A Break from Teaching
Trip Start Jan 07, 2009
7Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Wide Mouth Frog
I have been spending this week in Quepos and Manuel Antonio taking half of a TEFL (Teaching English as a Forgein Language) Course. At the end I recieve a certificate that will allow me to teach English in any country and get paid for it. This will give me another option after I finish my year here. The course is pretty repitious to the information I recieved during the World Teach orientation. However, it has gotten my creative juices flowing again so that next weeks lessons will be more effective and fun.
Twice this week the class of 13 also participated in Borucan lessons. Boruca is one of the 6 indiginous tribes left in CR. For a very long time the Costa Rican Government held laws against the native Costa Rican tribes speaking their native language and practicing their customs. It wasnt until the late 70's that this law was reversed and the Borucans were able to begin passing on their customs to new generations. As of now, only 12 Borucan's fluently speak Borucan. For this reason, the schools now require their students to take Borucan classes as well as classes with their tribal craft of mask making.
Besides teaching the class about how interesting the Borucan culture is, the purpose of these lessons was to place us all back at the first beginner level of learning a language. The Borucan lessons allowed me to empathise with my students. I remember now how my students may feel when surrounded by English in my class. I am excited to share my experience with them.
I have really enjoyed having gelato from the Italian Bistro on the ocean, and planning lessons at Café Milagro where they have the best breakfast menu in CR. Having access to free wi-fi all week and being able to prepare what I want to eat when I want, the icing on the cake. I miss my family back in La Estrella but I am really realizing how much I love the accessibilities, life, and amenities a larger city has to offer.
Before this week I was with most of the other volunteers in Turrialba for my first rafting trip. Here, the Colorado river is said to be one of the top 5 rafting spots in the world during the rainy season (the rainy season just started on the first). There are several class 4 rapids, and a ton of 3's. Because the river was so low, by 5-10ft, our guide said the river was pretty timid. I really want to come back because these timid rapids didn't give me the rush I was seeking. The first day we spent 2 hrs on river. I shared my boat with Danna, Christen, Lizzie, and our wonderful guide Santiago. We decided to name ourselves the Power Rangers, for a reason I cant remember. No one fell out though! We arrived to a campsite, overlooking the river on a cliff. There was a platform with some sort of overhang for us to hang out under and 5 tents for the 15 of us. We spent the night with a make your own sandwich bar, popcorn, unlimited refreshments and plenty of card games. It was really great to see everyone and if our time together is an indication of how well mid-service is going to go in 2 weeks, we are going to have a blast. The second day we had another 2 hours on the river. This time though the Weather Gods were not with us. As soon as we got through our first rapid, the rain came pouring down along with massive thunder and lightning. All Santiago had to say was, " Don't worry, I'm not worried, it's just some lighting." Well, we were all taught you see lightning and you're in the water you get out and find shelter. I guess this rule doesn't apply to CR. We made it out safe, and not the lighting just adds to the story. I did realize though that we were in the province of Limon. This means that 3 out of 3 times our group has decided to go to the Caribbean side of CR it has been pouring. I do not like the Caribbean side, it has not been friendly to me.
This morning I am heading back to my site. In the teaching world, I have been getting ready for my second unit of tests. I need to find one of my student's moms to start a fundraiser for a new white board in my classroom and the other American that lives on the edge of town to begin plans for a recycling project. The month of May is super busy and its only just begun!