Tuesday, October 21, 2008

trainees to VOLUNTEERS!

Tomorrow we are all going to be sworn in officially as Peace Corps Volunteers. It is unusual that all of us trainees made it through the training process. Usually at least 10% go home before being sworn-in. However, with our entire EC78 group that came, no one has left and it seems as if no one will be leaving anytime soon! Yay for such a good group! We all managed to pass our language assessments (ha...that was silly) and our final interviews. I felt good with the progress we all have made and commend every one of the other volunteers for being the people that they are. I wouldn't have asked for a different group. Okay, okay, I should stop before I tear up.

On Sunday I moved into my new, very own place! I was EXTREMELY fortunate and lucky, as the housing I recieved is very rare for any Peace Corps Volunteer. I could not be more thankful and am grateful every minute that I am in my apartment. Veronica, my landlady, supplied the apartment, which is the bottom of a big house, with nearly everything I ever need. She is quite the nice lady too, which is great! She spent many years in England but decided that she should come back to St. Lucia, where home is. I am so lucky to have been supplied such a secure place in which I feel safe and at home from the Peace Corps! I know for a fact that most, if not all, volunteers are in much less...I just got lucky because Veronica's niece learned to read from a PCV and she has done a little bit of work with Grow Well, with whom I will be affiliated.

Today I taught another class for the grade 6'ers at the primary. Today was good! For some reason they only gave me a little trouble and they were happy to see me. After giving them hours of math last time because they had been misbehaving, I would have thought that they would have been rebellious. Perhaps the reason is that I worked some art into the curriculuum today! It was very heartwarming that many of the students took the time to draw me pictures with "I love you, Miss Haley" and little poems on them. My heart was seriously melting. So today was a great day!!!! :) I will be adorning my new apartment with the drawings they did for me, by the way. These little buggers are really starting to grow on me. Fortunately for me, the futbol game was rescheduled until next tuesday (it was supposed to be yesterday and I had my interviews all day), so I still get to see them play! Other than art, we worked on opposites and similars of definitions and the main idea of stories. Then, I worked with the other Grade 6 class on grammar and compostion. I'm not sure what the other teacher feeds her students, but they all have discipline already in their blood. Now, I just have to find the potion she gives them and give it to my grade 6.... :) They are really actually pretty good, so the light mixture will do.

After swearing-in, we are given a "3 month integration period". Of which I will discuss in the next blog or two. However, I believe that my first move will be to work with the primary two days a week on individual and group tutoring. One of my first tasks will be to establish a daily activities schedule for each of the classes and then decipher when I will come to the school to work with the students. The second task will be to meet with the teachers to decide which students will meet with me and when is the best time and methods; along with what subjects they will be helped with. The third task will be to find other community members or secondary students that will be training to be a tutor and get the ball rolling that way... Then I have to

This coming up week I am going to take off to get settled and find my way around Gros Islet and Rodney Bay. Getting home tasks completed in St. Lucia is much harder than in the states! I realized that in order to find what you need, you usually have to go to three or four stores first and then you can only take so much on the bus back home with you! Finding tape and paper....impossible! On thursday I have to find a place that sells radios, buckets, tape, paper, thread, and many other little things...oh yes, and I am still looking for good running shoes to replace the ones I ridiculously left on the bus.