Monday, December 27, 2010

In Other News

We spent an afternoon with our good friends Mari and Flavio and ate traditional Mexican Barbacoa.  This isn't the barbacoa you eat at Chipotle :).  It is made out of Cow tongue and lips (Mari conveniently pointed out that we had kissed a cow after we ate it).  For those of you who are wondering, the flavor of barbacoa is great.  The texture is a little bit harder to stomach.  The lips and tongue of the cow are very fatty and greasy which makes the meat very slimy. 
 However, I ate four tacos, it wasn't much of a deter for me, anything is good with salsa and cilantro.  :).

Posada y la Reunion (Christmas Party)

And then!...Speaking of being blessed to have such great friends.  We had a Christmas party: in Mexico they are called Posadas on the 11th of Mexico with our bible study called the Gathering.  We ate a ton of Mexican Christmas food: fish, beef, and ham along with mashed potatoes corn, salad, tortillas (of course).  The fish was called bacalao and was made with potatoes and several other ingredients.  Ramiro also made an awesome punch, called Ponche, made with several different kinds of tropical fruit and spices.  I am so grateful to be able to experience the culture and hospitality of Mexicans.
 It was a joy just to spend time with my friends and celebrate Christmas.  I told Tex and Marissa it felt like I was at home with family.  We went around the room and shared the best and worst things about our year.  My worst thing was being so busy with homework.  But the best was being able to come to Mexico and having seen God do so much in my life to make it possible that I could serve there and share the love and liberty that he has shown me.  It has been a constant reminder and confirmation that God has been working in my life and healing me.
 Among other good parts of the year that was shared were the family that we have found at the Gathering, and a friend who had just recently come to Christ.  Thank God for the family and friends He has given us, and the way He is working in our lives!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Birthday (Cumpleanos)!!!

Ok, so for those of you who don't know, my birthday is on December 1st...I was born in 1987 which makes me 23, (I thought I could save you some time on math.)
 This year my birthday fell on a Wednesday, and naturally I had to go to work.  This was definitely not a disappointment though, I know birthdays are always blessings, and this was no exception.  At school the fourth grade teacher taught some students Happy Birthday and they all sang for me...right before giving me a huge group hug.  I got cards from my classroom, and cake!
 That night Tex and Marissa took me out for a birthday dinner at La Casita (a little restaurant that makes empenadas).  I had my first empenadas with a group of great friends, Tex and Marissa, some friends from our bible study and another missionary named Gina.
I know I've said this before, but I am soooooooooooooooo blessed to have friends and a community in Mexico.  I want to continue to spend time in their presence learning and growing with them.

Merry Christmas!!

Dear Friends and Family,
 I owe you an apology.  The last month has been so crazy that I've struggled...nope struggled is the wrong word: I haven't updated my blog.  I know that I have pledged to update every week, and I failed.
 I was very busy with school in the last month (really this whole semester) and I kept putting updates off until I finished school work.  Then when I finished school work I told myself I would take a break, and still did not update.  Well the good news is that I am at home in good old Colorado now, taking advantage of some much needed rest time and I have time to tell you all about  my adventures in Mexico.
 Before I start, after I have finished my first semester of school, I have had some time to reflect on my job and experience in Mexico.  Part of this reflection had to do with spending some much needed time with my friends Mari and Flavio, who gave me great advice and provided a very restful and encouraging time at their house a about a week ago.
First Grade Class Nava School 
 I got too distracted with school and doing things perfectly (those of you who know me well know this isn't a new problem), and I neglected my friends and family in Mexico.  It is very hard to balance work and play... in Mexico, because I have so much to do, and there is so much to experience.  But I have learned in the last few days of rest that I want to be more present in Mexico in the upcoming semester, and let some of my perfectionism go so that I can focus on the children in my classroom and at the school.  And also so that I can build relationships in Mexico.
On that note I ask for some prayer:
-First of all, I need prayer for a restful break here in Colorado.  That I will take time to be lazy and just be.
-I also need prayer for time with God; time to slow down and become prepared for the semester ahead.
-Prayer that I will focus on the students that I teach at the school: That I will realize what a blessing it is to teach them and to be with them, and that I will focus on their needs as a teacher, not just being a perfect instructor.
-Prayer that I will be able to focus more on others and not myself.
Thanks so much for your support.  I feel so blessed to work in Mexico and have this experience thanks for making this possible, believing in me and supporting me.  I couldn't do it without you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

