I thought it would be appropriate to do my last blog inside the JFK airport since we're half way home.
This trip seemed to fly by fast. It just seemed like yesterday that we were in this same airport waiting to go to Puerto Plata instead of to Buffalo.
On Tuesday we went to one of the public schools in the area right near La Cienega. I watched a teacher teach French and even though I am not good at Spanish or French I could get the gist of what was going on. Toward the end of the class the teacher came back to speak with me, the class was doing group work. He told me how he is not certified to to French but actually history and that he does not have the supplies to teach either. That, and many of the students feel that they will not need such language skills in the future and often don't care. I was happy to see that this teacher cared and had not given up on teaching like I had heard other teachers of the school had.
Later that day we went to the Mariposa Foundation for girls. I am in complete love with this foundation and all that it stands for. I hope to return to it soon so that I may assist by teaching a class or maybe painting a mural.
Thursday was our last "real day" doing things in the Dominican. It was our last day at the school so the entire school, El Nido and Primary, came together so each one of us could sing our song with the group. The last thing that we sing was a good bye song from the old Disney show "Out of The Box". The lyrics seemed to fit perfectly. "It's been great, to play and sing together. But now it's time to say goodbye. Song long, farewell, to you my friend. Goodbye, for now, until we meet again."
I am defiantly going to miss all the connections I made in the Dominican with not only the kids at the school but also with some of the people that I got to work with (Sarah; Shayna; Mikayla; Joylin; just to name a few).
I hope to return someday so that I may share this experience with others.
I can't believe how far we are in this trip. Next week on this day I'll be back home in the cold Buffalo weather. It's kind of sad but I'm glad that I have been able to do some things that are happening at this point in the trip.
Today we went snorkeling. Tip: don't eat anything after the first five, no matter who hungry you are. Luckily I didn't get sick which made the experience that more enjoyable. I loved swimming beneth the water to take a closer look at some of the plants and fish that live in the waters near the shore of the Dominican. It is defiantly an experience that I will want to do again.
I have to say also that Spanish classes are slowly but surely helping my communication skills. Although the conversations are short, I have been able to ask questions, comment, and give answers to my host family. It makes the time I spend there much more enjoyable since I can know understand and say more.
Today I was in the El Nido, and though I still miss some of the connections that I made with the children in the Primary, I know that I made some of the same connections with the younger students.
At first none of the students were too quick to warm up to me. More or less they just stared or ignored me. But then twin girls came in who I had heard were fairly new to the school and soon enough I was watching them go down the slide and talking with them as they did. Even after circle time the girls were grabbing my hand and leading me around the playground. Other students were soon talking with me soon, waving at me, and playing games with me. A particular student thought it was hilarious to say "hi" and "bye" to me as he opened and shut the doors to the school.
Although not a lot in the El Nido benefited my specific research, the experience was a great personal gain.
Today was our third day going into La Cienega (the swamp) where many of the children in the school live. The woman providing lunch for us is so nice. She doesn't even mind that I speak more English than Spanish too her (way more) since she can speak both and French. I hope that soon I will be able to talk with her more.
Today was my first day out of the primary building in the school as well. I know the work that we are doing cutting nomenclature cards is important but I still miss working with the primary kids. Good thing that I still get to see them during recess.
I can't believe that we have already been here for one whole week! It feels just like yesterday that we got to leave the down ward spiraling temperatures of Buffalo to come here!
My name is Kendall and I am in my third year of college to become an Elementary School Teacher with a concentration in American Studies. I volunteer at a Religious Education class for first grade students at my church. I love to draw and bake. I cannot wait to go to the Dominican Republic to learn more about the culture and the Montessori program!