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November 2009 Archives

November 4, 2009

Heather -Hello From Ireland! First Week in Shankill!








Dia Duit! (sound: D-i-a G-w-i-d-g-e) , which means Hello in Irish!

I am now about to start my fourth day in Ireland and third day at Rathdown Junior School! I am happily settled in a family that is very welcoming and compassionate and student teaching at a private school with encouraging and supporting faculty and staff! From the minute I have arrived in Ireland, it has been such an excitement for me and has kind of felt like a dream these first few days! I can't believe I am all the way in Ireland considering I have never traveled outside of the US before in my life! I have loved Ireland from the minute I set my eyes on it from an above view on the AER LINGUS flight from Chicago to Dublin!

I am learning new things about Ireland culture each and every day as well as common phrases that are used just in Ireland. Both of the parents in my Ireland family have both stayed in Ireland their entire lives thus far as have their two lovely daughters.

The family has shown me that family is very much valued in Ireland. My family sits down every night at the dinner table together to have a meal and talk about the day as well as share new facts for the Southern talking American girl! :-) One of my Ireland sisters has also mentioned to me how Irish dancing is very big in Ireland and can be very competitive. She notified me of how especially near St. Patricks Day, Irish dancing and music is popular all over Ireland! Other sports that are very popular here include Rugby, Field Hockey, Tennis, and Soccer.

Also, I have been introduced to the Ireland tradition of the making of the Christmas Cake which is a mixing of many different ingredients including spices, plum pudding, dried fruit, raisins and icing to top it off! I was notifiied by my Ireland "mum" that it is not just an Ireland tradition around Christmas time, but is a family tradition that she has learned from her mother. She told me that she makes it every year right after Halloween. This cake also takes about three days due to the preparation process.

As far as other foods go, Irish food is not too much different from American Food. So far, my mother has made wonderful dinners such as roasted potatoes, green beans, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, pasta with meat sauce, and pizza from Belfast, located in Northern Ireland. However, I have noticed that the Irish tend to eat healthier than Americans. There is less fast food here and the lunch food at school is fairly healthy, including fruits and vegetables.

Little phrases that I have learned that are quite different are phrases such as "the bend" for trash can, "good craic" for good time/fun, "thanks a million" for thank you, "trousers" instead of pants, "jumper" instead of sweater, and "pardon" for repetition purposes. My family as well as people at my school love hearing my Southern accent and I have really enjoyed listening to the Irish accent as well. Communication has not been very difficult at all, which has been quite nice!

The pictures I posted represent the sea (which is literally a five minute walk from my house in Shankill, Ireland, which is in the county of Dublin), my house in Shankill(which is connected to many other houses ), one of the daughters, Alyson and I(getting ready to take a nice walk to the sea after school), and a picture of the type of plane I flew on(which was taken right after we landed in Dublin, Ireland airport. It was a beautiful morning!

I can't wait to learn more about Ireland throughout my time here! I am impressed already and loving it with only three days of experience thus far, so I think I will fit in quite nicely here!!

Bye for now!

November 5, 2009

Kayla Pearson- First week in Nicoya!!

Dani and I arrived in Nicoya safely on October 31st to 82 degree weather. It was a beautiful day but very hot, too hot for the pants that I had wore from Charlotte’s airport. But we collected our bags and found Karla’s smiling face waiting for us outside. The ride to Karla’s house from Liberia took a little over an hour but was absolutely beautiful.


Dani and me at the airport in Liberia!

The first thing I noticed to be different from the United States is the way Costa Ricans drive. It made me a little nervous because they drive fast and move in and out of traffic, passing whenever they want. But we made it to Karla’s just in time for the rain to start pouring. We took our first visit into town with Karla Saturday afternoon, after the rain. It was very different to see so many people walking and riding bikes. Town was very crowded that day and Karla knew almost everyone that we passed.

We went to her favorite café, Cafeteria D’ Melon for some refreshing drinks. Dani and I also ventured around the town visiting the park and some stores while Karla decorated a Christmas tree in a business owned by one of her close friends. Sunday we went to my first Catholic church service, it was interesting even though it was all in Spanish and I was not sure what they were saying. But the service was very different from the Baptist church service that I am used to.

Monday was our first day at San Ambrosio School. I have been teaching English there all week and things are going well so far. The way things are done at San Ambrosio is very different from the schools in the United States and will be a big challenge. There is not really any classroom management or procedures practiced, which is making instruction difficult. I am working on creating ways in which students can participate in hands-on activities rather than just listening to lecture and copying notes. I

am trying to learn the language and attempt to practice it when I can. At school though I am teaching in English and the students are trying to work with me but the language barrier is also complicating things. It is very hard to get the students to participate in class, I think because they are afraid that they will say something wrong. I am going to continue to work with these students and I am excited to see the changes that may occur in them during my stay here.


The entrance at San Ambrosio school!


One of my classrooms at San Ambrosio.


Me teaching thrid grade English.

Dani Martin - 1st week in Nicoya

So we arrived in Nicoya and the heat & humidity hit us hard! The first thing I noticed and wasn't really expecting was how green everything was. Costa Rica is such a beautiful place and you get accustomed to the heat after awhile. Karla picked us up at the airport & told us it would be a 30 minute ride to Nicoya... 2 hours later we arrived at her house!

We were able to relax on Sunday and started our first day at San Ambrosio on Monday. I am working with pre-k to 2nd graders. They are all sweet children, but don't always listen very well to their teachers. I don't feel like the teachers here have had any training in classroom management, so hopefully we will be able to implement that somewhat by the time we leave.

My first day with the 2nd graders was rather challenging as they kept talking over one another and ignoring directions from myself and Susanna. On Tuesday there was an 'open house' with the pre-k and kinders where all the parents came for the whole school day to see what the classes were like. This went really well and throughout the rest of the week the students have listened much better.


Kayla and I got to walk around town with Karla Tuesday afternoon after school got out. Below is a picture of the oldest church in all of Costa Rica. On the front of this catholic church it reads 'Viva Blas' which was the saint for which the church was built. It is now a historical monument which is open during the week for people to come see and to pray in.


On Wednesday, Kayla, Jerry and I took a day trip to Playa Samara which is about an hour bus ride away. We had the day off of school because the power in Nicoya was going to be off most of the day. When we first got there and went out on the beach there was hardly anyone there. We saw a lot of horses running around on the beach, iguanas on the rocks and a lot of little red crabs on the sand.


Overall, this week has been a great learning experience. I am looking forward to trying to break through the language barrier and help my students to learn more English. I'll try and do this through creative activities and better classroom managment strategies. I am very grateful for this experience!

Maria- A Mountaineer in Mexico!

Goodbye North Carolina!

My bags sitting in the airport!

Hello Guadalajara!

La bandera de Mexico en una plaza en al centro de la ciudad

Things are going really well so far and I am liking it here, although I must admit that my time here has already been one adventure after the next. When I first arrived at my host home, Antonio, my host "father", asked me if I wanted to go to a party with him. This was at 12 pm. We got home at 8. Welcome to Mexican social life! I was very excited as this was a true Mexican fiesta. First, there was a mariachi band, then a belly dancer, and finally a banda, which played all night long while people danced and sang. There was also tons and tons of food-- peanuts, lots of meat, quesadillas, taquitos, beans, and lots of really yummy salsas. There was also lots of piña coladas, horchata, and agua de jamaica (hibiscus). That was Saturday.

What did I do on Sunday? I went to another party! This one began at 10 am and lasted until 8 pm. Lotas and lots of food and music were present once again. However, one of the foods we had at this party was menudo-- a soup of broth that has just about every pig part that someone in the United States wouldnt dare eat. It was interesting to say the least! At this party we played many hands of poker, as well as a game called Loteria. The fellowship and food was lots of fun to experience. Unfortunately, it was not an appropriate time to take pictures at either of these parties, although I would have LOVED to have had some. (I was able to sneak a few on Saturday, although they are not very good.)

La banda playing at the fiesta on Saturday!

On Monday, school was not in session, per a last minute decision by the Secretary of Education to give students a day to celebrate Day of the Dead. Although, this holiday is a dying tradition in some of the larger cities, it has been neat to see some of the altars people have set up outside their homes as I rode around town. Also, At ASFG, some of the students created two huge altares de muertos that were absolutely gorgeous, and people are still selling their leftover pan de muertos and sugar skulls on the streets.

The street I live on... Ah-shah-yah-caht-uhl! :)

Also, on Monday Antonio took me to figure out how to take the city bus to shool each day. It seemed really easy and I was pretty excited about getting to experience a huge part of the Latino culture in my everday life... until Tuesday morning came!

On Tuesday morning, I arrived at the bus stop a little before 7. I had to be at school between 7:30 and 8. Most of the buses come every 5 minutes or so... mine didn't. Ruta 24 only comes every 30 minutes. Also, if youve ever ridden a city bus in Central or South America, you know that there is always room for one more. Well, there is room for more in Guadalajara, too... until the doors can't close anymore.

So I waited, and the bus passed. I waited some more, and the bus passed again. And two more times this happened. I had been waitingfor almost two hours at this point, with a group of two other women and a man in the same situation. Each time we raced to the bus doors together, hoping to be one of the two or three that made it on. Finally, the man went and bought for us all to share, as we were headed in the same general direction. No, my mother would not approve, but I finally made it to school nonetheless.

There is tons more I could write about, but I´ll stop there for now!