School Days: Green Eggs and Ham

Friends and Family,
 I apologize for not sending out an update before now.  Our internet went out the week before Thanksgiving and I couldn't access my blog.  The only time I left the house to get on the internet was for homework :).
We got to make green eggs and ham for our first grade class...
Green Eggs and Ham in Spanish: Juevos Verdes con Jamon
 I hope your Thanksgiving was great!  I keep getting reminded of how lucky I am to be here.  I love my job more and more everyday, just working with with the kids and seeing them grow daily.  I would ask for prayer that I can rest in Jesus' love and know that I am safe and valued in Him, so that the students come to know this as well. 
 I very much enjoy working with the kids teaching English and first grade.  Our first grade students have been improving in counting, the alphabet and even writing!!  What a took us a while to get a system...and we still have a loooooong way to go, but I feel daily like we really are improving our teaching and helping the kids grow in their education.  Chris told me the other day that the school works so much better now than it did.  Last year he remembers being here when kids were running around outside of class instead of paying attention.  Now he says it is cool to come to the school and see and hear all the students in their classroom learning.  I feel really blessed to be apart of this improvement, we may have a long way to go, but we are already seeing change!

They were a little afraid at first, but by the end they loved them...

 English has been a big challenge for me all year, but I'm learning now how to teach the students in an organized and fun way.  Right now they are learning their numbers, and can already ask "What is your name," and " How are you."  Again, I have a lot of work to do to help them, but they really like learning English and are picking it up quickly.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello everyone!
 I had a rough time this week, remembering that my value comes from God and focusing on that instead of the acceptance of others.  But as the week went on I was very encouraged as to how much God loves me just as I am, and I was able to relax some. 
So this weekend I have been reminded of how lucky I am to be in Mexico experiencing life here.  I'm glad to be able to get to know the lifestyle here and form relationships with people here.   I went to bible study The Gathering (or La Reunion) and got to hang out, learn and pray with my some great Mexican friends.  I had a lot of fun teaching English to some crazy hoodlum kids on Friday and then came home to play wall ball with four little boys who live behind us on the railroad tracks, funny story to come later :).  And I was greatly encouraged by Roy the head of Hands and Feet Ministries praying for me and encouraging me, as well as the advice of Tex, Roy, Marissa, and John and Josh (some guys who came down to help us for a few days) to keep plugging away in school and doing my best.
Some dental technicians came to the school to show the kids how to brush their teeth.

 Overall I'm grateful that I
can just be in God's love and trust Him to work in me to make a difference in Mexico and to become who He wants me to be.  I'm especially glad that as I'm just being in God's love I get to be in Mexico.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A little update from my weekly report for Hands and Feet... Enjoy!

Teaching the Alphabet

This week was a short week at the school and a good time for me to catch up on school work.  We had Monday and Tuesday off because of Day of the Dead.  I spent most of the day, on Monday and Tuesday working on school work and getting caught up.  I’m glad to be caught up, and now I have a bit of a break from school because I am on time with all of my assignments and have time to rest a little bit more.  I already really feel like I need a break, not so much from teaching as from my own school work.  I feel like I’m always working.
            The week was also a little bit different because the time changed in Nava to an hour earlier, but not in Piedras.  This meant that the teachers left Piedras an hour later than usual, and left to return an hour earlier.  This made for a shorter day and some needed rest.  Other than that the week was pretty normal.  I got to carve pumpkins on Monday with Ramiro, Tex, and Marissa and we started new material for the next two months at school.  I’m still very challenged to help the kids learn the best with all of the work that I am responsible for, but I think we are making a difference just being there and I want to keep doing my best.  The biggest challenge is English, how do I teach the students so that they learn the concepts completely, but don’t get bored?  This is rough!  Last week and the week before I wrote a song to Chris Brown’s “Forever” so that the older kids can learn how to ask someone “how are you?”  they really enjoy this, especially when I’m dancing in front of the classJ.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Prayer and Praise

