Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello, hello, welcome to Guatemala City. I live here now.

I don't even feel like getting into the process of how this happened, but on Saturday I woke up early and traveled with Mono via ferry and then bus to Cancún. Flight to Mexico City. Connecting flight cancelled so seven hours in the airport in which I realized I need to up my heels game if I'm going to make it with Mexicana fashion, and then finally after taking the hour long flight at 10:30pm I arrived bleary eyed and slightly bewildered to Guatemala City.

Thankfully I was picked up by Ana Luisa, who works as a secretary at the school I'll be teaching at for the next year. She and her husband drove me to my new home, which Ana Luisa had kindly supplied with some groceries, toiletries, a new towel, and a cell phone. Hi. My bedroom has a pretty nice view of KFC, Pizza Hut, and some mountains in the distance. I also share the apartment with one other person, but after talking to her for several hours last night she confessed that she's quitting early on her contract. Right now she's just waiting for payday at the end of the month and then she'll be on her way.

View from my room.
Today I went to the school and it seems like a good place to work. There was a lot of somewhat pointless time scheduled in for me to read the Parent Manual and the Employee Manual and watch DVDs about rather basic teaching strategies, but I also met my new class and observed their math and science lessons. The kids were cuuuute, seriously. Their initial teacher got married and left with no extra notice in April - the school's on a January to October calendar - and the kids have had a bunch of teachers in the interim. Currently they're with Claudia, a local. Claudia would ask the kids questions and some of them would turn away from her to face me on the other side of the classroom when they gave their answers. Cute, I mean but cute! And two girls gave me notes decorated with hearts and the message "I love Mega."

There are twenty kids in the class, which is great, and I think they seem like a really sweet little bunch but in need of a little classroom management. Claudia seems really patient and able to deal with the rest of the class talking while one student speaks. I'm not so fluffy I suppose. They've probably had a new set of routines taught with each new temporary teacher (about six), but they're going to need to relearn it. I have two weeks of orientation and then I take over the class on the 11th.

There are about 20 foreign teachers at the school, and all of the teachers and administration speak English - at least manageably. I've been fighting to speak Spanish. It makes me feel a little bit less far away from Mono and it's feels unnatural to me to speak English here. Mostly I've been met with, "Oh! You speak Spanish very well!" But they say it in English and so I have to respond in English and quietly be sad inside until I can force myself on another unsuspecting Guatemalteca. 

That's it for now. Bedtime.

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