Word around the street is that Michael Phelps is a beast, but is scared to compete against me in the 100 meeter splash and flail. I own that event. Everyone here in Guatemala, or at least my host family and all the teachers at school are enamored with his abilities. I just wish I could swim normally let alone set world records every time I get wet. I’m also very pleased to see that the Broncos dominated Dallas. The starters won the game 14-0 and the second string played a solid game as well leading to a 23-13 game! The Rockies have won three in a row, which wont get them back into contention, but it’s a start. I am loving that I have been able to stay on top of my sports teams. I also found out that We get ESPN Thursday night college football, which means I will get to watch CU play at least once this year! Things are on the up and up.
Now to the stuff that matters. First, I want to thank each and everyone of you who have emailed me with encouragement. This las week has been very busy, but fun. On Monday the girl who was to be teaching English with me in Middle School didn’t show up. Apparently she was very sick. On Tuesday she still hadn’t made it to school. By Wednesday I was starting to get worried that she was going to back out and I would have to teach her classes as well as my own. By Thursday it was announced that she was not going to be teaching at IAS (my school, check it out at ias-xela.org). Michael, the director, asked me if I was willing to be flexible and I told him I was up to doing whatever. Later that day I found out that I would be teaching sixth grade English and seventh grade Latin American History, instead of seventh grade English and sixth grade Old Testament Bible, Jason (aka Tank) moved up from fifth grade to middle school, and they found a new teacher to replace Jason’s empty fifth grade position. Jason majored in Theology so that is why he took my Bible class, which forced me to switch classes as well. As a result of these changes I had to re-plan my classes. This was a little stressful, but I got everything completed. I know that God is in control and will use me as long as I step forward. I am very glad that I came down here to try something new. I just hope that I continue to live each day in the present. As long as I don’t think about how long it is until June I’m fine.
All of the returning teachers arrived this week, which was very cool. They have been a great source of information and really have helped me plan out a lot of what I am going to be doing in my classes. I will now be teaching sixth grade English, sixth grade Geography, seventh grade Latin American History, seventh grade current events, eighth grade current events, middle school PE, and high school PE. Teaching sixth grade English will be interesting. Mostly because I’ll be teaching spelling. I am slightly unqualified to teach this subject. Something like the blind leading the blind. I’ll do my best but if these kids come out knowing how to spell we’ll all know a miracle occurred. I at least know something about history, so that change won’t be too bad. I’m very excited to start teaching tomorrow, or let me put that a different way, I’m excited to meet the students and a little nervous about teaching. But, I am learning to trust God with the things I really don’t have control over. I can’t make myself a perfect teacher in the time I was given to prepare. All I can do is put my best foot forward. Like I said the returning teachers have been great and I am going to use them a lot.
Another good thing about the returning teachers is the fact they want to hang out and do stuff. I joined a gym with a couple of the teachers on Wednesday and I have gotten back into running. My knee has been feeling fine, which excites me. What doesn’t excite me is I get winded after 1 mile. Oh well. I do enjoy going to the gym and I know I’ll get my endurance back. None of the other male teachers work out at the gym so I go with Randi (she is from Nashville and teaches High Science and middle school girls PE), Becky (she is from Houston and teaches middle school science), and Liz (she is from Florida and teaches third grade). All of the guys talk about or actually play sports. I might try to practice on one of the teams. But I enjoy going to the gym. I want to stay healthy for life. On Friday after the gym we met with some of the other teachers for drinks. I had a weird lemonade drink. Not sure I liked it. I had a lot of fun though, and I’m excited to see how my new community continues to form. I’m really enjoying where God has me right now.
I have been going to Palabra en Acion for church the last two weeks. They provide translators, which is great because I am only starting to learn spanish, my lessons start this week; I hope. It is a Pentecostal Church so they stand up a lot. The service is 2 plus hours long, but the service is very enjoyable. Although I don’t think I should stay up until 3 a.m the night before church again. At least I got up and made it to church by 8 a.m. and I was able to stay awake and pay attention to the service. So I guess that is a good thing.
Last night a group of us went and watched Michael and Tank play basketball against a team from the coast. I love basketball but it is really hard to pay attention to a game when the scoreboard isn’t working. I was pretty sure Xela (pronounced Shea la, the team Michael and Tank play for) was blowing out the other team, but apparently they only won by 4 points. After the game we all went to a birthday party for a couple of local guys. It was rather crazy and there were a few hot words between a few of the Guatemalan’s who had probably consumed a few to many free beverages. This was my second venture into Xala night life. I think I want to learn how to salsa dance so I can be more of an active participant in the revelry. I guess I’ll have to see if I can fit that into my busy schedule. Lets just say it is very very very last on the list of things to do.
Top on the list of things to do is to find out who is using my toothpaste. I have been keeping my toiletries in my room and twice I have found my tube of toothpaste squeezed from the middle and I only squeeze from the bottom. I need Monk to come down here and solve this case. I just think its weird that someone is coming into my room to get my toothpaste. If they want to barrow some just ask. I’ll say yes because I wont know what they are really asking about because they’ll be speaking Spanish.
Last thing I wanted to say was I am very grateful for all of your prayers. I was feeling rather lonely last week and this week I have felt very comforted and accepted by the people I am working with. I’m not a lone. Each of you are here with me through your prayers. God is with me and will use me tomorrow when I start to teach the sixth grade class how to spell. God can raise the dead, surly he can use me to teach them how to spell.