-Please pray for continued rest both spiritually and physically.
-Please pray that we know how to best help the children learn and grow and that we can do our best doing so.
Summer sky in Mexico (from July)
-Communication: That we could all communicate our needs well to one another as we work together at the school.
 -That I can focus on why I am here and being in the moment.

- Fall festival (Fogata):  This was one of those moments when I was reminded that I am supposed to be here and that we are making a difference.
-We are learning a ton (Bere and I) about how to best teach the students and run class, things are running smoother and smoother.  I can see that the students are learning daily.

It finally feels like fall in Mexico

Hi again,
 I hope you have all had a good week.  I hear some areas of Colorado received snow this week, congrats :).  We started at about 90 degrees this week, but now it feels like fall.  So for the last few days I have made myself a cup of tea and sat in a very sunny living room to work on my homework.  It is the little things in life right?
Tomorrow is day of the dead, so we don't have school today (Monday) and Tuesday so I've been catching up on school work.  That is a good thing, because I have been behind for weeks now.  I'm caught up and have more time to get ahead now.
My pumpkin is the chili on the right, Tex's is the cross and Ramiro's is the Mac Apple.
This weekend has been awesome on Saturday night we had what they call a fogata, or a bonfire.  We went to the school to set up at noon and at six the kids arrived.  They bobbed for apples, tossed bean bags, shot basketballs.  Then we had races: potato sack races, and balloon pop races ( they ran to a chair and popped the balloon by sitting on it and ran back).  After that we ate hot dogs (salchichas) chips and cupcakes.  Ok, ok, the best part was the hay ride, we drove around the whole town, looking at stars, and singing the whole way, and when we got back Chris and one of the men that helps at the school jumped out and sprayed us with silly string.  It was a ton of fun.
Finally we roasted marshmallows (bombones) over the fire, sat, laughed an threw light up sticks into the sky (y'know those sticks that shine colors when you break the capsule inside).  It looked like it was raining colors, very beautiful.  One of the women that works at the school told me that this festival was the best thing that had ever happened for the school.  I laughed a lot with the other teachers as well, it was awesome!  I'm so glad that I get to be apart of what is happening at the school.

Yesterday, we went to the orphanage, House of Peace, and had carne asada (barbecue mexican style).  I got to play soccer, got my hair braided, laughed a ton and ate amazing food!  It was a blessing.
Tonight, Monday night, Tex, Ramiro and I carved each a pumpkin. It was a great time to just hang out and be with friends.  I'm grateful for the break.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Because my dreams are bursting at the seams...

Hello friends and family,
 I apologize for lacking updates, but my life is crazy right now...not just because I live in Mexico.   I would ask for prayer for getting my work done for school in a timely manner and for rest. 
Quickly, I was so blessed two weeks ago to go to Bistro Strodes...o sorry, Bistro Ashida's, wedding.  It was amazing to see the fall colors and the faces of so many good friends and family.  What an encouragement to laugh like old times with the plethora of roomates we have accumulated over the years, but more importantly to just talk about and continue to share life together.  (it seems like I become more romantic by the moment with these blogs).  It was so good to share Bistro's moment with her and be a part of it. 
Now in two weeks a lot has happened.  I've killed ticks, a mouse, seen my first live scorpion, and gotten in a slight car wreck.  School is hard but I am encouraged regularly and I really love my job.  Tex and Marissa (the missionaries I live with) are back after being gone for a few weeks, so everything is getting back to normal.  ( I was living with Ramiro and his mother which was also a blessing- I learned more Spanish than a confused and tired Coloradan native immersed in Piedras Negras Mexico...o wait...).  I'm making friends and loving it here as much as ever.  Bere the other teacher and I are probably going to try to play some soccer at the orphanage this week, sometimes I'm amazed at my life :).
 The school is going good, the other teacher and I are seeing that the students are learning.  We are very much learning ourselves so it is always a challenge, but I see that we are making a difference.  Zac and Katherine Roland (the missionaries that run the school) are back now too, and are an encouragement daily. 
Fun day this summer (month of July) and a good view of the school.  My classroom is the blue door in the background.
 The infamous Jessie Goforth and her friends and family have sent five boxes of food which have spurred many joyful, goosebump filled conversations in the kitchen (thank you note to come Jess) and fall is here...which means 80 degree weather and yellow flowers lining the highway.  It is ok to be jealous...I miss the snow and fall colors...Children are getting sponsored, we have been blessed with a new stove in the kitchen and we laugh every day, a lot, all together and working with the kids.

