Friday, March 16, 2012

March 5th- 18th:

In a nutshell, the Peace Corps training that I was at all of last week was a great opportunity for me to talk to my counterpart and put all of my ideas into words. It is actually more difficult than I thought it would be to verbalize the visions I have in my head. It was good though because it made me think about all the things I did not think about. Part of the training was to actually go through a step by step process about how to implement a project at site successfully. Gemma and I put our heads together and I think we came up with a great plan. We had to present our plan to some guest evaluators at the conference and they were opitimistic about the success we will soon have, fingers crossed! The project we presented has many components that I am sure I will talk about at a later time aka when I actually do it but for those of you who may wondering now we plan to:
  • .      Construct a basketball court on school campus- this has been a dream of the students/teachers at my school for a few years now and we think we have a way to make that dream come true!
  • .      Implement a year round athletics program (different sport for each quarter). Right now, all of the athletes only practice during intramurals which are September- October.
  • .      Hold Annual events on the new court to help generate funds for maintenance and new equipment for the court and sports teams. Example: Annual Teachers vs. Students tournament
  • .      Build tables with games on the top- scrabble, chess, etc. These will be next to the court and part of the “Let’s be Active Arena.”
  • .      The name of my school is Mogpog National Comprehensive, the comprehensive is there because there should be a choice for every student, whether they want to study the basic education system or a vocational curriculum. Right now, the vocational curriculum is not an option. With the construction, building, coaching, etc. the plan has a component to offer interested students to pair with alumni experts in engineering.       

That is just a gist of what we worked on over the course of the training. There are still details that need to be worked out. Gemma and I have already started talking to the key stakeholders that we need to get on board the project with us and everyone is very enthusiastic! By the end of the training my brain needed a break.

 It was nice to run every morning during training, running helps me sift through my ideas. I always ran when I had to write an essay in college- guess this technic still works for me. The other good thing about the training was the food. One night there was lasagna and I ate three pieces. Three pieces! There was also a dessert option at dinner everyday and a sweet treat for afternoon snack. I stopped trying to talk myself out of eating too much food and just let myself enjoy it. Lasagna, cereal, brownies, and a plethora of food choices do not come into my life frequently, only at Peace Corps training events actually. Needless to say it was a productive, filling, active week!

Coming home was an adventure as always. The bus-boat-jeep trio always leaves me with a sore ass and no energy. I traveled home on a Sunday and did not get in until 9pm which made my Monday work day a little more Mondayish. Surprisingly, I made it through the day. I came home and got a little angry about the amount of laundry I had to wash. Having two weeks of dirty clothes is a tad more stressful when you don’t have a washing machine. I also had no food in my house so I walked on down to the market to pick up the neccessitites to get me through the week. Luckily, there was mangoes which bring my taste buds instant satisfaction. I never go to the market on Monday so it was interesting to see the market vendors reactions. They were like, “Ah, wow, she is here now, the American, wooo, what is she doing?” It was cute. Normally this does not happen anymore because I have the same routine that I do every Sunday. The people are used to me. I did still get to visit all of my friends there in the market which was nice because I missed saying my hellos while I was away.

This weekend I plan to catch up on sleep, run, go to the beach and have a swim, help my students practice for the final show of Romeo and Juliet, and read through some new teaching materials. Next week is the last week of classes before Summer vacation! My students already have the summertime sqirms so I am just going to plan some fun end of the school year activities for next week. I am so happy that my students are second and third year so they will all (hopefully) be returning next year. 

Beach day tomorrow!

Hanging out on the beach in Mindoro after the teacher training!

Long walk on the beach that ended with a swing!

1st teacher training! We had so much fun. 

GinaJoe... I walked into the classroom in Mindoro and this caught my eye straight away, I'm still smiling about it.

To End, Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! And, Happy birthday to the love of my life.

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