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Entries about teaching

Bye for now Huanchaco

sunny
View London - before the off! on Rebecca Heller's travel map.

My two months in Huanchaco flew by so fast, it's hard to believe I'm back in Lima for the next part of my adventure.

I ended up working on many different projects, which meant I got to see even more of Huanchaco life than otherwise. As I mentioned I spent a month teaching at two schools in towns just outside of Huanchaco. It wasn't always easy, the mixed age classes and lack of help from the teachers made it challenging but for the most part, the kids made up for it (and when we had things like the rain simulation!). For the end of term we took 4 of the oldest kids from one school who had done their homework, to the cinema - it was one girl's first trip to he cinema! At the other school, we brought the cinema to the kids, plus so much food we were giving it away at the end.

I then took on the role of interim coordinator at NAFE Peru for a few weeks. This is an NGO who provides after school activities for local kids and on Sundays, a big lunch. I was responsible for organising volunteers and activities for Monday to Friday, and since it was the holidays, we opened mornings and afternoons. We had 40-50 kids nearly every morning and afternoon, which was slightly crazy but in our minds, a big success.

This role involved visiting many of the houses to talk to the parents and certainly gave me an insight into their lives that I wouldn't have otherwise.

Many of the kids at NAFE have very little in life, but are so full of love that it's difficult not to like even the harder to manage kids. Our Christmas party was chaotic with 90 kids, but it was a joy to see them enjoy themselves and I was sad to say goodbye (whilst also slightly relieved when it was quiet again!).

The other project I ended up helping with was getting Otra Cosa started with a database. They already knew they wanted to go for Salesforce, so I put on my former professional hat and helped them prepare and apply for the non profit grant, and then with the initial set up. I may not have cracked the system before I left, but hopefully they're in a good place to continue to build the database and make it truly useful for them.

I met some great people here. I know I'll see some of them again (I have some new places on my travel hit list now!) and the others I'll remember fondly. I'd like to go back and visit Huanchaco again some day, I don't know when, but it would be good to revisit when I can.

For now though, I'm in Lima and about to join my tour of the south for the next 3 weeks.

Posted by Rebecca Heller 08:01 Archived in Peru Tagged children parties school teaching huanchaco otra cosa nafe Comments (0)

All things new

21 °C
View London - before the off! on Rebecca Heller's travel map.

Somehow nearly three weeks have flown by since the beginning of my trip and I have already finished my second week of teaching in two primary schools around Huanchaco. It's been so busy that it feels as though I've been in Huanchaco for much longer already. It's been a time full of new experiences and new friends. Here are some of the new things I've experienced (/heard about since arriving!):

Teaching
I'm working with two other girls in both schools. I know I could have been thrown right in alone so it has been great to have them around ease me in and learn from. I have taught English before to High School students and adults and have worked with primary age children but teaching ESL to kids this young is a new experience for me. The schools are both pretty basic and for the most part we teach joint age groups (grades 1 & 2, 3 & 4 etc.). This presents challenges, especially in the youngest groups, where the children are at different levels of reading and writing in Spanish, let alone English.

So far most of the lessons I have been here for have gone well. There are frustrations, with the local teachers and students alike, but there are also those great moments when a child realises they can do something, or surprises you by remembering something from the last class. The kids are friendly, and whilst they don't always show it in class, they seem to get genuinely excited for English lessons, some even sit with us at break time and spend 30 minutes asking how to say things in English.

El Niño
During my Otra Cosa induction I was told school would finish early, in November rather than December, due El Niño. This apparently a fairly well known phenomenon, but it was new to me. I won't go into too much detail here as El Niño really deserves it's own post, but according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service, El Niño 'is a complex weather pattern resulting from variations in temperatures in the Equitoril Pacific'. It affects different places in various ways. It also occurs in irregular cycles, and the severity of the weather changes depends on the extent to which ocean temperatures increase. This El Niño is set to be a big one, and in northern Peru this means there will be large amounts of rain fall, something they haven't seen much since the last major El Niño in 1997-8.

Surfing
Here in Huanchaco there's a big surfing community. It's not something I have ever felt like doing before but not one to be left out, I went for my first class. I went on a day where the weather was less than perfect for a complete beginner (apparently courtesy of El Niño) but I had a lot of fun, even managed to stand up for all of about one second. I haven't rushed back into the water yet but I will be going for a second lesson. It's hard work, pretty taxing on the arms and I've never been so hungry as after 2 hours of class, I really should do some press ups before the next class!

There have been plenty of other new and exciting experiences (especially around food and different volunteer project), but I'll save them for another time!

Posted by Rebecca Heller 16:41 Archived in Peru Tagged surfing teaching huanchaco otra cosa Comments (0)

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