 Thanks for your prayers.  If you keep could pray that I could finish my work, get some free time (I would looooveeee to play some soccer!!), and rest physically and spiritually that would be awesome.  For continued support for the school, that Jesus would work through us to show his love and mercy to the kids and their families and that smiles will grow daily.  Safety is always a big thing too.

More fun times in July

We did this a couple of weeks ago with the kids as well...only this time with all the teachers in their dress up clothes :).
I am going to get a camera charger this week  ( I lost mine) so be waiting for pictures.  Love and Joy, Katt (gatitta).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Because my dreams are bursting at the seams...

I just returned from one of the most encouraging weekends so far.  I got to spend time with friends whom I love very much and talk about life and the crazy things that are happening in our lives...More to come...Right now I have to do homework :).
Photo courtesy of Ramiro Yanez

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Meaning of Adventure

Ok, I need to apologize for not writing for so long.  I have been very busy but I realized today that I have a responsibility to update you on what is going on in my life.  From now on I will update every week.  (you can keep me accountable :)).
Mexican Opera
 So we left off before Independence Day here in Mexico and I must say that since that time I have realized, more than once, how blessed I am to be hear.  We spent the 15th with the orphanage, House of Peace, and got to see fireworks, laugh, eat ice cream, run around, dance, try on sombreros and Mexican Mustaches, listen to Mexican Opera and our friend Isai talk like Donald Duck (Pato Donald), and, yes, this is very Mexican, eat dinner at about 12 o' clock in the morning.
 I am so thankful for the family that I have here with Tex and Marissa and House of Peace and I can't wait to hang out again.
Tex wearing a sombrero and Mexican (fake) mustache.
 Since the Independence day House of Peace came over to Tex and Marissa's house for dinner one night, where I got to play soccer with two young boys, hold little two year olds, and laugh and eat with the house mother and father.  I also visited the orphanage for an afternoon of playing soccer with the boys.  I know I already said this, but it is quite a blessing!!!


Escuela de Nogal is has been good, but difficult.  I have spent many a night planning lessons and doing homework up until six hours before I have to get up and do it all over again.  But every week (at least), I find it is worth it.  I know that I am in a unique situation, but as a teacher what an honor and blessing it is to love kids no matter how hard it is and to be a constant source of care for them.  To all of my teacher friends out there, you are doing the right thing, and encouragement will come.  Hold on to your purpose and thanks for doing what you are doing.
 We found out last week that our school is the second from lowest in the state.  This was rough to hear because as a teacher it is my job to help my students improve, and upon hearing this news I was at a loss.  How do I help these kids improve?  As a teacher am I not doing my job?  But my friend Chris and others have encouraged me since, that we are doing the right thing and that we aren't going to see change over night.  We just need to keep doing what we are doing.
 The other day because it has been raining a lot here we didn't have bible class (it is usually outside).  So it was the teacher's job to give bible class.  It was kind of a spur of the moment event, but I ended up giving my testimony... to first graders and sharing with them Ephesians 3:18, which says "How long, wide, high and deep is the love of Christ."  It was one of those things where I didn't know what the response was, but what a joy it was to share with those students how much we are loved by Jesus and how he has changed my life so that I can be where I am today.  It was quite a blessing.