I hope to be able to write about school and some of my experiences there next week. I have already started being in charge of some of the transition times in the classroom, and I have also taught some guided reading lessons. Also, once I have my credentials to enter the school, instead of wearing a visitor pass everyday, I will be able to take some pictures of the campus and the students!

Jerry 1st week

Welp, got exactly what I asked for. And I do not regret any of it. I slept in Ronald Reagan airport Friday night with my two book bags and 10ft. coffin surfboard bag stuffed full of surfboards and spear fishing gear. I flew out Saturday morning and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I then caught a taxi to the bus station where I waited 2 hours to get on a crowded bus and arrived in Nicoya 5 hours later at 10:30 pm. I met my host family that night--no one speaks any English--and slept in my new room that night.

I seem to continue to luck out with room and board. I have my own room and bathroom, except this time there is no air conditioning, my shower does not have hot water, and there is not a toilet seat for my toilet, ha. I am not really complaining but it is certainly different from our American luxuries. After sleeping there my first night, I left for Ostional on a bus the next morning. i finally arrived in Ostional at 5 pm Sunday evening and surfed for about an hour, not good surf, but was nice to be in the water. My friend Ludi is being gracious enough to let me keep my surfboards and spear fishing stuff at his house while i am teaching in Nicoya. The next morning I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and caught a bus back to Nicoya to teach on Monday.

My room own room
My own bathroom, no hot water and no toilet seat, but im not complaining.

Nicoya and teaching are both equally ok. Nicoya has about 49,000 people and is located in the Northwest part of Costa Rica on the Nicoya peninsula. I am teaching at a kindergarten through 11th grade Catholic school. The school is in great condition and not as bad as I expected. The last thing I want to do is be another arrogant American that thinks he knows what is the best way to do something, but the teaching here is quite different than back home. T

There are many things here I hope to contribute to the improvement of. There are something’s I may never understand because of cultural differences. I guess I will see as time progresses. The school has no real windows, no air conditioning, and is really small. There are about 300 students total, K through 11.

The students are full of fun and there is very little classroom management here. They are very nice and give me lots of stickers and are fascinated by my ear rings, except the Catholic nuns made me take them out when I am teaching. The art teacher does not speak English; this is going to be a challenge but I think I will do just fine.

I will start teaching all the classes next week. I only get one day a week with all the grades. It is really hard to get into a routine here because their culture does not really operate that way. Yesterday I went to Playa Samara with Dani and Kayla. This was because the whole town of Nicoya did not have power all day long; therefore, they did not have school.

Everything is going as well as can be expected.

San Ambrosio Catholic School

November 8, 2009

Ericka Griffin - Week One in Ireland

My first week in Ireland has been amazing. I originally thought that I was going to have a nice time, but I have been having the best time of my life. My journey began on Sunday, November 1st, on a Delta flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Dublin, Ireland. Once acquiring my window seat, a lady sat down right next to me, who happened to be Irish. I hardly obtained any sleep because I was too interested in getting to know her, as well as learn about Ireland. She was amazing company on the flight over and she shared the same mutual feelings about me.

On Monday, November 2nd, I discovered Shankill, Ireland, my new home. I love Shankill because the town is quaint and pretty, the people are unbelievably friendly, and Heather lives down the street. In fact, I sometimes feel like I have two families, instead of just one, because Heather’s family is friends with my family. And, both Heather’s and my family are warm, inviting, and hospitable.

My main goal for my first week in Ireland was to familiarize myself with my surroundings. Mrs. McBain has been nice enough to drive me to school in the morning each day. However, it took me all week to figure out the Dublin bus schedule, in order to get home from school. Since Irish signs are a little hard to pronounce, I relied on landmarks, which really helped me navigate around Shankill. One of the landmarks is the Shankill Catholic Church, which is where the bus drops me off. Another important landmark is the Garda “Police” station that is located near the neighborhood. Also, there is a wooden fence that wraps around the corner of the street that I live on.

This week was also my first week at the Johnstown Boys National School. My first day of school was on Tuesday, November 3rd. I have been working with Mrs. Cruise’s 3rd class (3rd grade), which has twenty-two boys. Being a secondary educator, I was not used to working with the primary students. I worked all week on getting to know the school, the faculty and staff, the students, and adapting to Mrs. Cruise’s class schedule. Mr. Cadogan is a wonderfully kind principal. He told me that he would like me to work with other teachers from different grades, in order to get the full experience.

My first weekend in Ireland, I went to Dublin with Heather and Alicia (a student from Iowa). We decided to go to Dublin for just the day, which was Saturday. We had such a wonderful time exploring the city’s secrets, and mingling with the locals. It was a truly magical experience.

Unfortunately, I am having some difficulty with transferring photos from my digital camera to my computer. Hopefully, I should have my pictures posted within the next couple of days, depending on the problem.

November 10, 2009

Brett Houghton- first week in Dublin and Galway

Hello lads, Just got back from an amazing trip to downtown Dublin as well as Galway. We were able to take a tour to the Burren, Dunghuire Castle, the Ruins, and best of all the cliffs of Moher. They were amazing--probably the coolest thing I have seen in my life. We stayed in hostels in both Galway and Dublin and were able to make several one night friends. These were all people either studying abroad or traveling through Europe alone.
My host family is really cool; I enjoy staying here. They are really big into rugby and sailing. I think we are going to go hiking this weekend as well. They have three kids, two of whom live at home. My school is a 15 minute walk from the house. The school is about 250 kids. One class per grade. I am the only male at the school besides the caretaker. All of the students want to learn about American football. I try to teach it even though it is extremely complicated for them to learn.

A 5 minute walk from my school is Killiney Hill which is a little uphill hike but a great view of the city on one side, and a great view of Killiney Bay on the other. I also live about 5 minutes from Dalkey. We went to an art exhibit there tonight. Dalkey is the home of several famous people such as Bono and Enya. I believe Jerard Butler has a house there as well. It has been awesome so far and I will be back next week with more adventures. I have no way of uploading any of my photos right now on this computer so I will add some later. I have some great ones at the cliff

November 11, 2009

Hello from Ireland! Grace


My first week in Ireland has been a whirlwind of various feelings. I was nervous when flying into Dublin, but after meeting my host family, I felt right at home. It is such a blessing to be placed with such a warm and friendly family. Murial, my host mom, is hands down the best cook in the entire world. Allister, my host dad, is absolutely hilarious. Two of my favorite things in this world is eating and laughing, so I am "as happy as a clam" (like they say here in Ireland).

The Rumballs are avid sailors and make their living running a sailing school here in Ireland. They have plans to take me sailing in the next few weekends, and I couldn't be more excited. My home is in a beautiful area south of Dublin called Greystones. I am a short walk from the harbor, sandy beaches, and a breathtaking view.

I am working at a private all girls school called Rathdown. The faculty and staff here are wonderful and the girls are brilliant. The school follows a Montessori style of teaching that is very hands on and inquiry based. The girls study English, Irish and French daily in addition to music lessons and ballet. The girls begin coming to this school at age 4, when they begin learning the foundations of reading. By the first grade, the students are able to read chapter novels. I have been able to pick up some tips and tricks for building literacy that I will take into my future classroom.

Over the weekend I traveled to Dublin and Galway. I was overwhelmed by the size of Dublin, and easily got lost. I visited Trinity College, the Dublin Castle, and Christ Church. The next day, I took a bus across the country to Galway, which is my favorite city thus far. Galway is on the water and I was able to walk to Galway Bay. Galway is an artsy city with musicians on every corner and wonderful shops on every corner. I took a tour to the Burren, which means "great rock," which is a chain of Rocky Mountains with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

My favorite part of the trip was getting the chance to see the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands at the top of Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, and Galway Bay.

While visiting Dublin, I made friends with a local who lives in Bray, which is a few miles north of my home. Her family lives in Belfast, and I have been invited to come up and stay for the weekend. I am looking forward to seeing northern Ireland, and learning about the city's history.

Slan! (goodbye)





Maria- Saludos from Mexico!

Hello again!

This past week has been great and full of adventure!

I am, however, completely surrounded by lots of disease and sickness. An outbreak of head lice is finally on the decline at ASFG. However, the dengue is starting to go rampant in the city, and the flu is a problem, too. Teachers at the school have had to create a contingency plan in the case that schools have to close... which is highly likely. The Mexican Government has said that they will under no circumstances close schools, but apparently whenever they say they will not do something, that really means they are going to do it. It's only a matter of time, and most believe that it will happen in the next few weeks.

I am starting to do a little more teaching now and I am really enjoying my school and my students. This past week I continued Guided Reading Lessons almost everyday, as well as teaching a math lesson on ordinal numbers. One thing I really like about the American School is how low stress it is compared to schools in the States. The teachers and students are held to high standards, but the school day itself is not quite so daunting.

Students at ASFG, a unviersity prep and bilingual school, actually receive 14 years of education before graduating, as well as the option of preschool beforehand. Students must complete Pre-1st grade before they go to 1st. The math curriculum is followed per normal, but the reading and language curriculum for 1st grade students in the states is split between Pre-1st and 1st, allowing more time for English language acquisition to take place effectively.

So, although I am teaching 1st graders, they are the age of my 2nd graders at Fox Road! My daily schedule includes about 2.5 hours of teaching time in the morning. The students have a Special and two recesses. At 12:30, the Spanish teacher comes and teaches for the rest of the day, allowing the classroom teacher some extra time to plan and get things done. The students are all very intelligent and I love seeing the work that they do. One of the things I love the most about being here is coming to school each day and hearing the beautiful sound of English and Spanish being spoken in the same room. It is music to my ears!

