Since mid December, James and I have been working with several students who will be starting this next year at Palabra de Vida. We have been working to improve their English skills in order to help ease their transition when the school year begins. James has been working with 7th and 8th graders and I have been working with 1st graders. It was interesting/frustrating/rewarding for both of us to work with these students.
Please join us in praying for them as they face so many adjustments ahead. They will be trying to build new friendships, get used to a very early schedule, keep up with more rigorous academics than in public school, and be entering a bilingual environment in which their second language skills are much lower than their peers. They have a lot of challenges to overcome in the following weeks and would be blessed by your prayers.
James and I were able to get away for a few days after tutoring ended and had a blast camping at Parque Nacional Marina Ballena. On our first day we explored the beach, which has a peninsula jutting out that is the shape of a whale’s tail. That night we discovered two things: our tent was only water resistant, not water proof and we were camping
right near a troop of howler monkeys. Needless to say, it proved to be a more exciting night than we anticipated. We are making memories here, people! The next day we went canyoning—a combination of hiking, bouldering, and rappelling down a canyon. We got to rappel down 6 different waterfalls and it was amazing! Thank you Mae Mae and Papa for an amazing Christmas present. The last day we went out on a boat and saw 4 (massive) humpback whales and went snorkeling. It was a trip we will never forget and it was nice to get away one last time before school starts.
Tomorrow morning a week and a half of teachers’ meetings begins and then a new school year. Please pray for us as we make preparations that will hopefully lighten our load throughout the school year. Teaching positions were finalized just last week and James will be teaching 7th and 8th grade Physical Science and 10th and 11th grade Chemistry, and I will be making a transition of my own. This year I will be teaching 5th grade English, Reading, and Science. We are both happy about where we ended up and excited to see what this new year has in store!