Right now I would ask for prayer in getting everything I need to done, and in getting enough rest.  Thanks for being interested in what is going on in my life and I pray that you have an amazing, awesome, super, blow your mind week!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Poder Joven

Sorry, I forgot to translate Poder Joven in my last Blog.  It means Young Power.  Thus the reason that those of us under the age of 28 get one!

In Mexico they take two days to celebrate Independence day.

The Mexican Google honoring Independence Day. September 16th.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Escuela de Nogal website and video

For those of you who don't have Facebook and thus couldn't see the video of the first week of school, follow this link.  The site will also have the students that go to our school and the teachers who are up for sponsorship if you are interested (200 dollars to pay a teacher monthly, 25 dollars to support a kid monthly.

Dia de Independencia

Wow.  This week has been a long one.  Between schoolwork, planning lessons and teaching adult English classes I have been living, eating, sleeping and dreaming school.  By the time I finished this weeks work on Sunday, I was shot.  I'm going to have to figure out a way to manage and balance everything so that I get a break throughout the week.  I don't want to burn out on teaching so early in the year.
The good news is that the sixteenth this week is independence day for Mexico, which means...that's right no school.  But not just no school, no school for three days!  I get to rest and prepare for five days total this week including the weekend.

 Not to mention, starting tomorrow night the party begins!  I will buy a Mexican blouse (red, white and green) and head to the street where there will be food out the wazoo: tacos...tacos...tacos, burritos, gorditas, enchiladas, iced fruit drinks and more.  We will play games and sing to a live band, and then when the clock strikes 11:30, we will all scream "Viva Mexico!!" and watch fireworks light up the sky.  Yeah, the U.S needs to learn how to party from Mexico. 
All in all I think it will be a good and exciting break.  Even on Thursday the teachers and students will be in a parade all marching together.

"Americana" got the sleepy eye

All the hard work aside, I'm learning so much about teaching and helping kids. It is so cool to have a program in Gunnison that challenges me to challenge myself. My students will benefit from it.
We learned last week that our school is behind in the state and I knew we were behind, but I didn't know how behind. Our lack of scores and the students low ability in required knowledge reflects on the school and teachers. People think that the teachers are not capable and won't send their kids to school. The biggest issue right now is that the students don't know how to read. As a first grade teacher it is my responsibility, alongside Bere, to help these kids have a good start on reading. Something that is very difficult! Luckily I'm taking classes at Western that are teaching me the best ways to teach reading and prepare the kids. I'm hoping I will be able to share these techniques with other teachers as well. Today we as a class played Una por Una, where the kids stepped in a square every time I said a new word in a sentence. It was hard, because they always struggle at the end of the day...but they are learning.
The other big help, is learning behavior management at Western. It is very hard to stay consistent with disciplining and giving kids consequences, but as I learn better how to do this we will all benefit. This is such a huge learning experience!

And the Social Scene.

I got a Mexican phone this week, so now I can call all my Mexican friends...ok, well first I have to make Mexican friends ;). My friend Ramiro is helping me to fit in, he helped me buy the phone and is giving me advice on how best to learn about social life in Mexico. I have a Poder Joven card, which gets me discounts because I'm under the age of 28, a cell phone, and I'm learning and making friends with the other teachers in Nava.
I will be going to a concert with these friends later this month...the Camilas, apparently they are a very famous band. I can't wait. AND...

La Reunion
Tex and Marissa lead a small group called La Reunion, or The Gathering in English. We went to the house of Tono and Laura this last Friday and had some Mexican style hang out time. We played...brace really you need to be sitting down...we played "Ten thousand Mexicans say" which is Like a Mexican Family Feud. Oh I had so much fun, playing and eating...I hope you are still sitting...we had dinner at 11:30!! Oh yes I am becoming Mexican! The biggest blessing was just being able to socialize with people and make friends. Of course, being told that the first time I met the hosts that this house is yours, and to take care of myself was great! I was so welcomed and I can't wait to go back Tuesday (tonight) for dinner and a bible study.

