Dominican Day 25

March 26, 2015

WEATHER: Still pretty hot but manageable only when there are small cool breezes running past me.

*Sigh* What can I say? I received a few small bites on my feet and haven’t been itchy at all. Suspicious … very suspicious.

Can someone please explain to me why the girls’ classes are so much more difficult? I’m able to get through to the boys. Though they can be rowdy at times, it seems that I’ve been able to have a bigger impact on them. After the breakthrough I experienced with the boys a few weeks ago, I was really looking forward to working with the girls, my biggest passion, who I figured would be sweet.

These girls don’t seem to respond well and are very quick to roll their eyes and give you attitude. I tried so hard to be patient with them. Several girls were behaving quite badly and I would correct them repeatedly. Then I decided that it just wasn’t fair that with the boys I was very strict and with the girls I kept affording them more “chances”. In particular, there was a group of 3 that were behaving like animals.

15 minutes into class, I walked up to the first girl asked her to take my hand and instructed her to follow me. I offered her as a gift to the director. Within 5 minutes of my return to class, I asked another girl to follow me out. I’m not even sure what the club rules are around me doing this but honestly, this bad behaviour is impacting the other students.

Not long after, a parent barged into the classroom and began aggressively asking Teresa questions and shouting. I fretted, thinking that she may have been the mother of one of the girls that I had dismissed. I’d like to say that I understand Spanish pretty well but this woman was spitting rapid bullets. I couldn’t grasp onto any words. I got nervous about sending the 3rd girl out who was still behaving poorly. I figured it’d be even better punishment to separate her from her friends, after all.

Throughout the rest of the class, several children called out to the girl from outside. When she stood up to approach the window, I’d either shoo them away or I’d close the windows. I didn’t care how hot it was inside. I’m against rewarding bad behaviour. I refused to back down.

As it turned out, one of the other girls in the class who kept having fits, decided to allow me to help her during our English lesson. She could barely write out her own name let alone one to ten in English. So, I sat by her side giving her one on one attention, at times even guiding her hand to the shape of the letters. I did the same thing with another little girl and then another. All the while, Teresa was in the front of the class with the other students reading them a bible story.

When I was done with each girl, I checked off all of their written numbers and gave them each a “good job” sticker. I hope that my personal time with them made them feel loved. Though they wouldn’t have been able to spell out the numbers again if I asked, they proudly showed their sticker to the others.

There is hope for these girls; it’s just hard to reach.

• Waking up to Billy’s short tantrum bursts then a big tantrum
• When I got home last night, I bent over by the doorway in the dark to remove my shoes. Of course, I banged my head on the corner of a wooden shelf. I have a little bump there today but thankfully it isn’t visible. I know it’s there! It hurts!!
• The girls’ classes [full stop]
• Trying to give my individual attention to the kids when I have at least 5 of them pulling at my skirt or screaming at me
• Preparing for the Flamenco classes tomorrow. I was so nervous that I was tempted to chicken out. It’s crazy that something I was really looking forward to suddenly became so scary. Self-doubt crept in and I began wondering if the kids would care about the dance, continue behaving like animals during the lesson, and I wondered if I’d look dumb being relatively new to this dance myself.
• I found a hornet on my mosquito net. Yeah! I fried that thing with the racket but then it and the racket kind of got stuck to the net. I didn’t make a hole … shhh
• Not being able to take as many pictures as I would have liked but then again, it’s simply because I was so immersed in the class that I really couldn’t

• My mosquito net was slightly open when I woke up this morning. I realized that since I’m almost the length of the bed, though it’s far wider than me because it’s king size, I have the tendency to kick the netting open each night

• I also woke up with a smile on my face. I can’t remember the dream exactly but I had the feeling of great success and authority. It made me rise already feeling confident; ready to tackle the day.
• I happened to read the devotional for March 25 today and it was pretty kick a**. It described the small breakthrough I had yesterday and really spoke into the rest of my trip. I would have never suspected that these last days would bring so much greatness but now I can expect it!
• A wonderfully successful meeting with Liz and Alfredo, the accountant, last night. I got home grinning from ear to ear at how well it went.
• Pincho going into Mister Pollo to get lunch for me. I’m convinced that what they would charge him only 140 pesos for, they’d charge me 200. Just because they can ☺
• Speaking of which – my lunch from Mister Pollo. Sure, I have pechuga de pollo, habichuela, and repollo everyday, but like Pincho says, “I lub ee”
• Virginia’s suggestions on Flamenco music. You’re the best!
• Being able to work with a few of the girls today.

Father, thanks for allowing me to wake up with a smile. More than anything I just need your peace as I prepare to hopefully connect with the kids and make myself vulnerable during tomorrow’s lessons.

• Any suggestions as to how to better connect with these girls?


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