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June 14, 2011

I think I will start with where I am working:
In Las Tías, I am usually assigned with the younger group, the kindergarteners to third graders. They are quiet the handful, I am often left with this group to do homework and extra work to reinforce what it is they are learning. This can be difficult at times, since their homework at times cannot be deciphered. Their teachers do not seem to check if the younger kids have written their homework in their miniature notebooks. I was told that in one class there are usually around forty kids, so it would be have to regulate the homework situation. Yet, I think this is a huge problem especially for the kids at Las Tías, who usually do not have anyone checking their studies at home. I also help the older kids with their English and math homework. Last week, I gave my first English class to the older kids. We covered the basics: alphabet and numbers. The kids enjoyed listening to my pronunciation, and then repeating as best they could.

In the kitchen, I have learned to peel and slice with better than ever before. Honestly, I think the Tía Violeta, the cook, has the most work. She cooks for about a hundred people every day, starting from six in the morning to about five in the afternoon. The only time I ever see her sit during the day is when she eats her lunch, after all the children and staff is served. If she takes I sick day, I think we are all going to leave Las Tías with grumbling stomachs.

On a personal level, I have grown close to my host family. My host mom treats me as if I really were her daughter, with love and the occasional scolding. The first couple of weeks this drove me crazy, and I really was on the edge about this whole host family situation. Yet, as the days went by and I got more comfortable around the house, I have grown very fond of my family. My host mom has taken me to the doctor, and put me to bed while I had a fever. I still cannot stand our animals though. The two dogs, cat, a couple of pigeons, the roosters, three hens, and eight little chicks still drive me crazy. The pregnant cat follows me everywhere, and the 4 youngest chicks seem to think I am their mother, always behind me as well. I asked when the chickens were going to be put to use, and it won’t be until Christmas dinner.

I am thinking about joining another project, for Tuesdays and Thursdays. These two days there is little to do at Las Tías, due to an activity they have with a family from the United States homework is rarely done on these days. The family shares the word of God with the children by reading bible stories. It is interesting to see how religion comes with games, candy, and prizes. First the kids must listen to the lecture, and it is not until afterwards that the candies are distributed every time they visit. Yet, the kids enjoy their visits, and it is a nice distraction from the regular days. The games and art/crafts that are done with the family are great for the kids, and they always look forward to their Tuesday/Thursday visit.

Murals are an important part of Nicaraguan culture; they can be seen throughout León. The Taller Xuchialt is almost completely done with their mural in Barrio Sutiaba. I will mostly like be helping translate the stories behind the images on the mural from Spanish to English with the Taller Xuchialt.

Well this is all at the moment, life and work in Nicaragua is going by quickly.

Elena Perez-Zetune

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