|We were lucky enough to live in a condo on this beach while living in the Bahamas!|
At school on Mondays, we are lucky enough to have another volunteer in the classroom besides me. She is a lovely Bahamian woman named Mrs. Pelican. (That is seriously her name – isn’t that the best name ever? I love it!) Mrs. Pelican sings songs like “Jesus Loves Me” with the kids and tells them Bible stories. The Bible stories turn into comedic discussions because she asks lots of questions:
Pelican: We call God “God the Creator.” What did God the Creator make?
Student: The sun.
Pelican: Good job. What else did God the Creator make?
Student: Star and moon.
Pelican: Stars child, stars with an “s.” What else did God the Creator make?
Pelican: Good, Water! Who lives in the water?
Student: The devil!
Pelican: The devil lives in the water? I never knew that. Who lives in the water?
Student: Sharks! Sharks and the devil.
Oh man. They crack me up.
Our Bible stories last week were about Jonah and the whale. The moral was that if you are bad, God will send a whale to eat you. Then Pelican picked up a book and smacked it onto the table: “If you are bad, this book will be your whale.” Good old fashioned corporal punishment. That is how they roll around here. Don’t worry, I abstain.
One of the thing that I really like about Mrs. Pelican is that she brings food from home to make the students sandwiches for snack during their “break” (snack time). Last week she made peanut butter sandwiches and this week she made tuna sandwiches. The students here eat every single bite – none of that “I don’t like the crust” business we have at home. She also brought bananas for Mrs. M. and me. When I thanked her and told her how nice she was to do all this for the students, she replied that she loves to do it, because she knows what it’s like to be a little kid and just want a sandwich and not have one. What a nice lady! Also, Bahamian women love to hug. Mrs. Pelican hugs me everyday before she leaves, and Mrs. M. hugs me when I arrive and when I leave, as do all the other classroom visitors. I love it.
One of my favorite things at school is working with Eddy, a student who recently came to the Bahamas from Haiti. When I started at the school two weeks ago, he was very quiet and reserved. I have been working with him one-on-one going over vocabulary, the alphabet, and numbers, and he is really starting to pick things up. Usually he has a hard time following things and interacting with others because of the language barrier, but today for the first time I saw him animatedly talking and to classmates in English and Creole and having fun and laughing. I’ve noticed that he also gets really excited when I arrive at school and immediately wants me to pull him aside to do some work with him. I am so excited about watching his progress.
Other highlights of the day: A man stopped by the classroom to see if I wanted to buy some lobsters (I passed – I’m not sure having them sit in the classroom and then toting them home in my backpack during my bike ride home at the end of the day was the best idea. We also recently got hooked up with 12 lobster tails for $5 from a man in a parking lot who claimed could get us “anything we needed.” We just got the lobsters. Which, in fact, I will be broiling for dinner tonight. YUM!) A woman who worked as a janitor at the school also came into the classroom with a box full of jewelry that she made – and I bought a very overpriced, colorful necklace.
All in all, it was a good day.