Tuesday July 5

16 Jul

This morning I got to sleep in! well…kind of. My alarm went off an hour later than m y sister’s! 6:45! So late. After hitting snooze a few times and finally turning it off, my sister came in and we did devotions. Even though the passages were long and seemed extra long because it was early, it was good. After  packing my lunch and eating my Apple Jacks, the Crosby’s picked me up. I got in the van and met another team member, Condido, aka Mr. C. (He makes films and music videos….yeah.) We got to the public school where we will be working for the next six weeks. We went into a spacious gym…there was a stage, a few chairs (that weren’t chained up. There were about 60 that WERE chained) and, wait for it: ONE industrial sized fan. That wouldn’t oscillate. In fact, it pointed straight to the ground. Perfect. I met
the final member of our team, Eric, who is a really funny guy who is going to school in Virginia for mass communications. He’s really nice. Then, we cleaned up our classroom where we will be eating lunch. After some orientation for the team members, we gathered the kids. We had 16 kids today and we were told we could have up to 40. In that hot gym. Awesome. (Also, allow me to reflect upon THE GIANT COCKROACHES IN THIS SCHOOL BUILDING. One of the boys squished one after lunch and I almost LOST my lunch. So gross.) The kids were FULL of energy. One of the things we are stressing is teamwork. The kids had some great answers as to why teamwork is important. Then, us team members introduced ourselves. Mr. C shared that he’s met famous people while doing music videos, Grace told everyone she’s 87 (I mean…why not?), Mr. Eric got lots of cheers when he said he was a defensive….tackle? linebacker? (I was paying attention, I PROMISE), and I was asked to do some on-the-spot acting when I mentioned I want to be an actress when I grow up. We went over rules and objective-type things. The kids had
SO MANY questions. They played a name game, which was also a speed game, so unfortunately I missed a lot of their names. But they were so hype to cut down on the time that they could say their first and last names in the circle. So good. Then the kids played a game called belly/back. Basically the kids are lying on the mats and they have to listen to Mr. Frank’s directions. If he yells “BELLY!” they have to roll over to their bellies. If he yells “BACK!” they have to roll over to their backs. They had a lot of fun with it, and the girl who won, was one particular young lady who I was worried about from the beginning. Let’s call her “Ana.” Ana has a particular attitude that goes along with the culture down here. But, she and I got to connect a little bit throughout the day, and I found out a lot of cool things about her. She wants to be a fashion designer. And GET THIS! She wants to go to Messiah! Her aunt is apparently a professor there. What are the ODDS that a random girl in my program not only has heard of Messiah but wants to attend there as well?! Okay, God, okay. I see what You’re doing here! Grace led the movement time. We started out with this thing (exercise) called 25 and 5. Basically I have done almost 100 jumping jacks and 25 sit ups today. The kids did all 100 JJ’s and a ton of sit ups. Then we did some dance movement to some really sick beats. Grace is amazing at what she does, and I’m probably learning more than the kids are! The kids are great! They listened attentively, and showed a lot of respect and excitement! At the end of the day each of us team members told the kids what specialty we were hoping to work on with them. I told the kids to be ready for some acting! We are hoping to do a video of some sort with Mr. C and Eric, and incorporate dance and acting. So excited. The kids got a chance to say what their favorite part of the day was, what they’re looking forward to and what they would change. They had a lot of good things to say. I am very impressed at their articulation. There was only one slight mishap at the end of the day, but Mr. Frank and Ms. Kathleen took care of it with great…awesomeness. There’s really no other word for it. After the kids left, we had a debriefing to discuss the day and any concerns we have. We all agreed that we connected well with the kids and that they connected well with each other. We also talked about any red flags we noticed, and how to address them. We are focusing this summer on “loving the kids back to life.” I went back to the neighborhood center in the afternoon, only to find out that my sister’s students were complete terrors today. I felt bad especially since my kids are wonderful! At the end of the time there I had a massive headache (surprise) and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Praise team practice was this evening and it was a great time of fellowship with some wonderful and beautiful ladies. One lady, Abra, is a lot like me, and we stood next to each other and Ms. Kathleen kept looking at us when we got the harmonies wrong. They weren’t really…wrong…we were just making up new ones! OH! I took the job at the Neighborhood Center…well…unofficially. I’m waiting to hear confirmation on the times. I’d be working three days a week and getting paid to basically chill and gel with the kids! A quick stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way home to grab Munchkins, and here I sit. I am worn out, but ready to do it all again tomorrow! Please be in prayer for our kids, and our team leaders, and my sister’s class and my sister as well. We are really starting to feel the stress of the summer (THE HEAT) and we still have six weeks to exist with each other. She is glaring at me as I write this because she’s trying to sleep. Haha!

Anyway, until next time, stay cool

-Starleisha

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