Last week, we began a unit on insects, and one day was focused on ladybugs. This was lots of fun and reminded me of my time at Fox Road ES, since my cooperating teacher's favorite animal was a ladybug and has her room decorated with them! Here are a few pictures of my beautiful children and their ladybug creations.



Look at this clever continuation of "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle that one of my students wrote!

I usually really enjoy travelling alone. However, this past weekend, I tried to travel around a little, and quickly discovered that it was going to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. On Sunday, I first rode the bus dowtown, walked and walked trying to find the right bus station. Once I finally found it, I took a bus to San Juan Chapala, Ajijic, and Chapala- three very small towns about an hour from Guadalajara. These town are all on the edge of Lake Chapala. The lake was beautiful! They also had some absolutely gourgeous colonial churches in the zocalos/ city centers. The towns were really pretty, also. However, the normally adventurous Maria was a little too scared to go exploring and get too far off the beaten path as a lone female traveler.

Lake Chapala from the town of San Juan Cosala

The beautiful church in the zocalo of Ajijic

A view of the street in Chapala

Lucky for me, I have met two really nice people in the past few days. One girl, Sofia, lives with me. She is a Mexican student studying at the university. Hopefully she will be able to show me around some. Also, yesterday I met another girl, Clancy, who just arrived in Guadalajara from Canada on Sunday night. She will be working at ASFG doing something similar to myself for the next month. We exchanged contact info and hope to be travel buddies while we are both here. I was super excited to meet Clancy! Hopefully we will have had some great adventures togther before the next time I write!

Hasta la semana proxima!! Til next week!!

November 12, 2009

Heather : Week 2 in Ireland!





Hello again from Dublin, Ireland!

So I am still having a lovely time, but this week I have especially realized how nice it normally is to have a car to drive around in America. Here in Dublin, I have to take the Dart or bus every where I go or I walk to my destination and it can sometimes be confuzing. I am definitely being immersed into the culture and experiencing it each and every day!

However, I am getting along quite fine and I actually encountered a family at the Dart Station yesterday that needed help finding their way to Tara Street. There was a language barrier though because they spoke a different language and were very hard to understand. They were unsure what side of the station they were supposed to be at so I showed them on the Dart map as best I could and used ellaborate motions to show them that they needed to be on the opposite side of the station than myself. It was an interesting experience and made me feel very good when they finally understood where to go! They did ask me if I was Italian, which I found humorous, considering I have no Italian genes in my family!

I am absolutely loving my family more and more every day! I feel very comfortable with the daughters and the parents(so confortable that I sometimes refer to the parents as mom and dad hehe). I have literally become in love with hot tea through my experience with the Malseed family. I usually have about 4-6 cups per day!

This past Sunday, I got the opportunity to attend St. Matthias Church with my family and, as well, take a beautiful walk on Killiney Hill. The cathedral was absolutely gorgeous! It was much different from any of the churches in America that I have seen! The church was almost like a castle in a way! I thought the service would be much different from what I'm used to at home, but it actually was pretty similar! I also got the chance to participate in communion, which was a bit different from communion at home.

At Killiney Hill, my family and I had a great bonding experience! I had my camera with me and wanted to take pictures of the scenery because it was such a gorgeous day. Well, the girls and I ended up having a photo shoot at Killiney Hill by taking multiple pictures of the scenery and ourselves in front of the scenery. It was such a fun time and James was our famous photographer! Killiney Hill was one of those memories that will remain forever because it was such a wonderful time!

Over the past week, I have also really enjoyed hanging out with Ericka and Alicia(a girl from Iowa). This past weekend, we hung out every day and night and just had a fabulous time! We are all very different, but we get along so well! Ericka is just a few houses down from my house and Alicia is about five minutes away from our houses, so it is so nice to have close friends nearby!

This past weekend, we decided to visit Dublin for the day and were able to visit many interesting sites such as Bewley's Oriental Cafe, St. Stephen's Green's Park, Stephen Green's Shopping Centre(which was SO LARGE), Christ Cathedral Church, and Trinity College. My favorite site that we visited was the Christ Cathedral Church, which was founded in 1030 AD! We actually got the chance to attend a service at 5 pm, which was entitled Choral Evansong. The church itself looked exactly like a castle and the ornate and beautifully designed structures inside the church were absolutely astounding! The service was beautiful and such a great time to be still and relax! However, my trip to Dublin would not have been the same if it hadn't been for the great company of Ericka and Alicia!

Rathdown Junior School has been and continues to be a great experience for me. The students are very respectful and very well behaved. I am very impressed with the students' behaviors, overall! Also, the faculty and staff have been so welcoming and inviting. They have been helpful in sharing information about places to go as well as sharing information about their classroom. Since my arrival, I have worked in a variety of classrooms. These include KG1, KG2, P2, P4,P5, and P6. The grades are different here than America, but P2 would be just like a second grade class and P4 would be like a fourth grade class, etc.

The principal has decided to place me in several classrooms throughout the day so I will be able to experience several classrooms instead of just one or two. This is a very neat experience for me, but I do wish I could teach more. In most of the classrooms, I am working on reading and mathematics with individual students rather than teaching the entire class. However, I did get to teach a geography lesson to the P5 class the other day, which was a great experience! I am very grateful to be placed in Rathdown Junior School and I look forward to teaching more throughout my experience here!

My Pictures above represent pictures from Dublin(Christ Cathedral Church, Bewleys Oriental Cafe) and Killiney Hill(Dublin Bay Overlook, Me and the girls at Killiney Hill)!

Bye Bye for now!

Dani - 2nd week in CR!


The second week has practically flown by compared to the first! This past weekend we went to Playa Samara with Karla and stayed at her friend´s house. It was nice to get away and lay out on the beach for a couple of days! Our first morning, though, we woke up to a bat on the floor of our room. Kayla and I think it probably creeped in through the window during the night. One of its wings was injured so it couldn´t fly away, but Karla so graciously scooped it up with a broom and dustpan and took it outside.


We headed back to Nicoya later Sunday evening for another week at San Ambrosio. Monday went well and I think the kids are becoming more adjusted to us being in the classroom and teaching them. They still don´t always listen, but I have learned that stickers are a fairly decent bribe to have a quiet room.

On Tuesday Kayla and I had the opportunity to travel with the 4th graders to the capital city of San Jose to visit the Natural History Museum, Gold Mueseum, the Post Office, and the INBioparque. We had to catch the bus at 3am, had rice and beans for breakfast at 5 and started our day of muesums around 8. It was fascinating to see the city, but still very exhausting since we did not return home until after 9pm.

The INBioparque was my favorite stop of the day. It was a beautiful place with many different kinds of vegetation, flowers, bugs and animals. My favorite was the butterfly garden. The mariposas, as they are called here, were so beautiful! The Blue Morpho butterfly was my favorite, which is in the picture below.

When I returned on Wednesday to school I found out that Susanna, the teacher I am working with, wouldn´t be here the rest of the week because she is sick. I went to my first and second classes of pre-k and kinder, who told me there wouldn´t be English that day because she was not there. Kinder also told me not to come the rest of the week.

Later in the day when I went to teach 2nd grade, we got through about 5 minutes of class when the other elementary English teacher, Andrea, came in and said the kids had to go out to the basketball court for a game against one of the other private Catholic schools in the area called Santo Espiritu. Needless to say, Wednesday felt like a waste for me. Today went really well though and I was able to meet with 2nd, pre-k and 1st grades. I have enjoyed having the class all to myself because they are forced to depend solely on me and the little Spanish I know.


(Here are my 2nd graders!)

I have been enjoying being in the classroom more this week; however, I am still a little frustrated that the teachers live by ¨the book¨as Kayla and I so lovingly refer to it. Some of content in it isn´t so bad, but we are trying to work together to make it more interesting and enjoyable for the students by including more hands on and interactive activities.

An activity I have implemented with my first graders is keeping a journal. They´re able to pick what they write about and illustrate it as well. Today I had them to write about Pica de Leña, which is this Saturday. After I asked them to write about it and illustrate it, I was surprised to find out that a few of my students had no clue as to what it was. It's a festival of woodcutting that is celebrated every year. People load wood in painted ox carts which are pulled through town and dropped off at a designated place. They also have lots of music and dancing.

Click here

to see a short video from a past year´s festivities of dropping off the wood.

Around 12:30-1:00 this morning, Kayla and I were woken up by a band of 11th grade students from San Ambrosio and their teacher, Armando. They were singing and playing drums while Armando played his guitar. The homes here have a gate you must first open before coming to the front door, so it was odd to have the students singing right outside our window (our room is at the front of the house) while we were trying to sleep!

Karla explained to us this morning on our way to school that it is a tradition for the 11th grade students to serenade their "profs" as they call them before graduation. She said she remembers doing this when she was an 11th grader herself.

That is all for this week! Tenga un buen dia!


Pura Vida Jerry

3rd Grade

I have finally started to get into the full swing of things with my teaching. Last week I was helping and observing the art teacher and two English teachers with their lessons. This week has been very different because I have been teaching all by myself. The art teacher has been sick so it's been just me and all the ticos.

