For IST everyone grabbed a counterpart or two and headed to the lovely northern city of Matagalpa:
I originally was gunning for a site in this area because of its cooler temperatures. I brought a sweater, wore closed-toed shoes, and even wore my hair down! Craziness! And we were put up in a lovely hotel up on the hill that had hot water and cable TV – quite frankly they’re lucky we left our rooms.
But it wasn’t all hot showers and vegging out, we definitely worked hard for our nice accommodations. Most of us left our sites between 5 and 6am on Wednesday to be in Matagalpa by 10:30am and we started promptly at 11. We worked all day Wed and Thurs. Friday our counterparts left after lunch and us volunteers stuck around to do some more stuff and were cut loose on Saturday. We covered a lot of topics, largely pertaining to activities to use in the classroom, evaluation methods, planning teaching workshops, going over our new manual for the new curriculum, and learning a bit about Nonviolent Communication – which I think everyone should learn about! Here are Erin and Alli teaching everyone about how to resolve conflicts more effectively:
It’s challenging to get so much information in such a short time, but I know my counterpart, Axel, really enjoyed it. Here he is with a mango:
And here’s Axel with Matagalpa in the background, I guess he’s trying to look like a tough guy or something:
More photo highlights:
The lovely ladies of TEFL:
Enjoying a break:
And singing along to Eternal Flame, yes those microphones are markers – we were a little punchy by the end:
It was really great to see everyone and get to hear a little about what people have been up to for the last year. We also received our official COS date (that is Close of Service, when we’re done) and that is July 16th, 2010. I know that the next year will fly by so I need to get on those projects that have been floating around in my head. Also, after April 16th I can’t take more vacation so all you stragglers out there who still wanna come visit better take note!