It's day six, and the air is thick here at the Centro. Literally, the
air is thick and this has been one of the most humid days we've experienced yet, and as I step out of the classroom to grab a bite to eat, I'm practically dripping with sweat. But the air's also thick with excitement and energy, bright and loud.
Today's the day, it seems, that everybody pulled it together, as every person in every group seems to be positively thrumming. Certainly the fact that it's Friday has something to do with it (as does perhaps the impending promise of hot springs and ice cream in La Fortuna tomorrow), but for those teaching the older group and for those teaching the young 'uns, lessons just wrapped up and I see no thunderclouds above any heads, so I'm assuming it's the lessons.
My own group (Team Baby Sloth!), which consists of Adeline, Stefanie, Devin, and myself, certainly pulled through today with one hell of a powerhouse lesson. Addie went first, taking on the difficult task of opening classes (difficult because it's always impossible to tell exactly when class will start, or exactly how many students we'll start off with) with aplomb, wrapping up Devin's lesson about celery and hypotheses from Thursday before diving into her own lesson and introducing the students to the our theme for the day, Water in Costa Rica. Stefanie followed up with a million-and-a-half little experiments for the students, including one particularly cool diorama involving tin foil, water, toilet paper, and food coloring that quite nicely explained the effects of erosion on the environment. Following a brief break, I took my turn at bat, covering the past tense with a couple of games and a great, big Ad Libs-style activity I expected a reasonable response from the students, but I was shocked at how much they got into all of my activities. Devin wrapped up our lesson for the day with a rousing game of Taboo, cleverly turned from a rather competitive game into a fantastic team-building exercise that had the students shouting in startlingly perfect English. To wrap up the day, our group presented the class with some maple sugar candy that we had brought with us from the great snowy North, which they gobbled up in a matter of seconds.
So, spirits are soaring, grub is on, and the fresca is particularly good as we all settle into our first Friday evening and our fifth day of teaching at the Centro.
12 students from Marlboro College came to our school to teach English to local children and young adults. Their project is to teach "Environmental English" so that at the end of the 8 day course the students can take a hike and talk about nature (in English) and do activities on the trail that help them develop their awareness of tropical river ecology. Our town, San Isidro de Peñas Blancas has created the River walk to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting our area.