I have quite the array of things going on at San Ambrosio Catholic School. Because I am specifically certified in art education, kindergarten through 12th grade, I teach 1st grade through 10th grade art classes Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I only get 1 day a week with each grade for one period; the periods here are 80 minutes long! On Mondays and Fridays I help two different teachers instruct their English classes. Moving from class to class each period with all my art supplies has been quite the arduous task. I am finding that being a C-ART (cart) teacher is really hard because you don’t have your own room with all your stuff. Then, throw in the language barrier and it makes it a whole new ball game. There are very few students, young and old, that understand English very well at San Ambrosio.

This has been both good and bad for me and my teaching. I pretty much go the whole day instructing in Spanish. I start off explaining lessons, giving instructions and ideas in English but it seems to be quite futile. Not long after class begins I end up talking in only Spanish for the rest of the period. My Spanish is certainly getting better but it is very frustrating. I want to be able to teach and express myself to my maximum potential but this is very hard for me to do so in only Spanish.

Even though it is hard to explain everything in Spanish I think my students understand what I am trying to explain to them, for the most part. This morning, in my first grade class, students were making their own personalized cities out of construction paper. I had a little girl in tears because she did not understand me when I told the class they we would finish next week. She was balling because she thought she only had today to work on her city and she wanted to finish before class was over. Trying to explain in Spanish to a hysterically crying first grader that she could finish next week was very difficult but amusing at the same time.

They have given me my own room to do a paper mache project in and to store all of my students' art work but the room has nothing in it. Every time I want to use the room for projects I have to transport 2 large tables and 4 large benches from the cafeteria to the room and then back before lunch time, ha. Overall I cannot complain, this is a great experience for me that I certainly will never forget it.

2nd Grade

As for everything outside of school, all is well. I have got it figured that by the time I leave Costa Rica I will have eaten more beans and rice than all the beans and rice I have ever had before. Apparently the mom of the family that I am living with is a professional caterer. Like I said before, I just cannot do anything wrong in the room and board department. Two nights ago she fixed cow stomach with beans and rice. I was not a fan, the inside of the stomach wall is very spongy, chewy, and furry like, not a good texture. Apparently this is a very famous Costa Rican dish that all ticos love, yet another reason why I am a gringo.

The lunch ladies at San Ambrosio treat me right as well. I have attached a picture of a typical lunch; this is definitely something we Americans can learn about--healthier, better, and fresher food for our youth, not to mention every other person as well.

I went to Ostional last weekend again. It was great to be in the water with my Costa Rican friends and be surfing. Once again the surf was not that great but still really fun. This time I took a 2 hour bus to Nosara and then my friend Ludi picked me up on his dirt bike and drove me the rest of the way to Ostional. There is not a bus that goes to Ostional from the south because there is a huge river during the rainy season that runs through the main road. They have bridges for bicycles and dirtbikes but not cars.

On our way there, Ludi's boss tried to pass through the river in a car and ended up 50 yards down the river. When we arrived, there was a tractor half way covered in water trying to pull him out. I wish I could have gotten a picture, but, "Oh, well." First thing I thought of was Jarvis at Cape Point Exxon. I am not going to go to Ostional this weekend because there is a huge festival this Saturday in Nicoya. Pica de lana I think is what it is called, bull riders, music, authentic foods, and one huge party, should be a good time.

Typical Lunch at San Ambrosio

November 13, 2009

Kayla- La seguda semana! (week two)

My second week in Nicoya has been great. Over the weekend we traveled to Samara Beach with Karla. We had a great time, had a chance to relax after our first week of school and saw a beautiful sunset! As the week ended at San Ambrosio I saw an improvement in my students' behavior. Teaching is becoming easier and not so exhausting.

Students have continued to improve this week also and I feel that we accomplished a number of things. I introduced my third graders to their pen pals from Green Valley School. They were very excited to get to know my other students from the United States. We worked this week on the letters to send back to Green Valley and so far the progress is good. I have really been tested with the language barrier through this experience. I found myself speaking more and more Spanish (with the help of a Spanish/English Dictionary).

Samara Sunset

This week I went on a field trip to Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose, with my 31 fourth graders. The trip made for a long day but we had a great time. We visited the Museum of Natural History, the Post Office, Gold Museum, and the InBIOParque. The kids had a wonderful time and we were able to see a different part of Costa Rica.

I also worked with my fourth graders on a presentation that we will do for the school next week. We learned about preposistions and then played a prepositional game outside. After the game we wrote a prepositional class poem about a day at the beach. There were a few struggles during this activity but it turned out to be a success. The students are so used to sitting in their seats and copying what is written on the board that they didn´t know what to do. It was nice to show them something different.

My fourth grade class at the INBIOPARQUE!

Pictionaries the fourth grade made on ai words.

I was able to experience a San Ambrosio tradition put on by the high school seniors. The only problem was that it was at 1:00 a.m. on a school night. In Nicoya high school seniors go around to their professors' homes and seranade them with a thank you song! They start this journey at 12:30 a.m.and were at Karla´s house, right outside our bedroom window at 1!!! It was a beautiful yet loud performance, just way too early for me! This has been a tradition for many years. Karla remembers doing the same thing when she was a senior!

My second week in Nicoya went very well and I am excited to finish out the school year and visit this beautiful place called Costa Rica!!!

November 15, 2009

Ericka Griffin - Week Two in Ireland

My second week in Ireland has been nothing less than amazing. This week I began teaching my 3rd class at Johnstown Boys National School. Since I am an English major, the teacher and I decided that I should teach the boys English. Therefore, I decided the novel would be Cool! by Michael Morpurgo, a story about a boy who gets hit by a car and ends up in a coma. I introduced the book this past Wednesday, and then on Thursday, I created an activity to supplement the reading.

Since Robbie (the main character) is in a coma, he can neither see nor move his body. In order for students to understand the predicament Robbie is in, I decided to shut off some of their senses, and have them focus on other ones. The students’ favorite activity was passing a red ball without any communication, except for eye contact with another student. The second activity consisted of pairing the students, and having one student guide their partner, who was blindfolded, from one side of the classroom to the other. Overall, the activities were fun and the teacher gave nothing less than praise.

Also, this week a teacher strike has been assigned for not this Tuesday, but for the following (Tuesday, November 24th). The reason for the teacher strike is because teachers’ salaries are being cut by 18%.

This weekend I went to Dublin for the day with Heather, Alicia (Iowa), and Brittany (Minnesota). Heather and I rode the Dublin City Bus, since it is fifty-five cents cheaper. Before meeting up with Alicia and Brittany, Heather and I decided to go back to Bewley’s to have breakfast and lunch. After lunch, we met up Alicia and Brittany at the Dublin Castle, and we took a tour throughout the property. It was a very amazing experience! After touring the Dublin Castle, Heather and I went to Trinity College to explore the campus, which was absolutely beautiful. For dinner, Heather and I went to the Market Bar, where we dined on nachos and paprika steak. We had a wonderful day and a fantastic night in the city!

My life with the McBain family has been a wonderful experience. My Irish mum is very honest and trusting; I feel like I could talk to her about anything, and she would give me her honest opinion. My Irish dad is kind and quiet, but very informative—I have learned a lot about the country’s history from him. And my Irish siblings remind me of the siblings I have left behind. For example, my Irish brother is always playing on his PlayStation 3, and my Irish sister is very resistant when her mum orders her to clean her room—I love it! From this experience, I have learned that family is family, no matter what. It may not be perfect, but it is home, and there is love.

Also, I found out that the reason I have not been able to post pictures is because I have a faulty USB cable. Tomorrow, I plan on going to the camera store downtown and finding a replacement. Therefore, I am hoping to get some pictures posted real soon.

November 16, 2009

Week 1 in Ireland - Dana Smith



















Here we go again!!! After typing my first week up I accidentally erased everything!!!
I finally get this thing working, too. It seems that if something goes wrong with something--there I am in the middle of it.

I have a daily journal that I have kept so it will be pretty easy to backtrack to week one.

First I arrive in Dublin on Nov 1st about 7:15AM. I get a bus to my host families house and go straight to bed because Murial would not have it any other way. After a nap and supper I go back to bed to get ready for school the next day. I am at Greystones Educate Together. At this school there are about 150 to 200 students ages 4 - 9. This age group is different from the 14-18 year old students I had at Davie High. I help with spelling, math, reading and sometimes I get a class for PE. I try hard to get a PE lesson in as much as possible.

I have already had a wonderful and eventful trip. I have visited and toured the city of Dublin and Galway. I have gotten used to the DART rail system being my transportation. I have visited Temple Bar, The Cliffs of Moher, Dunguire Castle, Poulnabrone Dolmen a 5000 year old burial tomb and The Aillwee Cave. I have heard traditional Irish music and seen many soccer and rugby games on TV. I have had many different types on food and they are all good except the McDonalds over here; it is terrible and the ketchup is not the same. Overall week one was one of the best weeks of my life and there is no way I will ever forget it.

Week 2 in Ireland - Dana Smith

The start of week 2 began with recovery from my weekend to Dublin, Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. I was exhausted and worn out from the fun and eventful trip. This week began with school and finally getting some more PE lessons under my belt. I introduced basketball to the students and helped them understand the sport as a whole and not just go outside and play. I introduced new games to them to help with their aerobic fitness and teamwork. I try to work the students out hard enough to get their heart rate up and warm outside because it is cold here in Ireland.

