Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mi computadora... un limon!

When an unknown intruder stole ALL of our laptops in February of 2008, my 3 roommateas and I were on the search for new computers! After, what we thought was, valuable research and wise council, 3 of us decided to purchase the same HP Pavillion. It looked good on paper and seemed to be a perfect replacement for what was ungraciously taken from us. Little did we know that we had been suckered into buying lemons (as coined by one of the frustrated owners!).

Each of us has struggled with various aspects of the computer and last week was my "last" battle! I guess it wasn't satisfied with cutting out my internet at random times or not responding to our school printer because, on Friday, it decided to turn into a black screen that responded to nothing! So, after spending WAY too much time in DOS typing in commands that I don't even know what they mean, I was able to save some of my important documents and then whisked it away to the local repair man (who speaks very little English, mind you)!

Today I will be able to survey the damage done. My PRAYER is that it can be somewhat bandaged-up to last me until I come back to the states. It will be at this point in time that I plan on divorcing this thorn in my side and replacing it with something a bit more reliable! So, if you have a computer that you love and it has stood the test of time (and overseas traveling if applicable), please let me know! I don't want to experience anymore buyer's remorse and I'm ready to be connected to the outside world again!

Thanks for your patience with my lack of communication, and keep my lemon in your prayers!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Highland Livin'

I would like to begin this entry with an apology! Yes, it’s been a while since I have posted…partly because life is busy, but partly because I can’t really access the internet on my computer at my house yet! So, thanks for being patient, and hopefully this post was worth the wait!

First of all, I am officially a MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER...IN BOLIVIA!

Kind of crazy to me that LESS than 2 months ago I was still teaching 2nd graders at Lincoln Heights. And, now I find myself teaching students that are basically my same height (except the boys…they're still waiting for their growth spurts!), discussing Confucius with a class that actually knows who he is and relating math to the Bible as a part of my lesson! It's a little overwhelming to think that I now have 3 titles to my name instead of one (math, social studies AND grammar...ha ha, the last one is by far the funniest!) and I really do believe that last week (the first week of school) was the LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE! But, all in all,
I love my job and am so glad to be here! I have a beautiful view of the mountains every day and a great group of students.

my school

my 6th graders and the my middle school partner-in-crime, Stephanie Feagin

When I'm not at Highlands International School (which so far hasn't been that often), I find myself doing a variety of things....

a.) Trying to cook something other than quesadillas and guacamole, since that's about all we ate for the first week! Even though we've succumb to some easy and familiar meals (like top ramen), we've also been adventurous and created waffles in our "sandwich genie." This was definitely the highlight of my first Bolivian holiday....Bolivia's independence day is August 6th.

Here are our Pacena (someone/something from La Paz) waffles!

b.) Practicing my HORRIBLE Spanish on anyone that wants to listen, which is harder than one would think. Case and point, when I was looking for waffle ingredients I tried to explain baking soda to a man who offered his help. But, instead of appreciating my Spanish attempts, he kindly said, "In Enlgish, PLEASE!"

c.) And the latest addition to my weekly schedule is a gospel choir! It is comprised of mostly Bolivian 20-somethings and a few of us Highlanders (teachers from my school). We meet bi-weekly and perform for random occassions. The first perfomance is in September, so I will keep you updated on how the crowd enjoys our assortment of songs, including "O Happy Day" and "This Little Light of Mine"!