By: Stephanie Jean
Time flies when you’re having fun, and these past two months have passed with the blink of an eye. All the interns and myself have learned a lot along the way and are starting to appreciate Nicalife to the fullest. Enjoying the people, sports, food, music and rain.
Work is starting to pick up and I’m starting to find a routine. This past Friday we had TEP’CE workshop, which is a professional development day for the teachers. This training happens on the last Friday of every month. I was paired up with Alison T. and we were asked to present on reading and writing techniques for the 1st and 2nd grade teachers. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous, I’m not a very good public speaker and am no expert on reading or writing. Putting the anxiety aside, Alison and I got to work planning our workshop. With limited resources, we had to step out of our PowerPoint presentation routine and get creative!
To my relief, the workshop was a success! It was our first time presenting a formal workshop to the teachers, and they were really receptive to our information and ideas. We had some laughs learning names with the icebreakers and waking up with energizers we played. After showcasing our ideas on teaching reading and writing and sharing some techniques they could use, a discussion was started. This is what Alison and I wanted. Participation from the teachers was awesome, and it was great to hear the techniques they use, the challenges they face, and how they feel they can improve their teaching styles. We later got the group to make phonetic flashcards, which we later raffled off to one of the participants. Due to the mix of Creole and Spanish spoken in the area, students and teachers have difficulty spelling correctly, because they write the words as they sound, which isn’t always right. The teachers acknowledged that they need to do more themselves to teach their students better. All the participants were pleased with the morning and the dynamic of the group.
Pearl Lagoon is not all work. We play too!! And with basketball and volleyball seasons over, baseball is starting to pick up. The last few weeks of August we witnessed the Germán Pomares Ordóñez Tournament, Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League finals. The Caribbean Coast team was up against the Indios del Boer. Our weekends were spent with community members, all glued to the television to see how the tournament played out. All the games were nail biters and no one knew how the series was going to play out. It all came down to the sixth game, of seven, with the Coast leading. They played in Puerto Cabeza, which is a city on the Atlantic coast, so they had home advantage. Boer took the lead in the first inning, but the Coast didn’t waste time to tie it up. After some exciting homeruns and stolen bases, the Coast won 10 to 6, taking home the trophy after 24 years. It was great to celebrate with everyone and be a part of an event that is important for the community.
September is the month where baseball starts to pick up locally in the Lagoon. The town, I’m told, gets pretty serious about the sport. Soon I’ll be making the long walk to Haulover, the neighbouring town, to see the matches. Teams are made up of Pearl Lagoon locals and players from villages close by. If the games are as good as the basketball matches, I’m in for a treat!
Two months have passed, but there are still 3½ to go. I look forward to learn and experience more that the Atlantic coast has to offer, in work and in play. September is turning out to be a busy, yet exciting month, which I hope wont pass by so quickly like the first two!