On the home side of this week I began to help the Rumballs with their dinner party they have been planning. I helped blow up balloons, set tables up, set chairs up, light candles and anything else they needed help with. The dinner party included salmon, crawdads, oysters, spicy curry chicken and rice to top it off. There were about 50 guest and the house was full of people the Rumballs knew.

After an eventful night from the party I wake up to some great news that some of the guests left tickets to the rugby game between Ireland and Australia for Sunday. Murial and Alister could not go so they decide to give them to me and Grace as a gift. We accept and helped clean up some more to show appreciation for the gift. After a DART ride to the stadium we watch the game and meet Brett there because he had a ticket he purchased earlier. The score was 20-20 and in rugby there is no overtime so it ended in a tie. I had a wonderful weekend and on Saturday Brett and I booked a flight to Italy for Dec. 3rd, so that was a highlight of my week as well.









November 17, 2009

Week Two

I found myself settling into a routine during my second week here in Ireland. The Rumball's place has finally started to feel like home, and I am getting used to Rathdown School. Between school and helping to prepare for the Rumball's dinner party that was held on Saturday I stayed extremely busy and the week flew by. I have also started running again, and I found a beautiful path from our home down to the harbor that is a little over four miles.

Saturday morning I woke up early and walked down to the beach. It was nice out, and very sunny, but still around 60 degrees. Nonetheless, there were several men in speedos out sunbathing and swimming. I went for a walk along the harbor then I took the dart into Dun Laoighaire for some sightseeing and shopping. My family's sailing school is in Dun Laoighaire so I stopped by the see the boats and watch them sail for a bit. I walked the piers which had beautiful views of the coastline and the city.

Saturday night my family hosted an extravagant party in which I was able to mingle with the Rumball's friends, many of whom were in the educational field. Sunday morning Muriel surprised me with a ticket to the Ireland vs. Australia rugby match in Dublin. These tickets are like gold and very hard to come by, so I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to go. The game was amazing, intense, and very bloody. In all honesty, it put football to shame.

I have made plans to teach lessons about Thanksgiving to the children at Rathdown since the holiday is right around the corner and Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Europe. I have also begun to plan a trip with some of the other ASU students to travel to London next weekend, which I am very excited about.

Below you will find a few pictures of Dun Laoighaire, the entree for the dinner party, and the Ireland vs. Australia rugby match.






November 19, 2009

Heather-Week 3 in Ireland!





Hello again!
I cannot believe my third week in Ireland has already come! Time has flown by since I have been here and I am still enjoying every minute spent here in Ireland!

So I have been learning all types of new desserts lately from my family as well as the faculty and staff at Rathdown Junior School. My family has introduced me to different types of chocolate candy bars such as Mars bars, Aero bars, Lions, and Cadbury Chocolate Twist Bars. I must say each of these chocolates is quite lovely, but my favorite would probably be the Cadbury chocolate that is produced here in Ireland. It is simply amazing!

Also, at my school, each day all faculty and staff receive a fifteen minute break and a thirty minute lunch break. During the fifteen minute break, there are always freshly baked goods in the staff room for the all faculty to share. We have had scones, sponge cakes, brownies, biscuits, flap jacks, etc. So I have been introduced to so many new goodies since I have arrived! Also, yesterday I got the chance to try a lemon shortbread biscuit(cookie) that I must have the recipe for because it was so amazing! It is very interesting how cookies are referred to as biscuits here! Anytime, someone mentions a biscuit, I immediately think about the biscuits that are served in America! But I am learning and adapting each and every day!

This past week at Rathdown School, I have been able to work with two individuals from Peru. The girls have come to Ireland to learn English. One of the girls is four years old and the other is nine years old. I have never had much experience in America with working with students that especially have a difficult time with English.

I have worked with Hispanic students in the states before, but the work that I have carried out with these two girls has been quite challenging, but definitely a good challenge. I was teaching the four year old this week what to say when someone says something nice about her. I also introduced a new book to her that I have been reading and discussing that deals with first experiences. We had a nice conversation the other day about her move from Peru to Ireland. Also, the four year old has now learned and remembered how to spell her name in a song that I made up for her. It has made me so happy to see her progress throughout the past two weeks. The nine year old has also taken great strides. I have worked with her on her mathematics skills this past week, mainly dealing with fractions. It makes me so happy when she finally understands a certain concept that I am trying to explain because I have to make sure I explain things in simple and plain terms.

This past weekend, Ericka and I headed to the Center of Dublin once again! We wanted to visit some of the sites we did not get to visit the previous weekend! On our trip this past weekend, we visited Bewley's Cafe once again(this time having breakfast and lunch there because we love it so much), spent much of the day at Dublin Castle, which was truly breathtaking, took lots of pictures, and glanced through a few more shops around town.

Also, we met up with our friend Alicia, from Iowa, and met a new friend, Brittany, who has just come into Ireland from Minnesota and is extremely sweet. All four of us were able to visit the Dublin Castle together, which was where we spent much of our day. I never expected to meet other students from the states here in Ireland, so it has been such a splendid experience for me! We were able to experience the guided tour of the Dublin Castle, which included visiting many prominent rooms, such as the room where many talks were carried out regarding the Good Friday(Belfast) Agreement. The 1998 treaty finally brought peace to Northern Ireland.

Also, Ericka visited the campus of Trinity College once more, as well as the gift shop. I love how there are cobblestone all along the campus of Trinity College. I also think it is interesting how Trinity College is in the middle of the town of Dublin! It is fairly small but so angelic looking! It is beautiful!

Over the past week at Rathdown Junior School, I have also been able to teach more classes, which has been quite grand. I was able to teach a geography lesson to P5(fifth grade) on Tuesday and today(Thursday) I get the opportunity to teach a math lesson to P2(second grade). During the times I am teaching this week, I also am the only teacher in the room, which makes it that much more interesting.

Today, I will introduce a game known as Around the World Addition and Subtraction to reinforce the math concepts P2 has been learning dealing with addition and subtraction. I mentioned this game to the P2 teacher, and she has never heard of the game, so I am very excited to introduce it to the students.

Another interesting thing I have noticed is how the classes are structured here. The classes are KG1(3 year olds), KG2(4 year olds), KG3(5 year olds), and then P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, and P6. There is only one class for each grade level, which is definitely different than what I am used to in America. The schools I have attended and visited in America usually have several classes in each grade level. It has also been interesting to experience what school is like here, being in a private girls school.

The pictures above represent Rathdown Junior School entrance, the Dublin Castle Courtyard, a picture from the campus of Trinity College and a picture of me, Ericka, Alcia, and Brittany outside the Dublin Castle!

Well, that is all I have for now! More exciting news from the land of Ireland to come next week! :-)

Maria- Week 3 in Mexico!

Hello again from Guadalajara!

I am still having a fabulous time here in Mexico and I am learning a lot!

I am continuing to teach lots of Guided Reading Groups in my class, as well as other math and reading lessons. This past week I taught a lesson on honeybees and then we made honeybee puppets out of paper bags. The students loved their puppets!


Also, last week we got to do Reading Buddies with a fourth grade class. It was amazing to see how much the kids loved reading with the older students. It was also really fun to hear the 4th graders giving the first graders reading tips!


Each year around this time, ASFG holds an ArtFest, in which the school displays student work, alongside the work of professional artists. Then, they have an auction and sell the artwork. I am excited to experience this and see all the artwork around the schoolgrounds. In addition, the students get to attend special art presentations all week long. So far, my class has been to a puppet show and another play.

Although Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Mexico, ASFG gives its students and staff a Thanksgiving break due to its affiliation with the US and the number of staff members that come from the US. So next week will be a very short week and we have all sorts of Thanksgiving lessons and festivities planned to teach the students about the holiday. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

This past weekend was a long weekend for Mexico. Schools were closed Monday to celebrate the Mexican Revolution. So, I got to travel with my new friend, Clancy, and Danna, the teacher she lives with. We traveled about 4 hours south on a bus to a smaller town named Morelia. It was a beautiful colonial town. We spent some time walking around and exploring and had a great time! However, Morelia didnt give us quite the small town environment we had hoped for, so we decided to continue another hour south to an even smaller town named Patzcuaro. We absolutely loved it there! There were small shops and markets everywhere there, and the cobblestone streets were a nice touch, too. I even made some pretty good bargains with the shop owners. We didnt want to leave!

The cathedral in the zocalo of Morelia. It took over a century to build!

A beautiful view of the street in Patzcuaro

Me hanging out with some leftover Day of the Dead decorations in Patzcuaro!!

I had hoped to continue travelling with Clancy while we are both in Guadalajara, but on Monday when we returned, Clancy had to go to the hospital. She has the dengue. I am still healthy, and I am hoping it stays that way.

One thing that I have to get used to here is that Guadalajara is not a very friendly city. Having traveled to many other destinations in Latin America, I am very used to everyone being friendly and treating you like family, no matter how much of a stranger you are. This is not the case here, though, and it makes for a very strange environment. It is a strange feeling to be in Latin America and to say that people are not friendly.

Also, the weather here is crazy! In fact, it reminds me of Boone. Being that Guadalajara is the highlands of Mexico, it is very cold in the mornings, and then it is very hot in the afternoons. In fact, during the first days that I was here, it got down to about 4 derees Celsius every morning. That's not too cold for us, but for the Mexicans it's freezing! Its so funny to see everyone walking around with their winter coats on. It's a good thing I brought my jacket!

