Transitions by nature require lots of planning, which leads to lots and lots of meetings. There are the programatic meetings and then there are the operational meetings, my personal favorite, where pretty much no topic is off limits. We discuss anything from whether putting a compost pile on the roof will collapse into someone's bed to lectures about how to use the bus coin jar properly (and tossing imaginary gold stars to those who utilize the pennies). If I had to guess, I'd say about 75% of the time that we're all together in the house is spent either in meetings, or discussing random operational topics. Therefore, I felt it was especially important to paint you a picture of what these meetings look like and why they are oh so important (and entertaining).
During the first of these meetings, we doled out operational roles and I landed the job of secretary. This means that I take minutes for each of our meetings which may seem boring to you, but in fact it's really great. I can write down anything inappropriate or embarrassing that happens within the perimeters of the meeting and document it for everyone to see. I also get to make side comments, like how outrageous it is that Bibi has never seen FernGully (don't worry, we're showing it during niño's camp). I also get to send all of the meeting minutes to the MPI board members; I can only imagine them on the edge of their seats while reading that we decided to switch which day the kitchen floor gets mopped.
Because of the hectic schedule of the past couple of weeks, we've been having our meetings during family dinners. This means I end up sitting at one end of the table, fork in one hand, keyboard in the other, hunched over trying to shield my computer from flying rice and condiments while furiously typing. Amongst discussions of whether we should buy an iron for the house and what exactly falls under the job description of "dishwasher," we do, in fact, discuss serious matters. One of the more serious topics at our latest meeting has been how the kids in the community are handling our infiltration of the library. We've been trying to spend as much time there as possible, getting to know the kids and how everything works. But like all smart kids, they realize that since we're new, they might be able to bend the rules around us whether it be getting extra art supplies or pre-12 year olds trying to sneak into the teen center. It's challenging because while we want to befriend all of the kids, we also wait to maintain stability and a level of authority.
As we venture into our two-week long niño's camp next week, we have the perfect opportunity to create a foundation of both friendship and respect that will be built upon for the rest of the year. And, in between, we'll have our team meetings to continue to solve problems, plan events, and a few laughs when one PD darts another from across the table and his or her head slams onto a nearby plate until saved, hypothetically speaking, of course.
Playing games in the library
Mike guitar-ing and supervising video games
Hurray for ping pong! (and Manna!)
If you want to see more pictures, check out our new Picasa photo album by following the link on the right labelled "Snapshots of Life in the Valley!"