Monday, March 31, 2008

First day on the job! At our morning meeting Evelyn arrived with matching shoes, unlike, she claimed, on earlier occasions. After an orientation with Carl, and a fond farewell to his family, we walked with Chuy to a restaurant on the plaza to breakfast with several other members of the English faculty. Breakfast was followed by a short, but impressive orientation/overview of UTNG and the department’s expectations of us. We were driven to the campus, had a very brief tour and then, to our surprise, were honoured guests at a welcome ceremony held in the auditorium, including a speech by the rector. After visiting the English faculty offices and meeting additional faculty (a large department with several native English speakers), we set off to our first class.

What an experience! Thrown in cold with Lucio’s group of beginners; discussing workplace values and career plans with JJ´s last year (TOEFL-tested) young adults, then more beginners with Nathan’s class. After a 3:00 lunch break (nutrition not a curriculum at UTNG, unfortunately), and some time in the cyber-library, we had a final class with Gaby´s external students -– ranging from doctors to elementary school students –- where we worked on a “Jeopardy”-like game.

We´re beginning to see how what we´re doing fits in with the faculty vision for the English curriculum. We´re tired but excited.


A) St. Augustine: ¨”Love and do what you will.” B) Mother to child: “How do you know you’re dead? When you stop learning.”

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our family of seven enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet at the hotel and soon after we three volunteers left via the college van with Professor Jose de Jesus (Chuy) over the high mountains to our new home in Dolores Hidalgo. It was a very scenic ride over rugged hills. Our home for the next two weeks will be Posada Las Campanas with lovely rooms on the first floor and an adjoining patio where we had a very informative orientation meeting over a delicious luncheon.

When work was done we took a walk to the plaza (locally referred to as the garden –El Jardín) and enjoyed the famous Dolores ice cream. Toured the side streets where we bought the notebook in which we are recording our journal – now our blog. We kept on touring and drove 40 km to San Miguel de Allende to see that historic town and crowded plaza. Actually saw a bored young American couple sitting on a park bench using the computer! Had a soup and salad supper and soon headed for home. Has been a full day and we need our rest. Tomorrow we meet the kids in the classroom – can hardly wait!

THOUGHT: Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

MEXICO – Here we come (all 3 of us) from the East Coast (New Jersey), the West Coast (San Francisco), and the Southwest (Austin, Texas). Mary from Texas arrived early. Joyce came later on the same day, the 29th, and Evelyn came at 8:00 pm after flying all day. We gathered at our hotel and met our leader, Carl’s, family and enjoyed a good meal together. It was a long day for most of us so a retreat to our rooms was very welcome.