TRIP REPORT #3

by Tamie in Idaho, Monday, March 21, 2011, 15:02 (3915 days ago)
edited by Tamie in Idaho, Monday, March 21, 2011, 16:39

Just like many people who travel to Zihua, we often try to bring items for the schools. This time, our space was very limited and we brought just a few small items (pencils, stickers, etc.), but we were excited about seeing the school and always enjoy the kids.

Again, we asked Carlos to recommend a school that might like a visit from some friendly Americans, and away we went. We had a truly delightful morning at a local Zihuatanejo elementary school.

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This is the neighborhood which feeds the school. As you can see, they have very little and are in need of many things, not just for school. Carlos explained that last year during the rainy season many of these homes were flooded or washed away entirely. Many people ended up camping on the soccer field until they were able to return and rebuild their homes.

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The school is not much more than a chicken coop, with no running water or electricity. The chicken wire can be draped with fabric to keep the sun from shining directly into the classrooms, but the rooms are sweltering and the air is thick, even though we were visiting during the "cool" morning.

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Each classroom had about 30-35 students. The desks were double, as was the attached bench for two kids. Each student had one spiral notebook and a pencil. We saw no books, AV equipment or computers, and certainly no playground stuff. I noticed a lack of water, and although I'm sure they existed, I never did see a restroom. Rather than an interruption to their day, we were a pleasant diversion to their math. We were in a 4th grade class, and they were happy to stop their multiplication tables to sing us a welcome song!

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Very curious, and somewhat shy, most kids were anxious to have their pictures taken. They were also anxious to learn a few words of English and teach us some Spanish. They caught on quickly... us, not so much, but they laughed with us and appreciated our efforts.

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When it was time to go everyone lined up for a good-bye hug. My friend Sandra even threatened to take this little one home with her. Everyone thought that was so funny! We all had a good laugh. I don't think anyone realized how serious she was!

If you are considering a school visit during your trip to Zihu, I would suggest you bring maps, art supplies, calendars, or old cd players with CDs. The teacher had literally no teaching aids, so flip carts, colored markers, felt boards, maps, etc. would be very appreciated. If you've ever been a teacher, imagine working with NOTHING.

I would absolutely recommend this visit, especially to anyone with children or to anyone who has taught school. It's a real eye-opener, even for adults. It was an experience I'll treasure. We can certainly all learn a lot from school children!


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  • TRIP REPORT #3 - Tamie in Idaho, 2011-03-21, 15:02 [*]