Sunday, March 14, 2010
A Cold Monday and Hot Yoga
This is a picture of our almost completed LCS logo ... we have 270 of 350 kids back at school, and the principal, Mr Hubert (at the front) orchestrated this awesome picture to demonstrate our progress so far.
Here’s a little assortment of news from the past week. No big stories, just life.
It was cold on Monday. . I realize that “cold” is a relative term, but it was seriously chilly. Maybe it was in the sixties, but when the breeze is blowing, and no buildings are really fully closed, and the showers aren’t heated … it feels downright cold. I slept with a blanket for the first time at LCS and wore my hood up on my hoodie sweatshirt in the morning. I saw a staff member wearing a down jacket (which he has because he once traveled to the US during the winter.) Not only was it cold, but it was overcast and sort of raw for two days. Now THAT is weird. Suddenly everyone had a cold and our solar powered buildings had some challenges those days. By Wednesday we were sweating our faces off again and remembering fondly, the Monday chill. It t was a strange little interlude.
We have 270 kids back at school. Each week we (or actually I) have rearranged the schedule to accommodate the increased number of kids. The big shift happened this week when we divided three more classes into two sections instead of keeping them all together in one. The challenge there … room space. We got 7 tents from the Italian military that we set up on the soccer field to use as classrooms, replacing the 6 classrooms in our damaged Jean Jacques Dessalines classroom building. The tents are excellent … except for one thing. They’re blue. Blue does not exactly reflect heat … and since they’re sitting in the blazing sun of the soccer field, but by about 11 am they’re pretty darn unbearable. The kids whine incessantly like teenagers do … and then we do it all again the next day. It’s kind of a hilarious scene actually. There are these seven huge blue tents in two rows on the soccer field. They’re about four feet apart, so everyone can hear everything going on inside the neighboring tents. We moved the kids’ classroom benches and built blackboards to move in. Then we named them after the continents – Europe, Africa, Asia, Americas and Antarctica. But really, they all feel like Africa.
Then yesterday I discovered an excellent use for the tents in the blistering heat of the afternoon. Hot yoga. With all the plastic window flaps closed and the two doors zipped shut, it must be almost a hundred degrees in there. Perfect for some downward facing dogs. I’ve done hot yoga before in some sultry conditions, but this is something else entirely. Too bad my shower afterward was also hot since the water in the black tanks on the roof had also been sitting in the sun all afternoon.
We opened the “language of the day” store again this week. Every day the kids are challenged to speak the language of the day – English on Monday and Wednesday, Spanish on Tuesday and Thursday, and French on Friday. If they are heard practicing the language of the day by staff or the oldest students, they can receive tickets redeemable for prizes in our little weekly store. After Christmas we came back with lots of new additions to the store. We always have the school essentials like pens and pretty pencils and erasers and white out and calculators. But we now have a bunch of matchbox cars, and bracelets, and bubbles and hair accessories and legos. The kids loved it. One little girl, Willine, spent about fifteen minutes trying to decide how to spend her six tickets. She kept picking things up saying, “oh, this is so beautiful …” then moving on to the next thing. She settled on a hairbrush and a very pretty pink pencil with silver hearts on it. She was a very happy customer. Another little boy came and said that he didn’t have any tickets because he used to have ten, but they were in his house and now his house is “craze” (broken.) Bummer. I taught him my favorite expression to describe earthquake induced losses (like my pillow, a set of sheets, and a jar of cilantro). The earthquake ate it. Then I told him he’ll just have to start practicing again next week to earn lots more. Life is tough around here.
There’s a new fast food place near our neighborhood! It’s actually a little mini version of a chain called EpiDor that is part bakery and part fast food joint. They have burgers and pizza and ice cream and beer and crepes and French fries … The other ones in town are bigger, but a hassle to get to with all the traffic these days, so we’re pretty excited to go to this one that’s only a ten minute drive away tonight. I’ve never been so excited for a cheeseburger in my life.
Sunday is Pi day – 3/14. Peter decided to have a pi day math competition for the kids. Unfortunately, this is a culturally and linguistically complex little pun. First, he had to explain to them that we pronounce PI as PIE and not PEE (as they do in French.) Then he had to explain that we write the dates with the month before the date, so the date actually reads 3/14 (as opposed to 14/3 like most of the rest of the world does it. Then he had to explain what PIE is. After all that, he announced that there were some grade level appropriate geometry problems posted, and that the person who submitted the first correct answer in each class would win a piece of pie (to eat, not to throw in anyone’s face you PHA people …..) Today he spent the morning climbing trees, and about 3.14 hours later, he and Mary had produced about 3.14 mango pies – one of which we will consume at 3:14 pm. The others of which will await the kids with the correct solutions to his math problems. I love linguistically layered math puns.
And that’s about it. Two more weeks until we head out to the DR for a week of beach and cocktails with umbrellas in them. Can’t wait.