Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29!!!

Whoa, things have been CRAZY around here!! I don't really even know where to start here! School has been crazy, I feel like I am just running around all the time, but busy=good! My sister was here all last week, which made things even more crazy, but it was wonderful to have her here! I got to spend a lot of time with her-we all hiked the waterfall on Sunday, went to Pica Pollo (our fave spot) for dinner on Monday, had YL club Wednesday, Thursday she came to school and met my class, then we went down to my favorite spot down at the river and hung out at camp! It was a really fun week, and having Kara here was awesome!
Friday we had a huge Easter egg hunt/party to raise money for our 5th grade expedition!! We had an Easter egg hunt, egg toss contest, egg decorating contest, and sold a bunch of treats!! It was really fun, and we made quite a bit of money for our trip after break! We are studying immigration, so we are going to go to the capitol and visit an immigration office and museum, and then we are going to a Haitian village to learn about them immigrating to the DR, and will do a service project there! We will be camping out somewhere near there....with 19 5th graders...haha this is going to be crazy, but we are all going to learn so much! I am so excited!
After that crazy week last week, we are now on SPRING BREAK and it is wonderful!!! We rented this awesome house for $450 for 5 days....CRAZY!! It is so wonderful to have our own space and be on our own schedule since we are usually just on Maria's schedule! Funny stories though....on the way here we stopped in La Vega at a grocery store to stock up for the week, and our taxi driver was like okay you have 15 minutes, so we all took part of the grocery list and ran through the store, it was hilarious! Then, as we were leaving La Vega, our taxi driver, Giovanni, realized he needed new tires, so we stopped at a mechanic place and they put on new tires! it was rediculous! We were obviously really late by this time so we took a "shortcut" through the mountains which meant super tiny roads and going super fast....quite an interesting trip! But we made it, and that is all that matters! It has been so fun so far! This morning, JulieAnne and I went for a run and then swam laps in the ocean....can't get much more perfect than that!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CRAZY day so far today! The kids are in gym, so i thought I would update! 1-went to the beach this weekend and it was incredibly relaxing and fun! I went windsurfing....which is now my new favorite thing! ANYWAYS, today. I am teaching full time now, which is really fun but also quite overwhelming! Bible/devos is first thing in the morning, and I am trying with all that I have to get the kids EXCITED to read God's word and just to learn more about Him, so we are starting our days singing "This is the Day" which is fun and a good way to get them thinking that YES today is awesome because God made it and He has things planned for us today! It is not just some random day that we are here! SO that is cool, buuuuuut still they are 5th graders so it is hard! The craziness began after this today: one of the boys got really mad at one of the girls, started screaming, and so I told him to go into the hallway and compose himself, which he refused to do...THEN picked up his chair (I thought he was going to throw it at me!! hahaha!) but proceeded to run across the room with it because he did not want to sit by the girl anymore. Next, another boy goes crazy because he was half laying under the table during all this and I told him he had to get up, so he of course threw a fit too.......FINALLY was able to get them into the hallway where they proceeded to scream and kick things, all while I tried to continue the Bible lesson. REDICULOUS! Finally, the Spanish teacher came to teach Spanish class, and I was able to take the boys downstairs, let them cool off a little and then talk to them about what happened. After that things got better...but what a start to the day!

A funny story about this past week too--- i am copying this post from my roommate, Maddie's page....

If you could only imagine...


Suddenly, Jess cries from across the hall, "There's a hUge spider in my room!" I run over to see it first before getting something to kill it with. Well, this thing was GIGANTIC -- literally the size of my palm. Pre-historic like.

I ran to get my tennis shoe and then decided my hiking boot would be better. I was in that swing and hold position, grappling with fear before following through. I was praying out loud and encouraging myself while giggling with nervousness.

I swung and -SMACK!-missed. The spider fled down below the shelf. Maria got home amidst the shrieking shrills from the three of us. Kymberlee could no longer watch and went back across the hall.

Little abuelita Maria (comes up to my shoulders) comes in and tells us not to be afraid, while describing its bite to us. We've got two wooden rods we're using to try and trap and squish the spider.

Clothes start falling off the shelves, or we're pulling them off as the spider continues to escape in its cubby area. Screams get louder each time as she misses yet again. Little Maria comes in slowly to the corner where the spider is "hiding" and then -BAM!- tries again. Finally, she tries a tactic where she uses the broom end of the stick.

This is my favorite part. Maria says, "en el nombre de Jesus!" and then going in slowly with a sudden movement closer to the spider, she gets him! He falls to the top shelf, and once more she squishes him to his ultimate death.

PHEW. (Unfortunately, there's one twice that size still lurking somewhere.)

Maria reminded me of the Power and Might of God. Afterward, she told me I don't fear anything. What if we could all trust in Him that much?

