A Letter from Amanda:

Teaching here is amazing. My last month here I will be teaching all my classes alone (YIKES!) but I am excited for the challenge.

Greetings Everyone!

Today marks one month exactly since I have left.  I miss home and things about home that you can’t even imagine: toilet seats, clean air, no dust, family and friends.  I haven’t done anything too exciting lately so I just wanted to tell everyone about what I do everyday.

I have grades kindergarten through 6th grade. When I lesson plan I have the same activities for the kindergartners and the first graders because neither can read or write.  Lesson planning for 2-4 is a lot easier because I can do the same activity for them. I plan something different for the 5&6th graders because they are too cool for school and I am trying to do things they would like to learn.  So far I have taught greetings, colors and numbers.  Some kids may know hello, 1-5 but that’s about it.  Only one or two know a decent amount, in the entire school.  Most kids don’t know a whole lot and don’t like learning because it sounds different than what they are used to.  I try to do fun things like worksheets, games, and crafts.  For a review game today we played BINGO with our kids with candy, pencils, and stickers as prizes.  The school itself is quiet nice, but the bathrooms are lacking: they are NOT clean, no toilet seats, no toilet paper, no soap, and no water. It makes me sad that soap and water are not necessities here.  We play games at recess and all the kids know us whether we teach them or not.  They all call us Profesora.

I also teach teenagers at a youth center. For them I have a little different tactic.  We are practicing reading and pronunciation.  I am reading with them a book called “Goodnight Wisconsin”.  I bought it in the museum in Milwaukee and it is for children but all about things to do in WI: Brewers, State Fair, Madison, etc.  The simple sentences allow us to teach them not only the words themselves, but the correct pronunciation.  We practice correct business interactions and anything they may need in the future.

In addition to my teachings, I have started a English class at the youth center for adults on Monday nights.  I just started teaching this one this past week, but they have asked me to speak in nothing but English.  In my other classes I mostly speak in Spanish with the English words.  However, the adults would like me to speak in English because they understand more than my kids do.  So, I will be designing the class around them and what they would like to learn.

Teaching here is amazing. My last month here I will be teaching all my classes alone (YIKES!) but I am excited for the challenge.  I plan to teach my kids animals in English next week and we are going to color animals then post them on poster board to create our own zoo.  Next week is technically my week off from teaching (other volunteers are going to Machu Picchu) but I have decided to stay in Trujillo and teach an extra week at my school.  I will be teaching the ENTIRE school next week because the other volunteer will be in Cuzco.  So I will be teaching ALOT next week but it will be worth it in the end!

The weekends around here have been quiet for me. I have been hanging out with some friends, going to see movies (in Spanish), eating at KFC, shopping, and small day trips to smaller communities.  I usually like to lesson plan and run my errands on the weekends so no long trips for me but I am happy with that!

Tomorrow is my birthday!! I am soo blessed this year to be in Peru!! Last night my friends and I went out to dinner to celebrate and they bought me a cake so it was amazing! My host mom made a chocolate cake for me for tomorrow and she is taking us out to lunch!  Tomorrow night I will be going out with some friends I made here for dinner, so I will not be alone! I will be enjoying my day!

Thank you and 5 weeks left!!

Love you all!

Amanda Hensley
Teaching English Volunteer, Summer 2013