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A week has gone by already ?

sunny 25 °C

Hola todo el mundo!

I{m here and safe and nice and warm in the Cuban sun! I can{t believe we{ve been here a week already. It feels like we just arrived. Here{s a catch up what{s going on.

We{re living just outside of Santa Clara, at the Instituto Pedagogico (teaching University) in the visitor{s dorm. The dorms are much nicer than we e┬┤pected ' we have running watter, and even a shower )but it{s really cold. There{s 4 of us in each room, and we eat our meals in our dorm. There{s about 400 students in the instituto, and about 250 stay on campus during the week. Every morning at 6. theystart playing regatonne music over the loud speakers (and they really are loud speakers) to wake everyone up. I have a tendancy to roll over and sleep through the music, since we don{t need to get up until 6 45. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we are teaching at a secondary school with our Cuban partners (students at the instituto in 3rd, 4th or 5 th year). I was told before we left that I was going to be teaching grade 7 beginners, but they were away the first day (so i just helped in another class) and the next day, theysaid I now had a grade 9 class (ugh). In my class of 37 (yes, 37 grade 9 students is me stepping out of my comfort zone) 15 had freanch last year (so could complete the unit I had planned in a week) and 22 have had no french. I am learning the meaning of being flexible in teaching. The class is great though, and they already know i{m crazy. We{re teaching them french with the communicative approach, so there is no translating, lots of talking and even more actions. Whenwe came out of our first class, my partner said [wow, you{re crazy in a class room[ and I had to explain that we don{t always teach like that in Canada. I have never talked with my body so much. The first few classes, when there was alot of knowledge to be acquired, I was sweating profusely by the end of the class. it{s hard to keep them engaged and learning only using french. I{m really glad we{re working with the Cuban partners. It definetally gives us the chance to get to know them and ask themquestions (about their life here, politics) that we wouldn{t be able to ask anyone else.

We{re also teaching french at the instituto to the 2d and 3rd years. My partner is in the 3rd yewar class, so it{s kind of weird. it{s hard because we only have 3 lessons with each class, and they want us to teach le passe compose. I{m sure it will work out fine.

We will alsotake spanish lessons at the instituto, as well as get a history lesson )in spansih then translated)

Besides that, we actually have alot of work to do. We have to lesson plan for all the courses, reflect in 2 different ways for eachlesson, and write our big final self evaluation.

To walk into downtown, it{s about 25 minutes, and I{ve come a few times this week with the intention of writing home, but each time, I ran into one of the cuban partners and we went exploring. The other day, we went to the Che monument. Santa Clara was a very important place in the revolution and it was here that he commanded a train derailed that was heading to havana that had weapons for batista{s army. They say that was the thing that won the war. Anyways, there is a big monument to Che, as well as a museum and a mausoleum. His remians, as well as the remains of his troops that were also killed in Bolivia arekept in a beautifl place. It was facinating to see that, as well as talk to randy )the cuban partner that came with us ) about how important che is to Cuba. The pride in his eyes was amazing. There{s also a monument to the train that was derailed in town, that Iwill have to go see soon.

There{s so much more that we{{ve done ' I just don{t have time to write it all now. Let{s just say we{ve seen alot and danced alot (we went to a indie underground club with beautiful beautiful traditionalmusic. I felt like i was at cafe deux soleils)

That{s about all the time ihave for now. I{ve got to get back and get some work done

xoxo jess

Posted by jchapelski 07:20 Archived in Cuba

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You're presence was greatly missed!
Glad to hear you're having such an amazing time down in Cuba, so jealous!!
Can't wait to hear more!

by BritWalton

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