With a successful second week complete, the Primary Crew learned to appreciate the 6am sunrise bus rides out to the Mayan villages of San Antonio and Big Falls in the Toledo district. Our Project Director Erica spent two days at each of the schools giving the two Primary teaching pairs some final lesson feedback before heading off and leaving the four Primary Peer Educators on their own for the next month of project. Erica has been with us since day 1 back in October, and her hard work and critique has helped us to all grow tremendously as teachers and as people. We miss you already Erica!!
Jenna and Jeff spent the week teaching at Big Falls Roman Catholic school. The pair worked particularly closely with the Principal and the Health Science teacher at the school to create an effective schedule where Jenna and Jeff taught in one Standard 4 class (of 42 kids!), two Standard 5 classes, and one Standard 6 class each day for the entire week. The pair covered topics in the HFLE curriculum of puberty, sexual responsibility and condoms, stress, HIV/AIDS, and a self-esteem lesson to end the week. One of the highlights of their week was a new activity called the “Recap Relay,” where Jenna and Jeff put each class through various activities that tested their ability to deal with stress, be physically active, answer questions about puberty and recall the steps to putting on a condom. The Boys v. Girls competition didn’t turn out so well for Jeff’s boys, who despite great effort and some rule-bending couldn’t pull out a win against Jenna’s girls. Maybe in future weeks Jeff’s teams in other schools will turn it around… If not, it is always a great time watching the kids recall information that was taught to them throughout the week.
Ali and Hilary taught at St. Luis Rey Primary school in San Antonio, a rural Mayan village hidden amongst the rainforest outside of Punta Gorda. The girls were able to teach 5 classes every day, two Standard six classes in the morning, two Standard 4 classes and one Standard 5 class in the afternoon. Ali and Hilary particularly enjoyed working with the standard 6 classes teaching HIV/Aids as the students responded well to the discussion about the stigma surrounding the disease. The highlight of the week for the girls involved a self esteem and goal setting lesson with the standard 4’s as students were very excited to share their ambitious goals with their peers. Near the end of the week, Ali and Hilary were also pleasantly surprised during a standard 4 lesson when a young boy responded to our request to participate with “No means no Miss,” a phrase we used in the previous healthy relationships lesson about consent. Overall, the girls loved the friendly community along with the funny nicknames “maliapple” and “mountain-cow” they were given by the kids during lunchtime.
After two weeks on project, the primary team has had to say goodbye to several things they will miss: Erica, Punta Gorda and the yummy Mayan chocolate that was often purchased after a long day at school. During these first two weeks on project, all members of the primary crew felt like they learned a lot and are excited for what’s to come in Dangriga this upcoming week.
Binka! (bye in Mayan)
Hil, Jeff, Ali, and Jen