In a nutshell that was my week. I hope everyone at home is doing well. Thanks for your support and prayers. What you all want to do and help with in Nava is an encouragement to me! Love
Katt (Gatita).

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm slowly becoming a teacher...

So my second week of school ended today. We received enough money on Monday to be able to pay all of the teachers 200 dollars for the month of September, which was encouraging. This week was kind of rough at first, I was tired and getting sick and had a hard time really being motivated to get up every morning and teach little ruffians. But it worked out ok, on Tuesday even though I didn't felt good I got to read my class a story and I remember thinking how much I was enjoying the time. Today was the same even though it rained puddles, many of which seeped into the room under the door and from the ceiling. But honestly, the school really isn't as bad as I made it sound just now. Our classroom and two others have air conditioning and the people that I work with are becoming family rapidly. Bere, the other teacher I teach with just gave me a free ticket to a huge concert that is coming to Piedras on the 24th. I'm so excited!

Moving From Nava to Piedras

I moved from Nava to Piedras Negras this week because the teachers that are from Piedras who are student teaching at Escuela de Nogal need a ride everyday and it saves money if I take them there and back once instead of twice. So now I have my own room upstairs in the Bagley's house, these are the missionaries that I helped with in July. The room is really nice, it is less stressful to be able to go up there and study when I need to and have my own space to be alone a little bit. It is a blessing.

School Happenings

One cool thing that happened this week is that Bere and I have started working out consequences for our class so that they can take ownership of their own behavior (yes mom and Keith, they are consequences, not punishment...), but many of the other classes are struggling to the point where they aren't able to really teach class because the kids are so crazy. When I was teaching English yesterday the fifth grade kids were throwing rocks in the classroom...yeah. So we are going to share our consequences with the other teachers and start meeting monthly to put together school wide behavior expectations and consequences. I think it will help the kids to take ownership of their own education and behavior, and give them a sense of pride as well. This is exactly what my class at Western taught about about two weeks before I came down, so it is cool that I can use it now to truly help the school become more efficient.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Support the Students

If anyone is interested the kids need to be supported at the school as well. It costs 25 dollars a month to support a child. Pictures are up on Facebook, let me know if you are interested.

My First Week in Nava (it has only been a week?!?)

Hey guys this is just a little blurb about the first week of school, I wrote it for the Roland's (the people I live with) newsletter.  Enjoy!
                When I arrived in Nava a little more than a week ago, I was excited and nervous to get work and live in the city.  By the time, school started on Monday I was more confident, having prepared some, but I learned the first lesson of teaching…and Mexico: Nothing ever goes as planned.  So I got to work on relaxing and just going with the flow with the kids.  Something I think we do pretty much everyday.  By the end of the week I was exhausted and sore, but I had so many moments when I was so happy to be living in Mexico.  Not only did I have moments that I realized I was grateful to be in Nava, but there were moments when despite being tired and nervous, I was encouraged and I knew that this is where I am supposed to be.  This happened when we prayed Friday morning over the school and Zac, and when we were greeted on Sunday by the congregation of San Pablo.  Through this and seeing the video that Zac put together this week for the school I was encouraged in knowing that we are making a difference for the kids at the school.  It was a great start to the year and I’m excited to keep working with the kids and letting God work.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Teachers at the school

Hi everyone,
 So in the last week we have had an awesome week at the school, teaching the kids and getting our schedule together.  We found out though that we don't have very much money at the school, and the teachers aren't being payed.  Some of the teachers you see below can't pay for food or medicine for their families, so they need the money right away!  Zac and Katherine are going to try to get them sponsored, for 200 dollars a month you can support a teacher so that those who have no more than a pack of beans in their freezer can support their families.  Please let me know if you are interested.

