It is nearing the end of day 3 here in Jinotega, and boy have I already done so much. It seems amazing to me that I get the privilege of teaching these children for 3 whole months. So. Here’s a breakdown of what has happened so far and what is expected to come.
- I met my roommate! Her name is Carmen and she’s volunteering for 8 weeks. She’s freaking lovely. Very shy and extremely kind. I’m pretty stoked that I get to live with her. We seem to balance each other out pretty much. She’s in university to be a teacher so it’s pretty cool that she has lots of teaching experience, while I’m pretty good at bursting through personal bubbles and will be able to help facilitate group interactions with ice breakers and such.
- I am absolutely in love with this city. To see the amazing mountains and surrounding countryside is so humbling. I feel so at peace with the world around me every time I see the beautiful skyline. The people are so kind, the children are so loving and eager, and everything is basically awesome.
- I had a talk with my superior (I guess you could call her that. She’s the staff member that takes care of the interns) about the expectations the program has of Carmen and I and the expectations Carmen and I have about the program. That was extremely relieving. I’ve been in this weird responsibility limbo, not knowing what my authority is and what not. I got keys, so I can come and go as I please (within reason). I have an in-country phone so they can call me and I can call them, for emergencies and just in general. All of this is cool. All of this makes me feel like I’m an extension of the staff, which they said I am. But also, I am treated as a volunteer most of the time so I have yet to figure out exactly where I fall. That’s okay, though. We’ll just ride it out.
- There was a pretty large issue with one of the individual volunteers not being able to abide by the very simple and clear rules enforced by Outreach360. I have been surprised and impressed with how Outreach has responded and how well they protect their reputation within Jinotega. I have again been reminded of why I signed on with this program and why I am so excited to serve with them.
That’s roughly it. Currently I’m volunteering with a small-ish group of 8th and 9th graders who attend Charleston Day School in South Carolina. They’re reminding me why I originally wanted to teach middle school; they are very funny but also extremely eager to learn and please. Except they sort of have an issue when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. I feel like these 3 months are going to be great practice at parenthood.