Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Ants Come Marching One by One, Hurrah, Hurrah...

…right through our room! Gina and I have been doing well with accepting the fact that ants crawl all over everything in our room. As I type this, ants periodically crawl across my keyboard. I have to keep blowing them off so they don’t go and crawl underneath the keys. I’m no computer expert, but I’m pretty sure that an ant burial ground under my keyboard wouldn’t be a good thing. I’ll know when that happens because my A, N, and T keys won’t be typing. Their ant families will be ticked (no pun intended) that my oblivious fingers blogged for hours while their Uncle Ned suffered, and they will decide to conduct burial ceremonies under those keys. And seeing as they are Filipino ants, these ceremonies will be eight days long (a new fun fact I learned today from a PCV). So, my dear readers, if you suddenly start reading blogs h look like his (“that look like this” minus a, n, and t), you’ll understand what has happened. Please forgive me. Oh my word. Clearly all these training hours are making me delirious because I just pulled that story out of thin air in 2 minutes. There’s a lot more I could talk about, but I’m afraid I might make up a story more ridiculous than the Harry Potter series. A huge group of PCTs went to see the H.P. premiere tonight, and they are apparently really excited because it means they will have seen it before it opens in the U.S. I don’t know what to say to that.

Yesterday and today we all made lesson plans that we’ll be “demo teaching” tomorrow and Saturday, and I’m really excited for mine. I think they’re pretty cool, if I do say so myself. One’s about differentiating between fact and opinion based statements, and the other is about imperative/ interrogative/ declarative sentences. And yes, I remembered that vocabulary off the top of my head, thank you very much. Becky + Syntax = <3. Nerd alert! Okay, enough of the boring stuff that nobody cares about.

We’ve been learning a lot about the differences between schools in the Philippines and those in the U.S. My personal deterrent from pursuing a career in teaching high school in the States is that teenagers can be really disrespectful to each other and their teachers. But every PCV goes on and on about how wonderful the high school students are, and how they are polite, considerate, and thankful to have a teacher who cares. I’m interested to see this, as it seems to be a natural phenomenon. Perhaps a pandemic that hasn’t left the island. Customs won’t let it through the border.

Two more days of Initial Orientation, then Sunday our cluster has a seven hour drive up to La Trinidad, where we will meet our first host families! The CYF volunteers went up yesterday, and have been texting us about how beautiful it is and how welcoming everyone has been. Before any of that happens, I’ve got to pack everything back up-- yuck. I dropped off my laundry at the front desk, 5 kilos (11 lbs) worth, and it’ll only cost 300 pesos (~ $7) to have it done and my shirts ironed. There were about 30 articles of clothing in that bag. Thank you very much. Dang. If that’ll always be the case, you better believe I’ll be sending my laundry out for the next two years. In February I got one dress dry cleaned in Scituate and it was $16. Bologna!

Some of nature’s wonders… Today a butterfly flew onto my friend Kayla’s hand as she was sitting at a table. It was amazing. (Mom—who do you think that was?) Also, during our morning merienda (snack time), a little 3 inch-long gecko was skittering around on the floor. A few of us saw him and didn’t want him to get squashed, so my friend Mike helped him out of the door with some gentle toe-pokes. Also, the frogs here are craaaazy! At night it sounds like the frog symphony in The Little Mermaid, when Ariel and Eric go for a rowboat cruise and they sing “Kiss De Girl.” Sha la la la la la don’t be shy… But for real, they are crazy loud. And you wouldn’t believe the crickets, either. The first day I thought there was an alarm going off for hours, and I said this to one of the staff and they were like, “Oh ma’am, those are the crickets.” They are super loud. And sometimes they’ll just stop for a while, and then start up all together again. But they sing all day long. I can’t think of any Disney movies with singing crickets---help me out, people. I wish I had a tape recorder or something so y’all could hear the sounds. Maybe I’ll try a video and see how it turns out.

A few of us got together Tuesday night with our Technical Cultural Facilitator (TCF), Myles, to work on our Ilokano after dinner. We ended up practicing for an hour and a half! It was a blast. Myles is a riot, and the four of us were just joking about how ridiculous the words are. Myles is from northern Benguet, but it’s an area that is actually the hottest place in the Philippines. Just a weird geographical oddity, kind of like Scituate I suppose. And Dad, I found out that they roll their r’s too. Myles said they stole it from the Spanish :) So that’ll be another challenge I’ll have to work hard at. I was never good at rolling my r’s. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!

Well, I’m off to do some finishing touches on my visual aids for my lessons tomorrow… Corie, you’d be proud at how super-teacher-y they are. Obviously with my flawless handwriting, which my friend Kevin today told me should be a font. Love it. Happy times.

2 Comments:

At July 18, 2011 at 3:09 AM , Blogger Patti Dente said...

OH My Becky ants everywhere ...reminds me those about those bugs the day before you left...you describing running up and down the stairs....Well as for the butterfly, could be anyone, but my gut feeling it was Aunt Aimee

 
At July 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM , Blogger Matt said...

Pinocchio! How could you forget Jiminy Cricket?!?

 

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