This is Domitila, our daughter. She is working at the school every day taking care of Ashley, the two month old daughter of the director. She is also taking classes in the afternoons.
This is Myra and her mother Paulina. They are cooking all the meals for the school in their home.
This is Berenice. She is a student teacher from Piedras Negras. She travels every day to Nava to teach first grade.
This is Katt. She is a student teacher from Colorado. She is living here in Nava with us for the entire year. She is teaching first grade and English. She is also teaching English to adults from the community two nights a week.
This is Chris. He lives here with us in Nava permanently. He is taking over for me while I am gone. He is leading the devotions for the teachers, making sure there is food, transporting people and food, and running the after school programs. He is finishing his degree online.
This is Hilda. She has returned to the school as Director. She had to leave last year due to complications with her pregnancy. She works directly with the inspector, teachers and curriculum.
This is Ani. She is a student teacher from Piedras Negras. She travels to Nava every day to teach 5th grade and English.
This is Adriana and Cesar (and one of their daughters Suni). Adriana is from here in Nava and teaches 3rd grade. Cesar helps with maintenance and is our night watchmen, making rounds at the school 6 times a night.
This is Ramiro. He is our best friend and the "owner" of the school on paper. He is from Piedras Negras and travels every day. He is also handling the legal obligations of the school and teaching computer class.
This is Lupita. She is the administrative assistant and substitute teacher.
This is Sarai. She is a student teacher from Piedras Negras and she travels every day to teach 4th grade.
This is Rocio. She is from Allende and travels every day to Nava to teach 2nd grade. She is the only returning teacher from last year who stayed with no guarantee of pay until the teachers are sponsored.
This is Hayde. She leads Bible class and devotion for the kids everyday. She is from here in Nava and has one child at the school. She also serves as an assistant and substitute teacher.
This is Mario and Letty. He is our grounds keeper and maintenance man and everything else. Letty helps with the meals and serves as the custodian. Their family has stuck with the school through everything.
This is Isai. He recently graduated with a degree in music and once he is sponsored he will be moving to Nava to teach music, art and lead worship. He is a very talented musician from Piedras and is traveling every day right now.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bere and some students first few days of school.
Students in our classroom working on writing their letters.
This first week in Nava has been good, but definitely tiring. I teach the 1st grade class with another student teacher from Mexico named Bere. Right now we are working toward teaching the kids the alphabet, gym, some numbers, and just how the classroom will be run so that it will be much smoother and so they will learn what they need to. I started teaching English today to all of the classes, I just read a story and had them put it in order. I am still a little confused as of how to best teach English to elementary schoolers, but I have an idea of what is too easy for the older kids and what the younger kids are interested in. Please pray for my ability to really teach these kids and help prepare them for their future, and also to show them Jesus' love. It is all a learning process and I'm not sure how to best teach elementary schoolers especially in a different language, so please pray for that as well. Thanks guys, I'm learning a ton!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh, Mexico...I guess I've got to go now

Ok guys,
 Here goes.  I leave tomorrow at 11:45 for San Antonio and the Roland's will pick me up when my plane lands at 2:50.  I should be in Nava around 6 or so.  I'm a little nervous and very excited, please pray for my preparation for blessing the kids and working with the Mexican teacher as I travel.  On Monday school starts.  Here are some other prayer requests if you wouldn't mind keeping them in mind as I head out:

-My time and studies:  I will be working full time at the school and taking online courses to receive my teaching license.  Please pray that I can make the most of my time with the kids, my studies, and my peers as this experience is once in a lifetime.
-Safety:  Nava and Piedras are some of the safer areas of Mexico, but they still aren’t as safe as the U.S.  Please pray for wisdom for my peers and me as we travel and live in the city, and for protection from violence from the cartels or any other power that could be harmful to us.
-Pray that we can show the love of Jesus to the children and that they will come to know his love, grace, freedom, and hope.
-That we can help the children recognize their value and help them take ownership of their future.
-Also pray that as we share Jesus’ love with the kids that we will continue to learn and rest in His love, grace, freedom, and hope.  And that we will know that He is the one that does the work, we just have to rest in Him.
Love, Katt