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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Profe Troy

Nic and I have only been teaching at the school for four days now and we already have developed a bond with the kids. It is amazing how easy it is to care about these kids. They line up outside of the school about a half hour before the day begins and then they run into the classroom just to give you a hug or a high five. I am very pleased with my efforts as I have the kids in my class "pounding it" and singing with me every morning to start the day.

There are currently seven classrooms in the school. Some of the walls and columns were recently painted and the cheery blues, greens, polka dots, and alphabets offer a likeness to any school back home. It is however the open air nature of the classrooms, the dirt floor of the play area, the smoke billowing in from the adjacent tortilla baking, and the in-house chicken coop that set it apart.
All the kids are given a snack first thing in the morning and again before break time so they have energy to be in class. Once class starts they are like any kids, anywhere, school sucks. But once they are given there "assignments" for the day they get to work. Every child in the school loves to get praise (again, any child, anywhere) and if they solve their problem, what ever that may be, they either call out your name (and apparently in Guatemala I am Roy) or run up to show you their work. A small pat on the head and a "beuno" and it is all smiles and very rewarding for them and us. Every once in a while you have to remind the kids to not stab each other with their pencils but other than that they are fairly well behaved...so far.

As it was for me way back when I was in elementary, recess is still the best part of the day. One of the teachers rings the triangle bell and the kids go rushing out of the classroom into the playground area and start the most chaotic and exciting recess I have ever been a part of. There are dog piles, kids flying through the air, royal rumbles and chicken fights. Everything I wasn't allowed to do when I had recess back when I was in elementary, I am allowed to do here and the kids love it. And most of the kids are super small so I can really launch them into the air. They line up and yell "Profe Troy, Profe Troy, Ariba, Ariba" (by the way, Ariba Ariba in spanish means: above! above! which begs the question why in the hell was speedy gonzales yelling above! above! but that is what it means.)

All the kids are in love with the fact that Nic and I are married and they always want us to hug in front of them. Obviously the girls love Nicole and won't let go of her hand the entire recess break. Some of the girls will even draw pictures on the blackboard of Nic and I holding hands with a big heart around us, like I said they adore her. A couple of the girls in the class I teach, wrote out a song they always sing and gave it to Nic so she can sing along with them.

Hanging out with these kids you would never know that they all live in poverty and many of them have to work in order to help provide for their family's well being. According to our "standard of living", these kids have nothing but seeing their smiles and feeling their affection, you'd never know it.

Nic and I are here to "teach" these kids yet in the few short days we've been around them we are already finding that it is the kids who are teaching us. Adios.


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching! I absolutely love your narrative style, Troy, and can't wait for the next installment!
    We love you both and will follow you as you continue your adventure.

  2. Loving it you two!!! Happy Birthday Nic!!! Have been really enjoying keeping up with your adventures!! Printed it off for grandma too. Love you! Lyle, Lori, Paige & Brie!!