Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Promise to Write More This Year...

2012. So far in 2012 I have spent three weeks with my bestfriend and boyfriend, discovered a great tasting burger in town that I actually crave all the time, started warming up water every day so I can take a warm bucket bath (how miraculous), finished my seventh month of Peace Corps, fell in love again, found paradise in paradise, ate sea urchin, and I feel more energized and excited about this coming year than I ever imagined.

Paradise in Paradise? When Joe was here we made the decision to go to the small island of Maniwaya off the coast of Santa Cruz, Marinduque. Catherine and I heard many positive and attention grabbing things about Maniwaya so… this trip became our first trip together. There were a few things I had to do to coordinate the trip – trip times, what to bring, find out what food is available on the island, but every detail fell into place rather perfectly.


When we got to the port, we were lucky because we made it just in time for the ordinary trip. The ordinary trip is cheaper than hiring a seaman to take you to the island on a special trip. After twenty minutes of staring at how mountainous and picturesque Marinduque is my eyes caught sight of Maniwaya. The island is only 5 hectors so from a far you can see the entire half of the island- the glowing white beaches and the vibrant green flora at the center.

When we got to the island we walked down the wooden ramp and onto the small manmade pier. Sir Constantino, the man who we were going to rent a cottage from told us to look for his niece, Sarah Jane. We started walking in the direction around the island that we thought was towards Sir Constantino’s cottage. As I was walking I could not decide where to look: up, down, straight ahead, towards the sea… everything was beautiful. The beach made me think of my Grandma Judy because there was a splendid assortment of shells- my Grandma was always showing me her shell collection when I was young. I hand selected a few delights that I will attempt to turn into jewelry… current and future project of mine. Back to the island…

The cottage we stayed at was on Wawie’s beach. As we were walking we noticed someone was following us, this someone turned out to be exactly who we were looking for. She showed us to the rooms, her friendly personality made the first impression of Wawie’s a great one. The adventure started right away- we suited up and hit the ocean for some snorkeling. There were thousands of sea urchins so luckily for me my ability to skull across the top of the water came in handy. Sea urchins do taste pretty good though! We learned that you have to search for the orange ones if you are planning to eat them because the orange ones are pregnant. When you eat them, you eat the eggs. Joe opened one up so we could have a taste! We washed the sea urchin down with some fresh coconut water! Nice afternoon delight.

A while late, Sarah Jane let us take her families small boat out for a little cruise off the coast. It was cool to see the coral, schools of fish, starfish and more from up above. The water was pristine. Snack time and beer drinking was to follow. For dinner Sarah and her mother cooked us fish and rice- best fish I’ve tasted so far! At night, we were invited to the neighbors for a birthday party. We spent the next hours watching the sunset, drinking coconut wine- maybe a little too much, having a dance competition, playing tag with the kids on the beach, and doing cartwheels in the sand. I slept like a baby that night.

In the morning we had to wake up early to catch the ordinary boat trip back home. We ate banana bread for breakfast, packed our things, and went for a stroll around the island before jumping into the boat. We had such a good time that we went back the following weekend too!

School Life.

This week is the first week of 4th quarter. The school year here is from June-March. The end of this school year is approaching fast but I have lots planned for my students. There is always a theme for the quarter- 4th quarter is essay. Some of my students struggle to write a paragraph in English, I have began to plan out a step by step process to help my students reach the quarter goal of writing a five paragraph essay- Wish us luck!

Last quarter we studied poetry, one of my projects for this was creating a poetry wall where I could display the student’s imagination at work. I am beginning a similar project now. Stacey sent me some classroom decoration supplies so I am eager to get some of it up on the walls. I am going to make a “Superstar Student” bulletin board. I will choose a variety of examples of exemplary work to pin up on the board with bright, shiny stars! Each month there will be a new batch of stars, the previous stars will become part of the Wall of Fame. Where they will forever be recognized for their hard work and talent!

I recently became an addict to Pinterest which is just another reason why I wish I had internet on a regular basis. Pinterest is a one of a kind network of useful and intriguing things! Sometimes I forget to “Pin” some things because my brain craves more too fast so I just keep clicking away at new ideas and photos that catch my attention. One of my favorites is a chalkboard wall titled “Things I want to do Before I Die.” After painting a wall with chalkboard paint (which I already found a recipe for) you permanently write the title and rows of lines where participants can write their personal hopes for the future. This is an activity that all of my students could enjoy over and over again. I think it will also be inspiring for students to read the dreams of their peers. This will be on my work plan for my summer projects.

February Goals:

1.      Create summer work plan

2.      Do 20 pushups every day

3.      Write more

4.      Watch my sister get married

5.      Make jewelry

6.      Learn how to make more Filipino foods

7.      *This on is a secret

8.      Plan a trip

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