Monday, December 15, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

As I sit in my apartment, with my Christmas lights on, and a Charlie Brown Christmas special playing on Jesse's laptop, I'm exhilerated. Just two more days of school left until I head back to Wisconsin for a much needed break in the cheese and the snow. I realize it has been over a week since I last posted. I've been very busy with grading, Christmas gift buying, and planning the month of January. So here's a little update of what's been going on.

Last week on Tuesday was the big EIS Christmas party. All the teachers, assistants, maintenance, cleaning, and copying crew came out in nice attire and went to Club Arabe, the fancy smancy club in SPS. I was a little disappointed because the party was on a Tuesday, and Jesse refused to dance, but we ate a nice dinner and got to see everyone dressed up. I didn't bring my camera with, it just didn't go with my outfit, but I plan on stealing some from Caitlin later. The most entertaining aspect of this night was the belly dancers and hula dancers that the school provided as "entertainment" with we ate. Interesting.

This past weekend there was a huge Christmas carnival set up just down the street. They has an ice skating rink (the plastic ice stuff) and lights and decorations and a huge Coca-Cola Santa. Jesse and I debated going, but since the likelihood of them having skates in Jesse's size was slim to none, we decided to head to the theater for a movie. On the way back from the movie, we ran into a little traffic problem. The championship game for Honduras league soccer was Saturday night, and there was mass chaos in the city. There were hundreds of people in the streets, with people jumping in and out of the back of pickup trucks, jumping, screaming, fireworks were being shot off, it was absolutely crazy. It reminded me of the pictures of when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Except that down here, there are only 10 teams in the whole league, with only four of them actually winning the championships. AND there are two championships a year. AND that the team that won, won the championship last fall. I just don't get it.

Tomorrow is the last day of "classes", which for me is watching The Muppet's Christmas Carol. Wednesday is class parties with a cuchumbo (gift exchange- the kids take this very seriously), and then a middle school staff party at my principal's house. I'm bringing mashed potatoes. She bought a ham and a turkey. She said that since the Christmas party was on a Tuesday, well the middle school staff needs a real party. That should be a great time. Her husband makes a great margarita. Then Thursday brings the flight to Chicago and the drive back to Wisconsin. I hope the wintery mix that is predicted for Chicago doesn't cause any problems with my flight.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Part II

I don't know why, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Most people say Christmas or Halloween, but for me its Thanksgiving. I think its partly because its my mom's favorite holiday and it wore off on me, but I just love having family and friends around, talking, laughing, and eating fantastic food without any other pretenses. Its just about being together and being thankful for what wonderful lives we have. Last year, was my first Thanksgiving away from home, and it was quite difficult for me. My roommate and I made a makeshift meal of chicken and au gratin potatoes on Wednesday night, and then we had gone to Utila for diving and had a pseudo Thanksgiving meal there.

This year however, I knew that I wanted to give my favorite holiday its dues. Realizing that most people travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had invited neighbors and friends to come over to our house the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate. Even though Jesse and I had a Thanksgiving Japanese meal on Thanksgiving, I still wanted to celebrate the day traditionally.

Everyone I invited was excited, and they were all really happy that someone had come up with the idea. I went out and bought two turkey breasts (there is definitely not enough freezer space for a full bird) and told everyone it was potluck style- so bring your favorite Thanksgiving dish. Everyone brought such amazing food! We had brussel sprouts with bacon, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, real mashed potatoes, potatoes with crunchy onions, stuffing, homemade bread, carrot cake and apple pie. I'm probably forgetting something, but it was all amazing! It really made me happy to have friends over to celebrate everything that we are thankful for. For many of our neighbors, they have never been in our home, so it was a nice way to bring the apartment complex together. It finally feels like the holiday season has started and it helped me realize that holidays away from home don't necessarily have to be sad. Everyone that came over tonight brought with them a piece of their Thanksgiving tradition and it was a fantastic evening. I'm very thankful to have such supportive friends, without them I wouldn't have had this wonderful Thanksgiving meal.
Jesse, carving up the turkey breast.

The table with all the delicious yummies on it.

Ryan and Alex scooping up their food.

Dan and Katie watching soccer. I suppose it makes sense to watch futbol on Thanksgiving in Honduras!

Alex, Kim, Caitlin, and Jesse sitting at the table, enjoying dinner.

I felt like it was a great evening. Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Animales in mi aula parte II

So last week, I needed a pencil. I keep the pencils in my desk drawer. I open the desk drawer, and there is a small furry creature in my drawer. I, of course, freak out, slam the drawer shut, and race to the office to tell my story. Miriam (7th grade science teacher) joined me and we returned to my room and small rodent. We opened both desk drawers-no mouse. However, the mouse had been making a nice, cute, little home in my second drawer with the carbon copy paper. As we move the drawers again, the mouse was hiding under the three hole punch and proceeded to race all over my room and out the door. I really have had enough of these animals in my classroom.