Today was another full day with students at Safe Passage. We split our time between the CRE (middle school and high school educational reinforcement center) and the jardin infantil (preschool).
Our day in Guatemala City began with a PE class with middle school students. We played a game of tag our team knows as “blob tag” – but we’re not quite sure what it is called in Spanish – and several fútbol games. We didn’t have to speak much to connect with the students. High fives communicate a lot when playing sports and there were many connections made.
A great game of blob tag.
We all got beat pretty good in soccer.
After our time of physical activity with students at the CRE, we went to the jardin for more physical activity: preschool recess. Preschool recess is just about the cutest thing ever. Some of the older students relate to our team with indifference, at best. The preschoolers, however, don’t have any filters or barriers up. They immediately run up to support teams, grab hands, and drag us to play with them. There were lots of hugs, lots of chaotic games of tag that appeared to have no rules or no “it” person, and lots of swinging. We had two recess periods with the students at the CRE today and we’re exhausted from all of the playing.
Before lunch, we helped in two English classes at the jardin: one with 2 year olds, and one with 4 year olds. We brought a small art and English activity with us where students draw their family members. Apparently, Spider Man is in a few of the boys’ families…or at least they wish he were because that is what they drew.
After our time at the jardin, we went back to the CRE for three English classes for older students. We played language-learning games with them and enjoyed our time.
We haven’t written about this in this blog yet, but we have one team member who came to work on a separate project while we are at Safe Passage. After our mission trip in 2015, St. Thomas began exploring with Safe Passage ways that we could further support their work and mobilize our resources to benefit Safe Passage. Those conversations slowly focused on technology – something Safe Passage hopes to further utilize in their educational environment as they prepare students for jobs in the formal economy.
Robert Gidley, Laura Gregg’s husband for those of you know her from St. Thomas, is a part of our team but is working with the IT folks at Safe Passage. St. Thomas and the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia partially funded a new computer lab project at Safe Passage to give students better access to educational resources. Robert sat in on the first class to use RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning – copies of educational websites and videos that are available without an internet connection). He took this picture of the RACHEL software and the teacher using the projector we brought with us. Apart from our youth visiting Safe Passage and working with students every few years, there are many other opportunities for the St. Thomas community to partner with and support Safe Passage – and this is a first step towards a deeper relationship.
Tomorrow will be another full day with students at Safe Passage. We are all tired so are looking forward to getting to bed tonight for some rest.