Friday, October 9, 2009

Glorious Friday!

It is Friday morning, just after 11am, and I am still sitting in my pj’s, enjoying the cool breeze coming through our window. We are both glad that we are NOT in Spanish class, but are instead just studying at our leisure whilst taking pleasure from the beautiful day! The sun is shining, birds are singing….the rooster is crowing!

Almost perfect. Effin’ rooster.

I am also glad to be done my two afternoons in the pool for the week. Near disasters, again. The Bolivian instructor failed to show both days, leaving me alone in the pool with 15 kids, all wound up with boundless energy. There are also several newbies in the swim club, which means about 5 that can’t even float, while the other 10 have varying degrees of skill.

After about 20 minutes on Wednesday, I was finally given some help. A new volunteer that started only Monday in order to take over the organization of the entire swimming program (as a part of his University program in Holland) was thrown into the deep end, literally. He had no Spanish at all, and had never instructed swimming before. I taught him a few words and left him with the yet-to-be-floaters, as I expected this to be easier for him then organizing and yelling at the other 10 kids.

Apparently, he didn’t think it was so easy, as he seemed quite traumatized by the whole experience when we got out of the pool. He quit the entire program the following day. Glad he gave it a real chance.

Back to the pool on Thursday afternoon and I was initially alone again. This time, help came in the form of an older kid from the swim club that the organizers pulled away from his regular training. Again, I left him to help with the young niños. I had almost an entirely different group of kids that included 2 boys who I had to pull apart from a fight several times. The group was a little tougher to keep organized, and one of the other trainers did come over to help me with the yelling at one point.

Oy vey. While I still think Pete and I both stumbled on some of the sweetest volunteering gigs in town, it has it’s trying moments, to be sure!

This afternoon we are back at Ñanta for Pete’s infamous Juegos de Inglés (English games)! He is quite a hit with the kids, being attacked with hugs by a few of the regular girls whenever he shows up. I am the lowly help delegated to help the kids in the back, but I love every minute of it! The kids are so excited for the classes – some solely for the fact that there are chocolate prizes with each game, but others are very enthusiastic to learn new words. We are averaging at least 15 kids per class, which is a big deal according to one of the co-ordinators at Ñanta. Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to put together a few extra lesson plans to hand over when we leave, hopefully someone can continue the momentum of the games once we have moved on!

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