miércoles, 17 de agosto de 2016

Good-bye Vacation!

Well, summer vacation is officially over. We have been working in the school for the past two weeks, preparing for the new school year. I will be teaching 5th through 7th grade natural sciences this year. What that means is that, using textbooks written in Spanish, I have to develop three separate curriculums from scratch. I started by reading my way through the first units of each textbook so I knew what exactly I was expected to teach, and so I could learn the science vocabulary in Spanish. It took me an entire week of eight-hour work days, but I finally read through them, Google translating all of the words I didn't know. I am currently working on making lesson plans for the first few weeks, and the next step is making sure I can sign it all in ASL. However, there are a ton of technical science terms that I don't know in ASL, so I have a lot of studying to do before school starts on Monday! The end of my current grad school semester is also coming up, and I have a lot of work left to do for that as well. Needless to say, I am feeling the pressure!
This is how I study when the power goes out at night
But it hasn't been all work all the time. I have gone out with a missionary family a few times to visit their church and go to the movies and such. They are a great resource, have been very helpful, and are wonderful friends. I also met up with a friend from camp who is currently living here for a research internship. She, one of her friends who was visiting her, and I went to the Colonial Zone and walked around. The Colonial Zone is the oldest part of the city with buildings that were built when the Spanish first came and settled here in the Dominican. We visited a cathedral and a fort, ate some delicious food, went to some shops, and had a great time. Also, it was my first time venturing out on my own! I felt like such a big girl. I took a taxi there and back all on my own. I even had a conversation with one of the taxi drivers in Spanish!
I might have hopped a locked gate to get here. It's fine.

On that note, my Spanish is improving considerably. Well, my ability to understand it. Not so much my ability to speak it. But I know that will come with time. The language barrier has probably been the most difficult part of this move, so I'm feeling pretty good about the improvements I have made in the last couple of months.
I'm really excited to see what all God has in store as this new school year starts. Thank you all so much for your prayers. I could use many, many more in these next few weeks!

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