irene is Lidia's sister. She was a Principal at a public school in Chicago for many many years. She's retired there and working here at ATIVO now. Any parent that has any kind of issue...I just make an appointment to see Irene! LOL! Passing the buck...LOVE IT!

Today though I was feeling SO stressed after work...that 5 pm came, I ran home..put on my bikini, surf top and shorts...grabbed the boogie board and ran for the beach. It was so nice just sitting in the water...having my alone time and riding some waves. Laura Lee came over at 6:30 and had a surfing lesson for 1.5 hours. I watched and even swam out in the now freezing ocean (it was dusk) for moral support. She's pretty good. She's quick to stand up on the board and balances well. I'll have my first lesson on Thursday!

After I got sick of freezing my ass off and ran out of the ocean before hypothermia set in...I saw this lady sitting on the beach with her VERY porky Pug. I went over to say hi...and spoke to her in Portuguese. She answered in very broken gringo Portuguese. I switched to English and she was SO relieved! Her name was Holly and her husband Phillip was in Laura Lee's surfing class. Holly is from New Orleans and Phillip grew up in Vancouver (I'm finding Canadians everywhere here! There were three of them at the Gringo Bar - Shamrock - we went to on Sunday to watch the Super Bowl). Phillip drove us home...which was so nice. Was NOT looking forward to walking home in the dark, semi-wet and with the wind picking up.

Anyway, that's it for now. I know the entry is a bit rushed and not my usual style...but I simply have not had the time! Work keeps me busy for the most part. Extra-curricular activities eat up the rest! Especially with all the neighbors now...we're always going somwhere!

Til we update again!
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