Life in the Dominican Republic is never boring, thats for sure!
Love and miss you all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15

I will update SOOOON! BUT first i need a favor!! The 5th grade is studying immigration this semester and we are planning a service/learning field trip to go to the Haitian border and visit a Haitian village to learn about what it is like for them to immigrate as well as do some kind of service project while we are there...we would camp out somewhere nearby and make it an over night trip...BUT in order to get there we need to raise some money for gas/food SO we are going to do an Easter egg hunt for a fundraiser!! They don't really sell "Easter" candy at all here, so I am wondering if anyone would like to help us out and send Easter candy!!! The kids LOVE American chocolate (they don't have that here either really) and it does not melt in the mail, SO that would be great, otherwise any easter candy would be wonderful! If you would be so willing, you could send it to me ASAP that would be AWESOME!!!! Thanks!!! My address is

Jessica Stanley
Unit 3017 DDSDR
3170 Airmans Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34946

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I went to dinner at one of my student's (Ruth) house last night! It was really fun, but I definitely ate SOOO much! We had mangoo (which is mashed plantanes with onions and garlic) fried ham, fried salami, and for dessert this really good bannana bread! Thankfully, this morning my friend JulieAnne and I went on a 6 mile run, haha i definitely needed that! Today it is actually chilly (I am wearing long sleeves!!) so we are just hanging out at Maria's for now!

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5

CRAZY week!!!! I don't really know where to students are crazy but i LOVE THEM! I have never gotten so many hugs in my life. It is funny because things are often really tough during the day, and at the end of the day i am always really tired, but i LOVE IT! Monday my friends Katie and Aldo were in town from Santiago, so I hung out with them which was really fun and good to see some "old friends"!! Tuesday I went to Young Life and Bill Paige, who is like VP in YL happened to be there checking it out because he was in Santiago speaking at something!(YL is just getting going in Jarabacoa, so everyong is kind of here helping) It was so cool to meet him and hear his story. He had some great things to say, I especially loved one thing he said about YL "if you suck at loving kids, they aint commin (to YL)" YL was great, I love to be back in it. My friend Chris, who is YL director in Santiago was there too, and I talked to him a lot about YL stuff...which i will talk about!
This is a lot...but really cool!
SOOO i have been seriously having like majorly answered prayers/doors opening for me these past 2 weeks. I had an interview Last week Tuesday at Jarabacoa Christian School (which partners with the school i am at now) and the interview was AWESOME. They asked me why i wanted to teach, and I said that my heart is in ministering to/creating relationships with kids and I think that teaching is a great way to do that, and they were like SWEET because we first and foremost consider JCS a mission field because its students are mostly non-christians, because the parents just send them to JCS for an American education because it ends up being some of the wealthier students (because they have to pay to attend). Also, they said that this is HUGE because these kids come from the families that are in politics, own buisnesses, and basically run Jarabacoa and the whole DR, so when you are impacting these kids, you really can help change the way the whole country is!! It was just really cool to talk about just how exciting it is!
Sunday a couple that teaches at JCS invited me over for lunch to talk to me about it. First, SO WEIRD, their last name is STANLEY!!!! Tim (the husband) asked me the same thing why i wanted to teach, and he had heard that I was obsessed with Young Life (HAHA) and I was like YES if i am a teacher I have to do YL and he was like do you feel about Wyld life? and i waas like OMG yes and he was like we really need someone that loves Middle school kids to help get that started, and i was like woooooow that could totally be me, so that was really exciting ! HELLO, Wyld Life is totally where my heart is, so that was huge!
THEN on Tuesday I went to YL club with them, and my friend Chris (that i met this summer) who is the director of YL in Santiago, was like we would love for you to be on YL staff in Jarabacoa because we need somone who knows Wyld Life...and i was like ummm did you talk to tim because we just talked about this on sunday, and he said no he had not! SO that was just really cool because they both mentioned it to me without even talking to each other about it!!!
SO in between all of this i have been praying for guidance with my small group(that FYI is AWESOME!) about just doors opening, and they have been! like CRAZY! AND last week I prayed for wisdom about how to talk to my parents about all of this, and on Saturday I called my mom and we had a great convo about that and later this week my dad emailed me and was like whatever you do, we are behind you 100%!
SO this is where I am now: I am 90% sure that I want to take a job here next year and be part time on YL staff! I have to tell JCS by March 31, so i am going to hold out till then and just spend some major time praying about this before i give a final decision, BUT i would REALLY appreciate your prayers too!! I just feel so encouraged that things are just happening like this, and i have never had this/felt God like this in my decisions before so i feel like it really is God opening this up for me....but I dont want to get it wrong! I dont know, just crazy, scary, fun, exciting!!!!
SOOO if you would pray for me in this decision...that would be awesome! I would come back here in August, then be able to come home for christmas, and obviously summers would be in Holland which is really cool too bc it is not like i would just be going away for 2 years and dissappearing! SO long story, i know!

Anyways, i am about to head over to one of my student's houses for dinner!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Two of our oh-so-cute, yet quite craaaaaaaazy boys, Marcos and Anderson

Our new SPED teacher, Jyll!!!

Me and my mentor teacher, Ciara

LOVE spending time at the waterfall!!!
A really sweet sign....God is everywhere, but He sleeps in Jarabacoa!!!!

Out to dinner with Kymberlee's mom and gma, Cecilia (Maria's daughter) Deni (Cecilia's daughter who is 5) and Giovanni (our fave taxi driver) at Jamaca del Dios (The Hammock of God) restaurant on the mountain!!!

Us girls with Maria!!!

Playing dominos with the family (we play LOTS AND LOTS of dominos...building AND playing!!!)

The street i live on and my house!!