Interesting week this week! We had no Spanish or Sociales (Dominican history) classes this week because the Dominican staff had some training those days, so that meant that the rest of us had to cover their classes--not fun!! It was quite interesting, not to mention it was hard having my kids from 8:00-3:20 without a break from them….we were all tired and crabby by the end of the day!
But, after school Tuesday we had our first day of campaigners (small group!) and it went really well! I had 3 girls come, which was good because I wanted it to be small to start, and I don’t want to invite more girls until I know them a little better! We just spent the time talking and getting to know each other better. One of the girls that came was from my class--she is one of my more difficult students--and I learned a lot about why she is that way on Tuesday! She was the last one to get picked up, her ride came like a half hour late, which meant we had a lot of time to talk! As soon as the other girls left, she asked “When can we talk about God?” and I said whenever you want--I just wanted you to get comfortable today, and she was like well, I have some questions! And proceeded to ask a few questions, mostly about why life is so hard when God is supposed to love us, and how do we know He is real--and I was like WHOA--I never thought this girl even cared, during Bible class she hardly says a word, she is angry a lot, and honestly seems indifferent to most of the things I say. While we were discussing those questions, it came out that her parents are divorced, she has 4 sisters and 2 brothers over the age of 19 (she is 11), and she also has a bunch of siblings that she does not know because her dad had them with some random women. Her mom and dad both work all the time, she has a “driver” that brings her and picks her up from school, so basically she gets no attention from her family at home, and what she does get is people treating her like she should be a grown up when she isn’t. After finding all that out, I now realize WHY she acts the way she does, and why she has the attitude she does! She tries to be so tough and not feel anything all the time, because she does not get any love from anyone in her family, and she doesn’t get to see what real love should look like. It was so good for me to be able to look at her in a different light, and it made me so happy that she wants to come to small group! (SIDE NOTE--as I write this, I realize how much of a better week I had with her, I think spending more time with her outside of school has really changed the way she looks at me, which is so awesome!)
Tuesday night there also was a worship night up at Escuela Caribe, which is basically a reform school for Americans, but the missionaries who started that school started JCS, so we got invited up to their worship night! It was SUCH a blessing to be up there--they grilled hamburgers for dinner (YES!) we had a speaker, and then sang worship songs around a fire while we made smores!!! It was awesome! It felt like I was at camp, and it definitely did not feel like I was in the DR! It is always a blessing to have a night of “American-ness” in the midst of crazy Dominican life around here!
Thursday….soccer practice! Practice is going really well, I have 4th and 5th graders, and they are hilarious! There are 7 girls and 3 boys. One of the boys has a crush on one of the girls, so that is pretty funny to watch him try to impress her during practice! A couple of the girls on our team have NEVER had any experience with soccer whatsoever, so we started working on walking while sort of dribbling the ball--SO FUNNY! AND one of the girls has no idea even how to stretch! Quite the beginner team, but it makes for a very eventful and funny practice. I taught the kids the jumping jacks we used to do in soccer (the 1, 2, inside outside- outside inside ones) and they love them, but it took like a half a practice to teach them that! Haha!
My class has had some major trouble getting along this week….sooo sooo frustrating, but also a really good opportunity to talk about "walking the talk" :) (if you call yourself a Christian, you had better act like it because there are people watching you to see what is so different, especially here in Jarabacoa)! Definitely a good reminder for me, because I know that if I am telling them that, they are sure going to be watching me! We also started studying Ephesians, and I loved it because I did an intro to Ephesians and showed the kids all of my pictures from Ephesus! They LOVED it, and so did I--obviously!! It was cool to be able to share some of my experience with them! Really made me want to go back:)
I feel like I don’t even remember half of this week, it went by so fast! After my emotional craziness last week, it has been such a blessing!
One last funny thing! Last night I was sitting in the kitchen with my roommate, and a mouse ran through, but neither of us even flinched! The first 2 months we were here we ran around chasing mice with the broom, and now we just hope they don’t touch us…..I can’t decide if that is sad or not!
thanks for reading:) Love from the DR!