Cant wait for the ArtFest this weekend!

Nos vemos amigos!

Kayla-Week 3 in Nicoya!

So, my third week in Nicoya has been a busy week and has passed by rather quickly. Over the weekend we went to the Pica de Leña festival. We got to watch men of the town chop wood and they loaded it up into beautiful handpainted ox carts that paraded through the town.

This is one of the hand-painted ox carts!

Last week I wrapped up the English Day project with fourth grade and the pen pal letters with third grade. The students at San Ambrosio are bringing the school year to a closing and have been finishing up their exams this week. At the beginning of the week I spent a lot of time reviewing exam topics with my students and getting them ready for the tests. I have been trying to do fun activities with my students to help them prepare for the test. But it has been a task to do these things becuase the students are not used to these types of activities in the classroom. Also, although we are in the final two weeks of school, I am trying to implement classroom managment strategies. I have also been talking with my cooperating teacher and giving her ideas on things to do next year with her students. I gave Karla and my cooperating teacher some of the documents that I created in my Classroom Management Notebook from Block II, to give them some ideas on things to do! Fifth and third grades were assessed Wednesday and fourth was assessed Thursday. Now, that testing is over I am going to work with third and fifth graders on their English Day presentations. We are having Teacher´s Day tomorrow and we are off school and going to a ranch with the other teachers. I am anxious to see what that is about and what we will do!

I put this up on the wall of my fifth grade classroom as a way to wish them good luck on their final exam!! Each student´s name is listed in the two trophies!

Here is a picture of me reviewing the topics of the test with my fifth grade!

I have to admit that one thing I was worried about concerning this trip was the food! I was curious to know what types of things they would serve and whether or not I would like the food. Well come to find out, I absolutley love the food here. Karla is an excellent cook and has made up some very nice dishes. There is one meal though that I have liked the best and that is arroz con pollo, which is chicken rice :) But it is funny that I like this particular meal because it is seems to be that it is served all the time at parties and gatherings and to my benefit it is served at pretty much every restaurant! Because this dish is served often in Costa Rica it has earned the name arroz con siempre which means always rice!


November 20, 2009

Week 2 in Dublin Brett

Let me try this again. I have written many emails and blogs that have been lost before I sent them. This past week went really well. Last weekend I was able to scrounge up tickets to the Ireland vs France soccer match for the world cup qualifier. It was a great game except ireland lost 1-0. The crowd was electrifying. 80,000 Irish cheering for their soccer team, you could imagine the passion in Croke stadium.

It was probably the coolest sporting event I have ever been to. The entire stadium had noise makers and signs that said c'mon boys in green. I had a friend that was able to find two tickets to the sold out match at the last minute. Sunday was exciting as well. We went to the Ireland vs Austrailia rugby match. It was a great match, Ireland tied it up in the last minute for the draw against a great austrailian team. We all bought Ireland scarfs to support Ireland.

This week in school went pretty well. Some classes are better than others. They just get soo hyper when they come in for PE once a week. Its only bad when they have PE inside in the tiny PE hall. It barely fits all the students. Things go a lot smoother when it is outside.

Murial took me and Dana to Sally Gap which was amazing. The wind was almost blowing us over. We also rode through Powerscourt Gardens, and Eniskerry. There were lots of good views, especially of the big Sugar Loaf. This weekend Dana and I plan to travel to Belfast. It should be interesting seeing the difference between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Tuesday we have off school for the national teachers' strike. This weekend we should be able to see quite a bit. The weather is going to be aweful though. It is flooding both south and west of us. Hopefully the north is safer. They say things are cheaper in northern Ireland too which is awesome. Off to another class right now. Hope everybody else's trip is going great...cheers

Dani - Week 3 in Nicoya

This past week was our second to last at San Ambrosio.. before beginning the week we had the chance to experience of Pica de Leña. It was this past Saturday, November 14, 2009. It is a festival of woodcutting where people of Nicoya get together to chop wood, load up ox carts (some of them painted) with the wood, dance, sing, and have a parade of the oxcarts and dancing horses through town. It was great fun and exciting to experience another part of the culture here in Nicoya.





During school this week we tested in 1st and 2nd grades. I´m assuming pre-k and kinder students aren´t tested for English.. it would be unnecessary to do so. The students´ English speaking skills are at a bare minimum at the age level I am working with. They do not push themselves.

This week has been good and has gone by really quickly. There was an assembly on Thursday.. none of which I really understood, but everyone prayed together, sang, gave a couple different speeches and let some white balloons go at the end. Friday, today, is Teachers' Day and there were no classes. All the teachers from San Ambrosio got together at one of the 11th grader´s houses and hung out by their pool/poolhouse area. It was a nice change to hang out with the teachers away from the school setting. They made fresh pork rinds, which they had me help to stir around in the big skillet. There was also a lot of dancing and lots of throwing people into the pool, fully clothed.

I´m still enjoying the culture and my time here.


November 22, 2009

Week 3 Jerry

The school year here in Costa Rica and at San Ambrosio is winding down. Even though Costa Rica is in the northern hemisphere, they are now entering into what they call their summer, the dry season. There are only two seasons here, rainy season and dry season. I am pretty sure it has stopped raining for good now, but we may get one or two more short rain squals.

There is only one more week left at San Ambrosio and it is getting more and more frustrating for me as an art teacher. As with the schools in the U.S., art programs are on the bottom of the list when it comes to priority and class time. Like I said last week, I only get one day a week with each grade and some grades I have not even seen once yet due to testing. This was my last week with more than half of my classes because they have testing next week. I have been doing my trademark graffiti project with 7th grade through 10th grade and most of them are going to have to finish their stencils at home if they want to spray paint next week one day after school.

Being at San Ambrosio has been different in just about all aspects compared to the artistically gifted and flourishing Durham School of the Arts where I taught for 10 weeks before arriving in Costa Rica. I know that there are plenty of less fortunate schools out there than San Ambrosio but Durham School of the arts is basically the promise land for any public school art teacher.
Aside from teaching I have been playing some basketball with the secondary and elementary students. Let’s just say that they are way better at soccer than basketball.

The family I am living with has 4 kids, one 13 month old granddaughter, 1 other guest student studying at Nicoya University and then there is myself. This is really not shocking at all and almost as amazing, active, and hectic as the Rosell/Ballance household that I am accustomed to back home. For over two weeks now I have been playing soccer with the two teenage boys that I live with and all their neighbourhood friends, young and old alike. This has been great. They sure do love soccer down here. I play about 3 days a week and every time I have played they will not quit playing until you cannot even see anything in front of you because it is so dark out.
Mary Paz, the grandaughter

Last week one of the maintenance guys from San Ambrosio asked me to play on his team on Sunday in their local soccer league. So last Sunday, the maintenance guy, Domingo is his name, picked me up and we drove 40 minutes to Santa Barbra to play in the league. Little did I know but this was a 35 years old and up league, ha! I got there and I was the only gringo in sight for miles. The name of the team that I played for was the Veterans, and it was legit. They had uniforms and everything.

I hope I am doing as well as some of those guys out there when I am their age. There was one guy who was 60 years old running around playing soccer! It was so hot, but it was an awesome experience. We actually played two games and some of my team mates would smoke cigarettes before and in between games and just about everyone had a beer in between the first and second game!
Last weekend was an eventful weekend. Saturday they had the day long festival called Pica de Lana. The pictures do it better justice but basically half the town goes way out into the country and parties, prepares their ox and carts for the parade into town at noon and chops wood for the carts that the ox tow. Do not really know the significance behind it all but it was fun to watch and participate.

November 24, 2009

Week 3 in Ireland - Dana Smith

Well this week was very eventful. I did lots of school and lots of traveling. In school I introduced a few new PE activities to the students in using a parachute with a game called popcorn. I also showed them a game focused on teamwork. I let the students pick the name and they picked chain link. The students lock at the arms and i put a hula hop on one end of the students who are in a line. They have to get the hoop through the line without breaking the lock and without using any hands. I divide a class into two teams and they compete or I make the class into 4 teams and they play a round robin tournament. It is a lot of fun and teaches flexibility and teamwork.

In the traveling part I visited Glendalough which is an old church/graveyard. The church came about in the 1200's and parts of it are still standing. The next day I visited Sally Gap where the scenery is amazing and you can see mountains for miles and we visited The Great Sugar Loaf. On 11/18 Brett and I went to a pub to watch the World Cup qualifier for Ireland and France. The game ended in a controversial call that the refs did not see. It has been all over the news all week.

On 11/20 Brett and I went to Dublin for the night and caught a bus to Belfast for the weekend. We made it a weekend through Tuesday because the teachers in Ireland were on strike that day because their wages have been cut. In out trip we visited The Giant's Causeway, The Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle and The Bushmills Distillery. The sights are unreal and amazing. I can not explain the sights because they are unreal so here are some pictures.









November 25, 2009

Ericka Griffin - Week Three in Ireland

First, I cannot believe that I only have three more weeks left. I have been having such a wonderful time, I have lost track of the days.

On Thursday, November 19th, after teaching my 3rd class their English lesson, I promised them that if they behaved, they would be given a surprise at the end of the day. I had decided to teach the children about the U.S. currency, as well as show them my driver’s license. I had obtained this idea from getting bus money, at the end of the day, from my wallet.

