Saturday, March 15, 2014

Max and Sara teach English with Professor Vivian

If someone would have told me I would fly all the way from Houston, Texas to Atenas, Costa Rica to do the hokey pokey, I would have laughed at them; but that was only one of the songs we got to sing with some local students at Professor Vivian's English class. We did not know what to expect when we arrived at Vivian Muñoz' Friday afternoon English class, but Max and Sara jumped right into the fun. The students were making colorful art projects and Sara joined a few of them with some books we brought from home. 
After we meeted and greeted everyone, we read a few books and then Vivian and her assistant quickly rounded the youngsters up for some quality playdoh time in the gathering room. The kids were happy to make squiggly snakes and rock pies, repeating many of the creative names we gave the eclectic playdoh projects. One boy asked, "Quiero agua por favor?" and Miss Vivian said, "Would you like some water?" and he said, "No, quiero agua" and we all chuckled. It was a great moment to teach the class that agua and water were the same. So as Max and Sara practiced their Spanish, the other kids practiced their English and it was a great blend of fun and learning.  
After all the kids cleaned up their playdoh masterpieces, Vivian opened the side door into the garden, where the kids pulled out a box full of animal toys. We traded names for each and I learned that a rhino is a rinoceronte and a lion is el león. All of the kids seemed to want to play with the shark, or, the tiburón because it was the largest, squeakiest toy, but for the most part, they all got along and learned their English while teaching us some Spanish. 
Vivian's next exercise was fun, she lined up all the chairs in the courtyard and we sang, The wheels on the bus go round and round, accompanied with real music on the radio. Some of the kids sang along while others (Max and Sara) began to dwindle in participation and I could tell the 2 hour class was beginning to take its toll. 
This wasn't Vivian's first rodeo, since she knew just what to do to get their energy back up for the remaining 30 minutes. She lead everyone into the music room and turned the music up, while gathering all the kids in a circle as we performed the hokey pokey. There were smiles and giggles all around and we wrapped it up with a snack in the next room. It was a good thing we brought some Beef Jerky from home, because the students had all kinds of treats to share, many of which were filled with sugar. This didn't surprise us at all since sugar is one of the favorite ingredients shared by most Ticos. So, while Max and Sara filled up with sugar and the students and their parents got to try our jerky, the day was a huge success. Vivian is doing a great job as a local English teacher and I hope she invites us back soon. Max and Sara met some new friends and learned some new Spanish words while teaching their vocabulary of English. We even wrapped the day up with some fun in the park with Nico, one of the kids from class. Good Job, Vivian! Pura Vida!

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