Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Money, Family, and Fried Food

“Money makes a good servant, but not a good master.”

“A person cannot improve the standard of living of their family without money.”

“Man makes money, but money does not make a man.”

“A poor family has no respect.”

Saturday night, Club Speak had their first debate. The topic was “Money is more important than family.” I acted as Corrector, which meant that I sat between the two sides and listened to their arguments while taking notes on any mistakes that they made in pronunciation, sentence structure, or the clarity of their messages. At the end of the debate, I shared these mistakes with those participating and gave them tips on how to improve their English. I had a lot of fun participating in this event and I’m looking forward to future debates.

Even though they were speaking English, sometimes it seemed as if the debaters were speaking a foreign language. It is strange how people learning a language together can make sense to each other, and yet, even as a native English speaker, I was sometimes unable to determine what was being said. They use sentence structures and accents that make sense to each other, but not to a native English speaker. It’s almost as if they are speaking a third language, somewhere in between English and their native language. But that is why I am here: to expose my students to American English so that they can one day communicate with others outside of their country.

I was going to go to church Sunday morning (I swear!) but I had no water to bathe with, so I stayed home and cooked beans. Cooking beans can take half a day. I also read three books.

And I made tortillas and assembled some bean burritos! These babies are 100% hand-made. No measurements, no rolling pin. Now I’m cooking like my granny used to. She didn’t have recipes to tell her how much of what to use. She only had her own experience. Food is art!

Yesterday I was told that I will be teaching a class today. I didn’t have a lesson planned, so I just marched into the classroom and started talking to the students. I introduced myself and had them make nametags so that I could call on them by name when they asked me questions. I wasn’t planning to stay long since I didn’t have a lesson, but the hour was up before I knew it. By the last five minutes of class I found myself giving a crash lecture on marketing. I guess I’m more ready to teach than I thought I was! I just hope my students are this attentive for the whole term.

As usual, I have some photos for your viewing pleasure. Mostly of food, but you know where my priorities are. But my camera does not get out much because it is very conspicuous. But I promise one of these days I will sneak it out and get some more photos outside. Anyways, enjoy!

My electric water kettle, preparing some hot water for hot chocolate. I’ve got the perfect ratio down: 4 scoops Ovaltine, 1 scoop powdered milk, 1 scoop sugar.

Ramen noodles and orange juice. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I see no problem here.

A teaching aid I put together for teaching on giving speeches.

I was at the field one day playing football and one of the village boys came up to me and gave me a light bulb as a gift. The most worthless items become invaluable with a little sentiment.

Grease! My taste buds thank me, but my arteries hate me. We’ll see how my stomach feels tomorrow. The string beans reminded me of eating fried okra back home.

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