Every time I would open my purse, I would notice curious faces with prying eyes, wanting to see what was inside. The students were absolutely amazed and fascinated, and their hands reached out all at once to touch the money. I showed them a $1, a $5, a $10, and a $20, as well as a penny, dime, and a quarter (Unfortunately, I did not have a nickel.). Originally, I was not going to give the students my driver’s license, but they requested to see it. In Ireland, the driver’s license is on a sheet of paper; therefore, it is different from our plastic cards. The students’ also requested to see my passport, but I did not bring it to school. However, I told them that I would bring it in for them to look at.

Also, on Friday, Heather and I went on a 3-day Paddy Wagon Tour. The tour was an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Our tour bus was 45 minutes away from Galway, when we came across a road that was closed, because an accumulation of rainfall had flooded the area. Our bus driver, Phil, asked a Garda (police officer) if he should attempt at driving through the water.

The Garda told him that if he put the bus in first gear, he should be able to make it across. After talking to the Garda, Phil asked us if he should drive on, or turn the bus around and find another route. Most of the tourists, minus Heather and I, yelled at Phil to do it. My heart stopped when Phil put his foot on the pedal and drove right through the water. I saw the water come over the hood of the bus, and then, the engine stalled, and the bus was surrounded by water on all sides. We were stranded for 2 hours, until a tractor was finally able to pull our bus out of the water.

However, the bus was deemed dead; therefore, we had to take a school bus to Galway. We arrived at Galway around 7 o’clock, and after having checked into the hostel, most of the travelers (including myself) decided to find the nearest laundry mat. We needed to find a laundry mat because the trunk of the bus had been flooded, and most of the tourists’ suitcases had been soaked. I shared the cost of the washer and dryer with Steph, who was from Australia. I had spent 2 hours at the laundry mat.

Saturday, the second day of the tour, was much better. We saw the Cliffs of Mohr, which were breath-taking. Actually, I was really surprised at how windy the cliffs were. I was told by one of the teachers at school that many accidents occur on the cliffs because of the heavy wind. Seriously, it felt as though I was about to take flight.

Also, I learned a lot about Irish folklore and superstitions. For example, Phil (our driver) pointed out several fairy trees and circles. It is a bad omen to disturb these natural wonders. He also drove us to a wishing well. Similar to the Trevi Fountain (in Rome, Italy), you make a wish on a coin, and then you throw it over your left shoulder, and into the water. I also kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, which guarantees me 7 years of good luck.

Overall, I had a great experience with the Paddy Wagon Tour, and I am hoping to go on another tour in a couple of weeks, in the attempt to explore Northern Ireland. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to make new friends, as well as have fun, and learn about the history and experience the beauty of Ireland.

Also, I found out that my USB external port (on my laptop) is not reading my camera or my card reader. Therefore, I am going to try a computer at school, and hopefully, it will work!

November 26, 2009

Heather-Week 4 in Ireland!




Hello from Ireland!
I am now in my fourth week here at Rathdown Junior School! It is getting colder and colder each and every day so it has become slightly more challenging to walk to school and back each day! Today is actually Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in Ireland. People at school have said Happy Thanksgiving and I have gotten some questions about what my family and I usually do on Thanksgiving so it has made me miss being in North Carolina on this special day! However, I am still enjoying myself oh so much here in Ireland!

This past weekend was my busiest weekend yet! Ericka and I went on a three day paddywagon tour to Southern Ireland, which including Killarney and Galway. Some amazing sights that we got to visit included the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Phoenix Park, Lahinch(surfing capital), Killarney National Park, Hill of Tara, Trim Castle, the beautiful town of Galway, famous Galway Bay, Cork and Kerry Mountains and Clonmacnoise(symbol of early Christianity).

So I felt like I had done so much at the end of the weekend, that I really had to think hard to remember all that we did. My favorite site that we visited were the Cliffs of Moher. They were absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect for us upon our arrival. The Cliffs of Moher are 214 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean and provide a beautiful view of County Clare in all directions. I also really enjoyed visiting Clonmacnoise, which was a site symbolizing the beginning of Christianity in Ireland. The ornate crosses and the beautiful landscape added to the peaceful experience I received at Clonmacnoise. I thoroughly enjoyed my three day tour and it will be one that I will always remember due to the amazing places we visited, the wonderful people I met, and the scary flooding experience we encountered on Friday.

I was able to meet people from Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Canada, and America. I had never met people from Australia or New Zealand and I actually met some good friends through the tour so when I go visit those places one day, I will have a place to stay during my visit! We had many good laughs throughout our time together!

On Friday, the scary flooding experience involved our bus driver attempting to drive on a road that had been recently flooded the night before. Well, our bus ended up getting stuck and turned completely off when we were stuck in the water. We ended up being stuck for three hours until finally a tractor came and pulled us out. It was a good bonding experience for all of us, but definitely could have done without it! All in All, I would recommend a paddywagon tour for anyone due to the amount of fun I had and the amazing people I met!

This week at Rathdown School, I have been teaching some classes and observing others. I am glad that I get to visit several classes in one day, but I do miss just teaching one class every day. It is challenging to connect to the students on a personal level when I am unable to spend much time with them each day! However, I had a neat experience at the beginning of this week in the P6 class. The class, as well as the teacher, was having a hard time figuring out how to find the interior angles of certain geometric shapes. I was able to check my understanding on the Internet and then teach them the correct way to understand how to find the measures of the interior angles. The students and teacher seemed to understand the confusing concepts after I explained them in a thorough manner. I found much joy in that experience!

Also, I have continued working with my two Peru students whose English continues to improve each and every day! The four year old and I now are able to have a short conversation before we start reading a book or reviewing alphabet flash cards. It is so encouraging to see her progress that she has made over the past few weeks! The nine year old has also made so much progress in English and math. She was recently able to write her own story during our time together with very little help!

Throughout my time here at Rathdown, I have gotten to know the faculty and staff more and more each day! I have really enjoyed making some close friends who I feel that I can truly lean on during my time here in Ireland! It is also so nice to ask questions regarding Ireland and Rathdown School. The teachers seem to really enjoy working here and seem to have that real passion for teaching children and making differences which is what every teacher should strive to achieve.

I am continuing to learn new words each day and I keep noticing how some words in English are spelled differently here in Ireland! For example, airplane would be spelled aerplane here in Ireland. I also think it is so interesting how the same popular music bands and groups in America are also popular here. For example, the kids that I worked with in America were obsessed with Hannah Montana and the kids here are likewise very impressed by Hannah Montana!

Well I can't believe I only have two weeks left in Ireland! It is hard to believe, but I am so thankful to be here each and every day! It has been a great learning, challenging, and exciting experience for me! I hope to continue to gain more insight here at Rathdown School so that I may apply some great teaching strategies back home in America!

The three pictures above are all from my three day Paddywagon Tour! The pictures represent the bus I traveled on, Clonmacnoise, and the Cliffs of Moher!

Ta Ta for now!

Dani - Week 4

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! Today marks the beginning of our free time here in Costa Rica and I am very excited about the American meal we´ll be having tonight with some of our friends here in Nicoya!

Monday of this week started out with English Day at San Ambrosio. It is a day which highlights the English program and gives students the opportunity to present their English skills to their classmates and teachers. At the beginning of the assembly, there was an opening speech explaining the benefits of students at San Ambrosio learning English. After that they presented the Guanacaste and Costa Rican Flags and sang the anthems for Guanacaste and Costa Rica. Each grade level then had the opportunity to present a song, poem or scripted play to the school. This assembly for the school was great overall, and gave evidence for the work that students put into it.

My preschool group sang a song called ¨At The Zoo¨ which talks about different animals they see at the zoo and the types of things those animals do. For example, seals swim and monkeys swing. The kindergarteners sang a song called ¨On This Farm¨ about different animals and things you see on a farm, like a field and a horse. Both of these songs are pretty basic, but it helps students to build up English vocabulary that is easier for them to remember since it is in the form of a song.

First grade read a poem about a duck. The class was divided into 4 groups and each group had a line to read. They were all able to line up and read their part, but once the first row read theirs, they just turned around to look at the rest of the rows instead of moving to the back so their classmates could be seen when they read. Not exactly ideal, but its not always going to be when you´re working with kids! Second grade read a poem called ¨Little Frog¨. We divided this group similarly, with each group reading a different line in the poem. This class had forgotten which lines they were supposed to read though, so everyone read the whole poem all together.

Opening speech that Kayla and I put together.
Presenting the Guanacaste Flag (left) and Costa Rican Flag (right)

Pre-K singing ¨At The Zoo¨

Kinders singing ¨On This Farm¨

1st grade reading the duck poem.

2nd Grade reading ¨Little Frog¨

Some of the students watching the presentations.

Yesterday was actually our last day with the students at San Ambrosio. I only went to one class period, with my first graders, where we did a final journal entry for them to talk about vacation. After the first class period the whole school walked over to the Catholic church for mass. After mass everyone went back to the school and there were groups of students who did dances and skits for the teachers, the madres, and their peers. I think I speak for all three of us here when I say that it was distasteful and that there isn´t really any pictures I would feel comfortable to post from it. The dancing was done by 4th & 6th grade girls along with a group that had come from Santa Cruz. It was something you would usually see out in a club and it was very inappropriate for their age and given the setting... I mean, we´d just come from mass! Anyway, this was our last week with our students at San Ambrosio, and tomorrow Kayla, Jerry and I are leaving in the morning to go to Ostional since the last day at school is just a big party for all of the kids. And today is Thanksgiving, so of course we´re having a Thanksgiving Dinner over at Karla´s with as much American food as we can eat!

