Friday, November 28, 2014

Last Week in CR

Since we were basically finished up with all our school work for the year, this week has been full of fun activities.

Monday was a crafting day.  The students have been writing stories about space (I can’t remember if I have mentioned this or not) and they finished their final copies if they were not already done.  Then, they had to draw pictures for their stories which they would import into an app called Show Me and combined them with their own voices reading the story in computer class.  It was really neat.  Once students were finished with that, they could make bottlecap snowmen.  My teacher glued old bottle caps onto large popsicle sticks and the students painted them.  They then glued bottle caps to a paper plate with the center cut out and painted them to make a wreath.  All the will we were jammin’ to Christmas music!  In the afternoon the students worked with their groups in making their solar system models.

On Tuesday we only have a couple class periods with the students as they also have Spanish and computers so it was spent mainly working on their solar system models.

Wednesday was another fun day.  It started out with all the students in first through fourth grade gathering in the gym where they practiced their end of the year music show.   My third graders sang/danced to “Stand By Me.”  They were so darn cute.  From there we went back to class and the students completed their solar system models.  Then, the kiddos had Spanish where they made these adorable little Santa frogs out of paper and fabric.  At the end of the day was the beginning of the students yearly recycling.  They got to rip off the covers of their notebook and workbooks and throw them away.  Then, they ripped out all the extra pages to save to re-use.  Lastly, they put all the used pages into the recycling.  The kids had an absolute blast with it.  After school the whole crew went to Crepe Café for one last crepe before we head home.  It was especially fun for me because the Crepe Café was the first place I went when I came to Costa Rica so it was my full circle.  Of course I had to have the Nutella and strawberry crepe again!  After crepes, Darcy, David, Sophie and I went to Multiplaza for one last Wednesday night movie.  We were hoping to see Horrible Bosses 2 but it wasn’t in the theater for some reason.  Instead, we went and saw Interstellar again.  Before the movie we had time for a little bit of shopping so I got my Christmas shopping finished.  At the mall, Darcy and Sophie found a perfume that smelled identical to the one I have been wearing.  I didn’t believe them until I smelled it.  Funny enough, it was called “Seduce Me” and smelled identical to my “Pure Seduction” from Victoria’s Secret.  I had Wendy’s again for dinner, (it has become kind of a tradition for me) and shared a big ol’ mixed (carmel and buttered) popcorn with Sophie.  The movie was three hours long so we had to take a taxi home since the buses stop running at 10.

On Thursday, the end of the year festivities continued.  In the beginning of the day, my teacher’s pre-kinder son had his end of the year program so I went and watched it.  It was so cute to see all the little kiddos dressed up and dancing!  In the end of the program, instead of singing and dancing, my teacher’s son was playing rock-paper-scissors with the child next to him.  It was too funny.  After the program, we went back to class.  The students were going to finish their recycling, so my teacher sent me out to get garbage bags.  I had spent forever trying to track down a janitor when one of my students came running up to me telling me they had found one.  She was running so I tried to beat her back to the classroom by taking a closer set of stairs than she did, but she flew by me as I got to the top.  When I opened the classroom door, all of the students yelled, “Thank you!”  It nearly gave me a heart attack.  They presented me with a book of letters/poems they had written for me and well as a Costa Rican soccer jersey.  I gave them a surprise of my own.  Since our last unit was on poetry, I wrote each of their names in acrostic poems using adjectives that described them.  They were very impressed as I used both English and Spanish words.  I also wrote a little note on the bag and gave them each a box of nerds.  The students were so excited about their poems that they all read them to the class.  

Then my teacher and our Spanish teacher gave the students awards and we finished recycling/cleaning out their desks.  It was one of my kiddos birthdays as well so his mom and dad brought in cake and we sang to him.  Cake here is not as sweet as it is at home.  Also, all of the cake I have eaten has been chocolate with a cooked condensed milk (basically caramel) frosting; I gather it is the most popular cake here.  We ended the school day with a rehearsal for their end of the day show and playing some games in the gym.

Thursday evening I headed back to Multiplaza with the crew for “Thanksgiving” dinner.  They’ve been my family for the past two months so it only made sense we celebrated together.  We all went to KFC (because chicken, potatoes and corn are as close to the real deal as we could get).  Afterwards, we went to see Mockingjay Part 1 before heading back home.

Friday was tough.  I didn’t full cry, but my eyes were ready to spill more than a handful of times. 

The kids were so adorable in their performance and they looked so cute all dressed up and out of their normal school uniforms.  After their performance, we went back to the classroom and had snacks and watched a slideshow.  It was so tough to say goodbye to everyone.  I have never had so many kisses (on the cheek) from so many strangers (the students' parents) but I’ve adapted to the culture here so much that it didn’t even phase me.  I gave my email to one girls mother so I am really hoping I will hear from here.  The parents were telling me how their kids go on and on talking about me at home and it made me feel so great.  They brought in gifts and treats and ugh..I am just not ready to leave. Brittany and I went to the mall after school with her teacher for a little while and now I am taking a break from packing.

Words cannot explain how much I am going to miss my kiddos.  They were so accepting of me right away and I had so much fun with them.  They taught me more than just Spanish, and for that I am forever thankful.  I’ve noticed that I talk a lot like them now.  For example, when they understand something, they always say, “ah, yes,” and I’ve caught myself doing that frequently.  I say things all the time and know that its something that came from the kids.  I wonder how long it will take for those habits to fade.  They’ve spoiled me with end of the year/holiday gifts and I can only hope that I had enough effect on them as to deserve being so spoiled.

As the school year has come to a close, I have noticed some more things that are different between my school here and the ones in the states.  For one, we made crafts with bottle caps from beer and my teacher explained to the students that they were from a bar from beer that people drank.  There was also a Christmas tree made out of wine bottles.  Anything alcohol related is basically forbidden in the states, but here its just a normal part of life.  Also, the teachers give students kisses all the time.  Not on the lips, but on their heads or cheeks.  I know that is a cultural thing though as people often great each other with a kiss on the cheek.  Another thing is that students often bring cake in for their birthday and they light the candles right there in the classroom.  I don’t think candles are even allowed in schools back home!

I'm a little bit sad that my blog posting is coming to an end as well.  I had forgotten how much I love to write, and it has been so much fun sharing my adventure with everyone from home.  One last blog post tomorrow, and then it is back home I go!

You can find all travel posts from Hey Dreamer Blog here.

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