Reformation Sunday

Trip Start Jun 16, 2005
Trip End Aug 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Monday, October 31, 2005

Hello everyone!
Today we had a big party at church for Reformation Sunday -- both congregations, from Sola Fe and from Jesus Nuestro Refugio, worshipped in Pavas. We started at 11 and weren't done until 3! The program provided the pinata, and I've got a video of it -- the kids were so excited!

It's Victor's 5th birthday on the 6th, and so I got him a Spiderman pinata (Spiderman is his favorite right now), and Jennifer is in charge of the cake.

The service was really neat, and it was so wonderful to have a packed church.

Some stuff has gotten done in my apartment, too... Paulino, who goes to Sola Fe, fixed my leaky faucet in the bathroom, and Gonzalo fixed my leaky pipe beneath, so that's done. He also fixed my ceiling, which was falling down, and put a new doorknob on my apartment (the key I'd hidden was gone, so I'm pretty sure some kid, tall enough to get to it, took it... not something I need to be worrying about!). And, Marci and I waxed the floor in my apartment yesterday. Apparently ants and cockroaches don't like wax. So, if I've got a waxed floor, and all my food is in airtight containers, I should be ok, right? =) I still live in a city in the rainforest, though.

The kids in the program are doing well, and they're thoroughly enjoying playing with all the toys. I'm still working on social skills -- I don't really think that will ever stop -- but that's ok.

I have been starting to go a little nuts lately, though... I don't know how Montessori teachers do it. Maybe it's just that these kids aren't used to self-directing their activities, and maybe it's that when they go to school they're told everything they need to do and when they come to the program they can choose their activities, but I'm starting to go nuts with having 8 different kids wanting my attention at the same time, all the time! I mean, I guess 8 is still better than having all 20 screaming my name at once, but it's still frustrating. I'm trying to teach them independence... I guess it doesn't come easily.

It's also hard because if the kids know I'm in the church, they'll bang on the door and wonder why they can't come upstairs and play. (Because I'm cleaning up after them, or I'm making dinner!) We're working on that, too.

So, I'm looking forward to a sanity break in a couple of weeks -- a friend of mine is coming for Thanksgiving, so we'll get to hit the beach. Not bad for a weekend break, huh?

Well, enjoy the pictures. Hope you're all doing well, and that those of you up north are enjoying fall! Happy Halloween! (Oh, right, we're going to do a bit of a Halloween party tomorrow, though they don't celebrate it here. Hey, an excuse to give out candy!)

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mariemonroe on

teaching social skills
Hi Eli, i finally got registered so now i can send you greetings. i've really enjoyed your journal of events, and the photos are great. You're making great progress, believe me --you've only been there since July. In Godly Play we have some of the same problems you've mentioned (not too much theft but my pretty rocks do disappear in pockets). It is tough acclimating kids to self-direction when all of society either is authoritarian or else with no direction at all. We spend up to 1/2 of our classtime 'building the circle,' helping the children get ready to be in the class. Most of the time it's just reminding them to stop talking, sit in the legs crossed position so i can see they're ready, etc., but sometimes it's breaking up fights and dealing with feelings that they bring in with them. there's a Montessori term which is on the tip of my tongue, but it means bringing the child to the point where they're self-directed. It takes a long time, and you can't expect too much until they get to that point -- though there are always little brilliant moments when they get it. Teaching respect for you, themselves and their work is crucial. In Godly Play we stress one talks at a time, they don't have to raise their hands but they do have to listen to whoever is talking and wait until they're finished. i'm always saying 'one at a time, i can't hear you.' We also remind them that if i'm working with someone and they need my attention, they can stand by me and even touch me but must wait until the other person is finished. It's hard. Of course in Montessori there are always 2 teachers in the room, maybe you can recruit an older child to help. So i think you're making marvelous progress and they're so lucky to have you teach them. Do you ever play the violin for them? We had a concert recently at church that reminded me of the one you gave last spring, and i'd love to hear that hard piece you played again. It looks like you had a great Halloween and reformation. i love the masks! It rained hard here on Halloween so there were fewer little ones coming to the door; i'm stuck with lots of candy. Take care, and let us know what you need for Christmas. Marie

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