Overall I have enjoyed the cultural experience and working with the students at San Ambrosio. One of the most important things I think I will take away from this is the importance of classroom management. We talk about it in our classes at App, but aren´t necessarily showed how to implement it. Some people may get good experience wtih it in one of the internships we have, depending on their cooperating teacher. I knew that it was important before ever coming to Costa Rica, but my appreciation for it has definitely sky-rocketed.

It is absolutely imperative for teachers to set the standard on the very first day of school and post the (short) list of rules in their room as a visible reminder all year long. It is just as important to be consistent in disciplining students for their behavior or they won´t take the rules or you seriously. Then the rest of the year will be one giant headache. Students need to realize that there are consequences for their behavior, which can be rewards or punishments, and they will receive what is appropriate and necessary in order for the class to go smoothly.

We came at the end of their school year, so it is near impossible to implement new rules and have them adhere to them when you only see a class for one period a day. I dont feel as though our being here has had that much of an impact on the students´ behavior in class or on their respect for their (English) teachers or each other, but I can only hope that it will improve in the future. The kids here are happy, sweet and fun to be around, but they have some room to improve in the classroom.

November 27, 2009

Brett- week 3 in Belfast

Hello again,
Just finished up week 3/4 in Ireland. Dana and I traveled to Belfast this past weekend. That was our "mandatory trip to Belfast". I am so glad we went; we had the time of our lives. We went up on the bus and arrived in Belfast around 3 o clock without a clue where we were going to stay, or where any hostel was. We wandered around Belfast with all of our luggage on us. I think we walked in a circle about three times before we decided to stop and ask where a hostel was.

There was only one hostel near the centre of town and we happened to be about a block away when we asked for directions. It didnt look too promising at first as it was deep into an alley off a main street. We dropped our luggage off and went to tour the town. It was an amazing city, top 5 of all the cities I have been to. We came to a conclusion that the reason we liked it so much was because it had blue lights everywhere.

We arrived during the middle of the annual Belfast international festival. They had food from all over the world, along with other arts and crafts. We decided to eat kangaroo which was quite interesting--a new taste for me. Beside the festival was the Belfast wheel which is a huge farris wheel with indoor compartments that goes up with an amazing overlook of the city. We happened to go on it right as it was getting dark so we saw all of the lights. It was quite a view.

After that we went back to the hostel and cooked dinner in the hostel kitchen like experienced travelers would do. After we ate, in came about thirty girls trying to watch the X Factor on the only TV in the hostel. X Factor is the American Idol of England and Ireland. Needless to say the girls were obssessed and glued to the TV. It turned out there was a huge group there from a college in Dublin on a class trip. We made ourselves a couple more friends for the trip. We had a great time that night. We woke up the next day but all of our new friends were gone once again.

We toured Belfast on foot again. They had a lot of malls there, it was more Americanized than Dublin. It was easy to tell that Belfast was a English culture, also it was twice as cheap which was good for gathering souveniers. We on another walking tour that night and saw the bridge all lit up, we went for a ride on the huge fish that was beside the water(I don't think we were supposed to, It was marble).

The next morning we had got up and booked a mini coach tour. We went to the Carrick a Rede rope bridge, the Giants' Causeway, the Dunluce Castle ruins, and Bushmills Whiskey Distillery which is the oldest one. We made a couple friends on that trip as well. All of those places were amazing. We took a ton of pictures but Ifeel like none of them did the places any justice.

Giants' Causway was awesome, definitely a must see. We also paid the few pounds to walk across the rope bridge which was well worth it. We got lucky because this was the first time the bridge has been up past October. Again we were extremely fortunate with the weather considering everywhere else in Ireland was flooded. That was about the end of our Belfast trip. Don't know what we might get into this weekend.

As for school and life in Glenageary, it went quite well. We had Tuesday off because of the national strike, and we may have next Thursday off for another national strike. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time with the students that need a little more help with reading and writing. They come down to a little room in groups of three. They are actually improving quite well. I have only been here a few weeks and already notice a difference in their reading abilities. About every morning I am with the same six kids. They are senior infants and first class students.

I play Simon Says with them at the end and they love it. After break I usually have a PE class everyday. It is much easier when the weather permits us to go outside. The PE hall is smaller than most classrooms which is ok for the younger kids but not the older ones. With the older kids I taught a few basketball skills this week which they enjoyed. There is only one class I still attempt American football with. I do a lot of lessons on soccer if we are outside. All of the second graders are better at soccer than my high school students were in America. If we are stuck inside I usually stick with team handball.

All the teachers here are really nice I don't know if I mentioned earlier that I am the only male teacher in the school. On Mmonday I am subbing for the second class. They are usually well behaved which should be good. Its hard to believe there is only two weeks left of teaching here.

My family is still really cool. They are all quite busy most the time. The girl Rachel is a college student and goes on college sailing trips all over Ireland every weekend. The boy Alphy just made the A team for rugby at his school. I guess that is like varsity which is really good. He has practice everyday, and weekends he goes to sailing if he doesnt have a rugby game. The dad works for Lucozade sport which is a sports drink that rivals Gatorade over here. He is an avid hunter and shooter as well. The mom just started her own jelly and jam business with a friend. She has made and packaged a few new flavors of jam every time I come home from school.

We all still make time for the family dinner every night though, followed by quality television time in the sitting room(living room). I definitely missed Thanksgiving back at home yesterday though. It was ok though because we had tacos for dinner. Thats about second best to a Thanksgiving dinner. All the food I have had at home has been quite delicious. I have had every type of potatoes you could imagine, and I am still not sick of them. The dessert has been pretty delicious as well. They call dessert pudding no matter what it is. Well I hope all is well with everyone elses travels.

Good luck in your last two weeks....cheers....Brett
Also I am still unable to upload pictures from here. Dana and I have a lot of the same ones though.

Maria-- Week Four in GDL!

Wow! It has been a very crazy week here in Guadalajara and at The American School. One thing I have loved about ASFG is that they make sure to educate the students in both the American and Mexican culture and to give them quality educational experiences to help them understand each one. That said, this short school week was one of those that is wasted in terms of teaching time. On Monday, we had our weekly Flag Assembly along with a special presentation on the Mexican Revolution by the 4th graders. On Tuesday, we had an earthquake drill which took quite a long time to get through. Wednesday was a short day for the students, complete with a classroom Thanksgiving feast! Our students made pilgrim hatrs and wore them to the feast. They really enjoyed learning about the history and traditions of Thanksgiving throughout the week and it was lots of fun to be able to help teach them these things!



Last weekend turned out to be quite an interesting one. I wont bore you with all the details, but I will tell you that my adventures in the nearby town of Tonala and downtown Guadalajara involved asking for directions to a certain place and being sent to the exact opposite end of the city, almost getting in trouble with the military for taking pictures of a building I wasnt supposed to be taking pictures of (standing in the middle of a public park... and there were NO SIGNS!), and a crazy lady on the city bus claiming to have a knife. At the ArtFest I saw some absolutely fabulous art! I was very impressed by the quality of the art that the students had produced and the number of people from the community that came. I am very happy that I got to experience the ArtFest, as it is such a huge part of the culture of the school.


Right now, I am actually writing from a small town called Zacatecas and it is very cold here! I decided to come to Zacatecas to spend my two day break from school after some of my own research, plus a recommendation from my brother. I had heard many good things about the town and they were all true. I am loving it here! When I first arrived at the hostal I am staying at, I began talking with the owner and she remembered my brother and sister in law from a few months ago when they came through the area. That was very cool! So far, I have been to several museums and to an old mine. The mine, which is no longer in use, was the workplace of many slaves, child and adult, for many centruries-- up until the 1970´s. Its main product was silver, although some quartz can be found. I have also been to the top of a great big hill by teleferico (cable car) called Cerro de la Bufa. Zacatecas was one of the first cities in the world to have this service available to its citizens and it has some amazing views! This famed hill is supposedly where Pancho Villa fought and defeated a large army. I am very glad I came here and am sad to have to leave tomorrow.

Just a few of the 3000 masks inside this amazing museum! (There are 7000 more masks in storage. WOW!)

A look at the mine as we start the descent to the 4th of the 7 floors.

Its hard to believe that I have so little time left in Mexico. I cant wait to see what adventures the next week and a half bring though!

November 29, 2009

Week 4 in Ireland - Dana Smith

This week was very eventful in school. I introduced about 3 new games and got about 5 PE lessons in which is a big increse from the previous weeks. I did a lot more focus on teamwork, encouragment and aerobic fitness. With one week left I belive i have impacted the students in a positive way and earned their respect a little more. At first the talked non stop and I had to stop many times to catch their attention. But now in week 4 they understand I am a teacher and also the PE time is not a goof off free time. They listen to me better and now they understand that the more they talk and goof off then that means less time to participate in activity. The management is going great and it is hard to believe that there is only one more week of being here.

This weekend Brett and I went to Dublin for a night and on Saturday we walked around Dalkey and visited Killiney Hill. The view was amazing and you can see the whole coast from up on the hill. I am beginning to get sick so today all day I have been in bed dealing with a real bad cold and stomach bug. I have to be better by Thursday because that is the day Brett and I go to Rome!!!!!





About November 2009

This page contains all entries posted to International Student Teaching Fall 2009 in November 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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