Thursday, June 26, 2008

The other Xiomara

By some odd coincidence, two of our very favorite kids here are both named Xiomara. This Xiomara loves to have fun! She is very girly and often has ridiculous blue eyeshadow smeared all the way up to her eyebrows. She also loves to dance and will bust out the moves even without music sometimes. The other day she had to leave in the middle of class and didn't walk out until she had stood in front of the class and shook her booty for a few minutes. One of our favorite things is when she grabs your arm and gives you kisses from your hand to your elbow.

Human Body Week

Our theme for class last week was the human body. One highlight was tracing all of our bodies onto big sheets of butcher paper and adding body parts to "ourselves" all week. We learned outer and inner body parts but really only focused on the big stuff. Here are some hilarious pictures from "Muscle day."

We took pictures as real "muscle men."
Geovany schooled me at arm wrestling. But hey, what do you expect?!? He wheels himself around all day and has huge arms as a result.


One fun thing that we have been doing specifically with the girls lately is making barrettes. Some girls opt for the totally ridiculous and gaudy look with huge feathers and pipe cleaners, but others opt for just a simple line of beads or pom-poms. It has been really fun to see them wearing the barrettes around the orphanage.
Aida always has her hair right on the top of her head, so the feathers really added to the drama.

Xiomara went for just a line of simple beads

But Maria Antonia went the most outrageous of all! She wanted a big crown she could clip on the top of her head. Cutest.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Napoleon Dynamite

How Napoleon Dynamite is this? It is a belt with a rubber ball attached to it. We strapped it on Vladimir and he LOVED it! He would sometimes kick it so hard that it would whack him in the face. It kept him entertained for hours.


There is no word to describe Xiomara other than sweet. She is one of the most affectionate people we have ever met, and we just adore her. We can both be totally grumpy and down but if Xiomara comes prancing over to us, we both can't help but laugh. She is the cutest!

Side note: Please excuse the fact that her shirt is see-through . . . they put the kids in some RANDOM clothing! I though the picture was adorable anyway.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Holidays Week!

The theme in our class last week was holidays and we celebrated a different holiday every day. I didn't take as many pictures as usual (and the awesome one from Halloween were on Courtney's camera), but there are still a few cute ones to put up here. Monday was Easter and we decorated eggs, went on a candy hunt and then found the Easter bunny, and talked about Señor Jesús.
Here is Emelia showing off her really classy Easter basket.

I must say that the best part of Easter was decorating eggs was watching Carmencita demolish hers with her paintbrush. She certainly made the most of it. Who says you can only paint the shell? She painted every bit of that egg!

The next day was Christmas and it was even better.

We acted out the Nativity which was hilarious because we made Xiomara be Mary and Geovany be Joseph. Will you please notice that the baby itself is a ball of yarn?

We also got Carmencita to dress up as a shepherd which was one of the cutest things ever!

I think the highlight though was when we made Christmas ornaments, popcorn garlands, and paper chains to decorate our Christmas tree (which turned out to be Sam draped in a green sheet because it was raining outside). Also ghetto. We finished by decorating Christmas cookies and having a dance party to Feliz Navidad. Walther put about three inches of frosting on his cookie before popping the entire thing in his mouth without chewing. Man after my own heart.

Wednesday we celebrated New Year’s by doing a countdown and having our own giant ball drop, and then Thursday was my absolute favorite . We celebrated Halloween! We dressed up and went trick-or-treating to different places at the Hogar where we had planted candy. The workers made the kids do something like sing or count to ten in order to get it. It was really fun to see some of the staff get into it. My favorite part though was when we made a “Casa de Miedo (House of Fear)” in our classroom by covering all the windows and told scary, interactive stories with a flashlight under our faces. We wanted to bob for apples but the water in the Hogar was out that day. We will have to do it another time just for fun, even if it doesn’t fit the theme because that would be classic!

We LOVE working with our class in the afternoons. It has definitely been a highlight of our work here.

Another "Noche Especial"

For our "Special Night" last week, we invited up two of our favorite boys, Carlos and Ivan. We wanted to make something cool to put in their room since they don't get to have their own. We painted pillowcases and it was really fun!

Glamour Shots!

One of the highlights of last week was taking some of the girls out of the pavillion in the mornings to do Glamour Shots! We painted their nails, put ridiculous makeup on them, and then went on a hunt to find a picturesque backdrop. It was a riot! These girls loved it the more than anyone else.

Daysi made us take her all around the orphanage to show off her "new look." She especially wanted to show the nuns.

Inecita LOVED the makeup. She wanted to do her own lipstick . . . she almost made her mouth.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Time Travelers

The theme for our afternoon class this week is "Traveling through Time." It has been a blast! We visit a different era every day and meet famous people that make us do ridiculous tasks. Here are some highlights:

MEDIEVAL DAY: We taught the kids how to joust and they competed for a kiss from the princess (me)

Our brave knights had a slay a ferocious dragon to prove their knighthood.

Ivan loved dressing up but wasn't quite willing to put on the red lipstick of a pharoah.

Reyna, however, had no qualms whatsoever. I have never seen her so excited for an activity. She was the first one to demand a beard.


Since the Greeks invented the Olympics, we had a class Olympics to celebrate. Here are two of our lucky winners . . . Roberto Xiomarita

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Our view

Quite a few people have been asking me what El Salvador looks like and I wanted to give you just a taste. It is gorgeous! As we were walking down this evening to play with the kids, this was the view from our front door. I am definitely doing to miss palm trees when I go home in August.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Music and Dance Class

If there is one thing these kids love to do, it is dance! Our theme for class this past week was "The Arts" and we did a different discipline of art each day. Our favorite day was music/dance. We made instruments, went on a parade around the orphanage, banged out rhythms on pots and pans, listened to different types of music and drew faces to show how it made us feel, and then learned different famous types of dances. None of us were quite prepared for how some of these kids can shake it. We put on a reggaetone song and they all leapt out of their seats. This video is from a different day but shows the same type of enthusiasm. The only thing this video is missing is Memo. He is a really chubby kid with Down syndrome who isn't normally in our class and came bursting in out of nowhere when he heard the song. He ripped off his shirt, whirled it around his head, and started body rolling his big gut. I was trying to stifle my laughter at first because I didn’t know if I should encourage him, but then I looked over and the Salvadoran teacher, Emperatriz, was absolutely rolling with laughter. By the end there were tears streaming down all our faces. What makes it so funny is that he has no shame. We saw him later with Hermana Umbelina and he was telling her that he had fun at our class and talking about dancing. He started rollin' it in front of the head nun!!! She laughed, pretended to swat his butt, and then just winked at us. She is spunky.
Me and Edwin workin' it

Check out our little thug, Roberto

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Noche Especial"

One really fun activity we are starting during our time here is to invite two kids at a time up to our house on Wednesday nights. We had our first guests last week and they were thrilled! We made rice krispie treats, giggled and played on our bed, listened to music, and watched part of a movie. It was a little frustrating that all they wanted to do was play on our laptop (kids and technology, gosh!), so next time we are going hide all that stuff so we can do crafts with the kids instead. You should have seen how much they loved the treats!
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