Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fighting for the cupcakes

The English class that I have continued to teach consists of 9 girls ranging from 12 to 15 years old. We are currently in our second "year" of English class. Without fail they come to every class which are held Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm-6pm in the train station.

Besides just English class we've gotten involved with the World Wise School Program that Peace Corps does. It is basically a pen pal program. The Volunteer, Me, is set up with a teacher in the states, my mom. First I wrote a letter to her class explaining what Peace Corps is, what I do, and about Paraguay. Then we decided to start do to pen pals because my mom's class has a lot of spanish speakers. The 7th and 8th grade science class of my mother wrote the letters first. The letters were in spanish and the girls were very excited. Then my girls replied, they were supposed to be in English, but some of them wrote in only spanish and sealed the envelope without showing me. In the letters we receive photos and send photos, the girls LOVE it.

We've gotten to know each other at this point on a more personal level so I feel like our English class has become more of a girls club more so than only English. The other day we were locked out of the train station, so we played charades outside with action phrases. For example; eating ice cream, throwing a ball, holding a baby, blowing bubbles, sewing fabric, and riding a bike. We ended up just goofing around and talking and then one of the girls said can you print off song lyrics in English, we want to learn Lady Gaga. Then they started to make a list for me of the songs they wanted to learn in English. Then another girl said " lets raise money so we can go on a field trip." It was a good idea. Lets do it I said. Then the topic changed to, lets raise money so we can make t-shirts that say "English class". Then the argument started. What color are the shirts going to be, what picture is going to be on it, but the decision was made to raise money to make shirts.

The next week we had class at my house. I had printed off the song "paparazzi" by Lady Gaga, and we started to sing. They wanted to know what every little word meant, I said it doesn't translate well and a lot of the phrases don't even make sense in English. So we just practiced the pronunciation. They want to sing the song for their graduation of English class. Then we decided the next day we would make cup cakes, something they have NEVER seen before, to sell and raise money for their t-shirts. We made a list of ingredients needed and split them up between everyone. The next day, without fail they all showed up, with ingredients in hand. I decided to make a simple cake from the Peace Corps cookbook. Therefore I had the measuring cups and spoons out, and the girls were so confused. In paraguay they don't measure anything. They just know how to make a cake apparently. So they thought we weren't making a cake, it was something else. Then we decided to dye the cake green, and blue. We went over to my host families house to use their electric oven because I didn't want to use all my gas. We put the first batch in and waited. While waiting we played "telephone" in English, and charades again.

The first batch came out, and the girls bought them all and ate them. Then they liked them so much, they pre-paid for the second batch, and waited very closely to the oven. When I took the second batch out the girls ran to me, and were taking the cup cakes out of the pan even though they were really hot, burning their fingers. Some girls paid but didn't get their cup cakes because the other girls ate them, so they had to wait for the third batch to come out. They ate every last one of the cup cakes. I didn't even get a cup cake, neither did my host mom or dad. We didn't even get to go out and sell the cup cakes. They raised money for their shirts, but it was their own money.

We decided the next time we'll make 4 times the batter and actually go out and sell the cup cakes. But the whole novelty of the cup cake is what blows their mind. They have never seen them before, and because they are in their own little spaces, its not cake. Thanks mom for bringing the cup cake pans, a real hit!!

Other news...Hesaka my cat is now a mother, I am now a grandmother. She has four beautiful little babies. Ndikuaai is pregnant also and will be giving birth soon. When I told a fellow volunteer she told me, "you're supposed to be the responsible american and get them fixed." I am guilty, I am irresponsible. But only this one time. I went to the vet, and I am going to get them fixed when they are doing nursing. He also told me he can sell the kittens that I can't get homes for. Yes I am that crazy person with the house full of cats.

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