Thursday, August 28, 2008


The last week of class we also took the preschool classes to a park in a nearby town. They absolutely loved it! It was the most developed park that I had ever seen in this country. Above are a few pictures of our time at the park, as well as a video of the kids before heading back.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

career day

Though graduation had passed, there was still a week of summer programs at our school. Sarah, one of the summer interns, planned a business type week for the oldest class. The first day, a handful of our friends and parents of some of the students came and spoke.

Each speaker told of his/her job, what all that entailed, how he/she came about getting the job, etc. It was really neat to see how interested the students were, and how much they listened to the different professionals speaking. I think it gave them hope that they too could one day have a consistent job if they try hard enough.

Some of the speakers included Juan (construction worker, pictured), Miguel (electrician, pictured), Benjamin (teacher, grew up in the Compassion program), Ariel (accountant), and Natanael's mother (colmado owner).

The next day we set up a pretend town in the classroom with different venders and gave the students pretend pesos to see how they chose to spend their money. All the kids really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


There will not be students over the age of twelve in the upcoming school year, so we had our first graduation ceremony and party for all of the older students in our program. It was really special planning the event for my students, and having them and their parents come all dressed up and participate. We showed a quick slide show and then had the ceremony. Preparing for the graduation.













(who at first hid under the table after hearing his name called)

The whole graduating class
plus Weston, Robin, me, Kate, and Cristina

Ernesto and Ronni, the two from Chichigua, were wearing new clothes (that were matching). They both also got haircuts. It was really precious!

Ronal was one of my former students. He moved to Haiti and was gone for a majority of the year. This graduation was the first time for me to see him since coming back, it was really exciting.


Yes, it's true. I decided to get dread locks. It is something that I have secretly wanted to do for a while now, but never had the guts. Then I realized that it is better to go ahead and do it instead of always wishing that I had, and what better place to do it than in a foreign country!

Below are pictures of the whole process. Evelyn, a friend who lives in Chichigua and mom of several of my students, was the one who did the dreading. The whole process took about four hours.

Monday, August 18, 2008

family portraits

As sort of a parting gift, I decided to take pictures of the families that I have gotten to know really well during my time here.

Most people do not have any pictures of themselves or of their children, so I decided that that was something that I could change.

For the past several weeks, and with the help of Hayley back in June, I have been taking family portraits. It is so neat to see how dressed up they get and how they fix their hair for the picture!

Many of the frames were donated, and I purchased the rest in Santiago along with getting the pictures printed.

Below are some of the pictures, most I believe were not the ones actually chosen to give to the family, but all are very similar.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

how to eat a mango

Below is the process that I prefer to take when eating a mango. It is the only way a mango should be eaten in my opinion. For those of you that do not know, a mango is very difficult to cut. It has a pit or core type thing in the center that you cannot take out, which makes it tricky to cut. Whenever I try, I end up simply squeezing all the juice out instead of actually cutting off part of the fruit. It is virtually impossible to do it well. This particular mango happens to be particularly large, which makes it easier.
The first thing to do is take the mango and peel the skin off with a knife. Some people will just take part of it off so their hands don't get sticky and juicy, but then you have to continually peel the mango throughout the process of eating it, which to me is not as enjoyable.
This can be done over outside, over a sink, over a garbage can, or in this case over a plastic sack.
Once the entire peel is removed, bite into the mango as if it was an apple. It is really juicy so I would suggest staying outside or near that sink, trash can or bag.
It is best to pretend like you are a little kid and eat it like you would a melting popsicle, catching the juice that runs down your hands by sucking it all up and hopefully leaving some on your face. And of course, it is always done with a big smile. :)

yellow paint

If you notice in my apartment blog, the outside of our apartment has never been finished. I think you can notice it in the last picture with the hammocks, there is just concrete block.

Well, some exciting news, after living here for seven months, our landlord has finally decided to finish our apartment (perhaps it is because now he has the money).

The outside of our apartment is now completely painted a cheerful yellow color. It is really pretty, but I must admit that it still throws me off every time I see it.

The balcony is yet to be completed, but we will take it one thing at a time.

picture soon to come :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

avocados galore!

We have an avocado tree at the school that has started producing those big green Dominican avocados. Though you may not believe from the pictures, these avocados are actually quite small. There have been some people coming in at night and stealing avocados from the trees, so the next day at class a handful of kids decided to help get some of them down. They climbed up the tree and shook the branches (maybe not the safest idea…) so that they would fall to the ones catching them below. After collecting the avocados that had fallen we put them in a sack and carried them inside the school to use for our feeding program. So good!!