The rest of the week in Monteverde went really well. For the most part everyone has now moved out of the frustration phase and into the comfort phase. The mountain life and life in Costa Rica has really had an affect on most of the group here. All positive of course, including; becoming more environmental aware, being more adventurous, letting go of control, becoming more patient, and just living the Pura Vida lifestyle. These last few days incorporated another visit to the public school, El Trapiche Farm, and the St. Elena Reserve.
St. Elena Primary
Our visit on Thursday was our chance to work with the kids. We got to observe the English teacher give a lesson on the structure of family. This lesson was with the fourth grade morning group. The teacher used photos of people and constructed a family tree on the board. The students then had to create sentences using the key words. During our lesson (1st grade) we broke into small groups, two students per two members of our group. In some cases one on one groups formed. We taught a lesson on body parts as well as read stories to them. With my student we drew out the human body and labelled it then did the "head, shoulders, knees, and toes song." To finish we gathered other students for a story time and to act out the animals in the story. Normal obstacles occurred; no prior knowledge of English profeciency, distractions from other groups, and students weren't inform we'd be working with them. Overall, it went as well as expected. My student was very kind and knew some English. But he really opened up once we started to draw and act out animals. Though I got the feeling the information was already covered just not as much in English.
Jonathan writes a sentence on the board about family. Later we would play soccer at recess.
The student in black is the one I worked with. This picture was taken after they were acting like monkeys.
Takeaway: when we told the class we were going outside chaos ensued. Today was one of those days you learn how to adapt to the situation.
Halfway through the week I was moved to another Spanish class for unknown reasons. This teacher was more friendly with the students and gave off a good vibe. Her methods were more geared towards the communicative approach. We talked the whole class whether about our lives or during games. She didn't speak English and could tell she didn't feel comfortable if we spoke a lot of English. In this class I started to feel more comfortable in my speech and my homestay was improving because of that. This week was perfectly split between grammar work and communication skills, even if it did require a second teacher.
Playing a game of Guess Who. Perfect for language acquisition, not to mention me and my partner kicked butt!
Takeaway: sometimes you need to make the judgement call. Is it more important for my student to pronounce everything correctly and be grammatically correct or should he be able to get a message across. I personally lean more towards getting to message across because grammar will come, but as a teacher I will try to find a good balance in the classroom.
Our first tour of the week was to El Trapiche Farm. This farm focuses mainly on sugar production and coffee. We learned all about the process for each of their products. From how each is growned to who picks it and then the final product.
Eating the delicious sugarcane directly by sucking out the sugar.
The inside of a coco plant.
The Trapiche machine which takes in sugarcane and extracts the liquid sugar.
Grady making some candy out of sugar and ground up coffee.
Takeaway: in Costa Rica majority of the farms are very much into the the environment. Using natural resources to fertilize the plants and make the products. Not to mention Ticos are very proud of their coffee production and being able to compete on the global scale in terms of quality.
St. Elana Reserve
Our final trip for the week was to the rain forest reserve in St. Elana. I would like to write up a out how awesome it was, however; we went during the rainy season. And the rain forest lived up to its name. It rained and poured the whole time. So we only saw one bird and that was it. I felt bad for our tour guide cause our group got soaked and was miserable for most of the tour. Definitely showed Wilmington's rain showers up haha.
Justin (guide from CPI) using some leaves to protect himself from the rain.
Hiding inside a tree like an animal.
Everybody, be happy it's photo time!
Takeaway: always bring a rain jacket and extra clothes to the rain forest.
Other things to note from the week.
Ariel was getting a kick out of my glasses.
View from our hotel in Arenal.
Saw this awesome guy crossing the road. First and only sloth sighting so far in this trip.
One more week of this awesome adventure!! Can't wait to see what it brings.
Husta Luego mi amigos.