Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I wore my old red Vashon Maury Maritime Heritage shirt with a compass on the sleeve and the Wind and the Willows quote yesterday and I had to explain to a few people what kind of a strange ¨CREW¨ I was on. I´ve been thinking about the sound in the summer, especially as seen from the water. The floating green seaweed, the trees bursting with foliage, friendly houses with picnic tables in the lawn. Boats Boats.
Not many boats around here. And the golden watery summer on the sound I´m dreaming of won´t even exist for another 5 months. I´m enjoying the summer here a great deal of course. I´ve got a hammock now, and a bag of exceptionally cheap cigars. I´m going to go out to Cumbarity, to visit a trainee friend of mine out there this afternoon, which should be very pleasant. That town is smaller and further from the highway than Guarambare. We´ll play guitar and sit and smoke.
`Do you know, I`ve never been in a boat before in all my life.'
`What?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: `Never been in a--you never--well I--what have you been doing, then?'
`Is it so nice as all that?' asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.
`Nice? It's the ONLY thing,' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: `messing--about--in--boats; messing----'
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I have been enjoying this lightness very much being here. I am probably the only one without a computer in my ¨G¨, which means the 48 of us trainees that arrived in Guarambare (hence the G) at the same time. I also didn´t bring any music, which I regret, but at the same time I am thankful for. I can listen to music with the same virgin enthusiasm I had when I was 14. (Also, they call black cds ¨discos virgenes¨, which I find ammusing).
It is a thrill to be able to redefine ones´self. To find out which parts of what you´ve been carrying are still relevant and important, and which have become vestigial and can be shed as dead weight.
And to be reminded that how much you like what is left!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
We´re learning about classroom manegment skills here, which is something that is totally neglected in teacher training. As we learn new skills there is always the balance of figuring out what it is that we are more knowledgable about, what it is that is lost in translation, and what it is that we really know little about and must learn from the community. Clearly, with a college education, and my Peace Corps training I am privledged to have been exposed to many ideas and methods that my Paraguayan partners have not. At the same time it is obviously futile for me, young and inexperienced as a teacher, to come into a community or school and tell them what to do, both because I lack thier trust and respect and because I don´t know what the needs and strengths of the school or community. Meanwhile, I have to figure out what knowledge is genuinely new and what is already known by a diferent name (many things which seem like common sense and that Americans wouldn´t think twice about are unheard of here. For instance a popular and very helpful training activity with teachers is to teach them the sounds of individual letters, which they do not know because they learned all thier phonetics in chunks: mi, ma, me, mo, mu (mí mamá me amo mucho)).
Still have not tried Avacado with sugar. Mango and guayaba season is just about over, but orange season is about to begin!