All in all, you’re just a…’nother ‘merican on the wall.
I’ve been at Our Lady of Guadalupe High School (OLOG) for the past three days, and I’ve been observing. I’m eager to jump in and mix it up for the kids, but so far I’ve just been chillin’. It has taken awhile for the culture shock to wear down, so I’ve been fairly hands-off in the classroom. The kids kinda scare me because they’re tall seniors who bounce off the walls. But they’re endearing and now I’m not so shy around them. Being introverted has its downfalls.
This adjustment is different than schools in the U.S. because most of the students speak Kriol (Creole), and my linguistics background couldn’t possibly prepare me for how to handle it! I’m getting better at understanding it, but I think if it weren’t so speedily spoken, I would be picking it up quicker. The influences of this creole are from spanish, english, and african dialects. The kids are going to teach me some phrases; maybe I’ll be able to transcribe them and I can put them on here.
Here at OLOG, we have an open campus. There are many buildings with classrooms and offices; most of them are fairly open. OLOG is located in a more rural area in Belmopan, so we are surrounded by lots of trees (palms) and tropical plants! It’s absolutely beautiful, so much better than the cheap-o bushes in front of American schools. They paint the rocks around the plants and the bases of trees with limestone-infused paint. This wards off the hungry bugs and critters. Hopefully I’ll get the batteries to stop malfunctioning in my camera so I can take pictures of the campus and the kids.
The classrooms are lively all the time; there’s never a dull moment. Because I’m white, many of them approach me with funny looks but then it’s all good because I’m a nice person and I just smile, even if I don’t understand what they’re saying half of the time. The kids poked fun of my name because it is “fair.” They asked me, “are you a fair person? You’re not unfair, right?” Ohh some things do not change, regardless of whether you’re in the Caribbean or the Midwest.
We have some more bloggers on the trip, so far I have word that Nicole and Laura have set up blogs. You can keep updated with them, too!
Nicole’s blog: http://icantbelizeit-nicole.blogspot.com/
These are also located in the “helpful links” section of this blog.