Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Past Week and a Half....

As you can probably deduce by this title, life has been a little crazy these past 11 days!

Therefore, instead of writing separate posts for each event, you get a little taste of my busy yet rewarding life!!

Thursday, November 19th :

Probably experienced one of 2009 hilghlights....seeing my kiddos share their talents, time and homemade maracas with precious blind children in my neighboorhood! Not only did they show Christ's love to these children, but they pulled off a last minute yet original play of Noah's Ark (omplete with a variety of sound effects) and performed "the cup game" to Prince of Peace....priceless!

Another highlight was seeing them all pounce on my bed immediately after entering my casita for some post-field-trip-cookie-fun!

Friday, November 20th:

After a ripped contact and a drive that led us to the middle of NOWHERE, we began our Takesi hike with the 8th graders (6 girls and 3 boys), chaperones (4 girls and 4 boys) and backpacks filled with WAY too much weight of who-knows-what!

Saturday, November 21st:

Exhausted from the day before that was supposed to be "easy", we packed up in the rain and started on the longest, yet most rewarding, day of the hike! Although we had to trek through literal rivers of rain water that were rushing down the rocky paths and one of our boys ended up breaking his leg in 2 places, it was a good day that taught the students (and teachers) some good life lessons....and showed us how beautiful Bolivia is!

Sunday, November 22nd:

Sore and SMELLY we all made our way into the beautiful city of Yanacachi (after 20 false alarms of "the end," might I add) and piled into the buses that promised to take us back to warm showers, soft beds and Thanksgiving food. A Thanksgiving FEAST, to be exact, complete with homemade rolls, delicious pumpkin cake and "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" projected on a white sheet for all ages to enjoy:)!

Monday, November 23rd:

Still recuperating from the Takesi, I discovered muscles that I never knew existed and incessantly thanked the GENIUS that made Monday "pajama day" for our spirit week!

Tuesday, November 24th:

"Twin day" meant that Steph and I came as....inspired by a blonde wig that has made its way around HIS....Miley Cyrus (me) and Hannah Montana (Steph). Pretty creative if you ask us!

Wednesday, November 25th:

Winter Olympics Team Day = hundreds of paper snowlfakes taped around the school + crazy outfits of yellow, red, green and blue + "ice dancing" high schoolers on pavement assisting elementary students with their arabesque form + a screaming Miss Speicher because her AWESOME blue team won!!!!!!!!!!

Wish you were there?....I know!

Thursday, November 26th:

La Paz looks different when you're leaving it at 4am in a rented car watching movies and "thanksgiving" tv episodes on the car's OWN dvd player! And, now I have had yet another Thanksgiving meal at the American "symbol" of gratitude...McDonalds...gotta love it!

Friday, November 27th:

Chile is AWSOME....Bolivia got shafted when they got our beach!

Saturday, November 28th:

Finally some beach time and, yes, New Moon :)......gotta keep up with friends back home!

Sunday, November 29th:

4am is becoming an enemy....but my bed, again, feels soo good and I'm glad to be home!!!

The End

For those who made it to this point, thanks for sticking with my 11-day itinerary of craziness!

If you can continue that patience, you might be lucky enough to veiw some pictures to back-up these stories! And if you can't, just check out Stephanie Ainsworth's pictures on facebook:)!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tell Me How I'm Supposed to Breathe With No Air....

Yes, I am pulling out a "classic" Jordin Sparks phrase in honor of this upcoming weekend when (I have this feeling) I'll be thinking it a lot!

"Don't you often feel out of breath living at 12,000 ft. above sea level??" you may be thinking.

Yes, I do...because of the altitude, it's common to get winded doing normal things, such as rolling over in bed or walking less than a block to your house. But I'm not carrying my tent, sleeping bag, firewood and food for 17 people!

This weekend my roommate and I, along with 6 other adults, are accompanying the 8th graders on their backpacking final. We are leaving early Friday morning and hiking the Takesi trail, an Incan trail that is about 2 hours away from La Paz. We will return to La Paz on Sunday afternoon dirty and tired....but hopefully inspired!

Even though it is supposed to be a beautiful trek through the wilderness of Bolivia, it is also supposed to be full of bugs, rain and drama-queens! The 8th grade girls have this reputation of crying every time they have to hike the "hills" behind our it should be an adventure!

So if you think of it, you can pray for all of us going...that we would make it out of there alive and the 8th graders would actually enoy the trip:)!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Highlands Highlights

Last Wednesday was the 1 and 1/2 quarter mark! I cannot believe how quickly the school year has gone by so far. It has been a busy but very enjoyable past 3 1/2 months and I would like to share some of the highlights with you....

One foggy morning, we all donned our new HIS sweathsirts to showcase our ever-expanding staff and enthusiasm for the new year....or something like that!

Often we find ourselves outside of our classroom doing some kind of lesson amidst the mountains and blue skies! This particular lesson showcases some of my 6th graders' acting skills as they act out the story of Siddhartha's journey to Buddah while others dilligently take notes....oh how I love my students:)!

October was the month of our Spring Carnival which entailed a wacky-dress day to gear up for the big event...

...many different games for the kids to enjoy, including a huge blow-up octopus (HILARIOUS!)...

...and teacher-revenge in the form of a pie toss and a "wet jail" where the hose was my worst enemy!

October was also the month of the FIRST annual dodgeball tournament! After months of EVERY recess minute being spent working on their bullet-like throws and out-of-nowhere catches, the students were ready to compete against the teachers for the the coveted title of "dodgeball champion!" Sadly, the intense competition proved to all that, even though I may rule the middle schoolers in my classroom, I am forced to bow in submission on the dodgeball court!

In math class we worked with recipes to create cookies while sharpening our fraction skills. However, reason # 43 why living in Bolivia is different than living in the US, was brought to my attention when the kitchen staff was gone and we were no longer able to use the oven because the gas for the oven was taken with them! Therefore, Steph and I had to use a more creative way to cook the cookies...the MICROWAVE! There were only a few casualties and some of the cookies actually turned out somewhat normal!

Most recently, the 4th graders picked different teachers to write a biography about his/her life and then presented their findings at our very own, HIS Wax Museum! Here's my little twin, Hannah, who is also the middle child of 2 sisters and seems to share my same taste in accessories:)!

Now, if any of these pictures cause you to doubt the fact that we, at HIS, take our job seriously, just look at these "teacher" faces...would we lie to you?!