Things that made us smile this week

Davis playing Jenga with Janice and Arexa

Maggie and Henry

This past weekend, Fiona shared her most recent blog post, titled “Things that made me smile this week.” After reading her post, several of us in the Manna House were inspired to write similar blogs and emails for our friends and family. The idea is a great one, and helps to explain what makes our work so meaningful here in the communities of Cedro Galan, Chiquilistagua, and La Chureca. Together we’ve compiled a list of experiences that made each of us smile this past week. I thought I’d save some for our next blog post, so stay tuned for more smiles to come!

Things that made us smile this week:

· Randomly running into one of our teen English students, Francisco, at the market on my way to catch a bus, and him actually being excited to see us. –Fiona

· An amazing mother helping her three year old daughter to start learning English, by attending class with her and practicing outside of class as well. –Fiona

· Hearing Lesther, a two-year-old in our child sponsorship program in La Chureca, laugh for the first time. –Fiona

· Realizing that FOIL (an acronym we learned in high school algebra) doesn’t translate to Spanish, and deciding to use a sandwich as an analogy for binomial multiplication. While finding the product of binomials, Jose Antonio, my math student, now mutters “Here is the bread, here is the lunch meat…” –Sam

· The incredible drawings that 14-year-old Samuel makes after math and literacy and lets me take home. Samuel has dropped out of school for the semester and suffers from low self-esteem, so it’s great to see him create something he’s proud of. –Sam

· When our previously unruly girls soccer team responds super well to direction, and doesn’t complain about running suicides! –Sam

· Receiving a drawing of myself and Aydel holding hands. Aydel is a mentally handicapped boy in the community who is 16-years-old and I work with him on learning the alphabet and numbers. He can understand most everything when you talk to him but has a very difficult time saying anything. –Carrie

· Watching the women in exercise class dance Zumba to Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and having the 3-year-old children imitate us! –Carrie

· Singing the weather song with my kid’s English class. (“What’s the weather? What’s the weather? What’s the weather like today? Is it sunnyyy, is it rainyyy, is it cloudyyy, out today!”) –Carrie

· Last week, Davis and I walked home with one of my Kids English students, Norlan. We realized that he walks one hour each way just to come to Farito English classes twice a week. We got a chance to meet his mom and I told her what a great student he is. He was so proud and was grinning from ear to ear. I am so thankful for students like Norlan! –Christin

· Watching Ariel from our loan program making cinderblocks using materials he bought with our loan; also meeting his family and getting to know him better. –Matt

· Hearing from Alejandro that the other students in his math class ask him for help with polynomial expressions—the subject we've been working on for the past few weeks. –Matt