It has been a while since my last post. I wish a happy new year to everyone. I have been living in Barranquilla, Colombia and I worked at an inner-city school from mid-September to mid-November. Most of the schools here in Colombia are private schools. The schools I have encountered are part of churches. The school where I work is called Colegio Nazareth Olaua. Colegio Nazareth is a pre-school to 11 grade school. The schools here only go to 11th grade – there is no 12th grade. During the school term, I work there Monday and Wednesday’s from 8:00 to 12:00 or 2:00. On the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I had Spanish class form 9:00 to 12:00 or later sometimes. When I was helping out, I was sitting in on classes and grading papers. On a typical Monday, I would go to classes that where grades 6 – 12 . I got to help them learn English and I would talk a little bit of Spanish to them. I also graded papers during the 6th grade class because they were a little too much for me to deal with. Also, the class in Colombia are not like classes in the USA. In the classes here, the students talk and do not seem like they are listening to the teacher. The teacher can be up in front teaching or putting class work on the board and they are just during their own thing. It is very different, but they do learn things, so it works. The younger kids pay even less attention than the older kids. On Wednesdays I would work with pre-school and 2nd and 3rd grades. I did not think that I would enjoy that going into it, because kids are harder for me deal than adults – surprisingly, I discovered I like working with the kids. The older kids would not talk to me as much because I did not know a lot of Spanish, but the 3rd graders would do the work and then they would talk to me. I help them learn English and they help me learn Spanish. I had a good time working with them. I am not sure if I would want to work every day with kids – that could be a little much. I need to work with kids more to discover if this may be a path for me moving forward.
Also, on Tuesday I work at 7th church project. What 7th church project is that they have community center in a poorer area of town. This community center is where they have church on Tuesday and Saturdays. Church is from 4:00 to 5:00. They church’s mission is for single mothers in the community and they bring they kids, too. The community center is a two-story building on the first floor is where the adult had their services and on the 2nd story is where the kids would go and have they own services. I went to both of them. I end up helping out more with the kids with me and two other female leaders. The one leader would lead and teach the kids about God and myself, and the other leader would help with activities for the day. They did activities of drawing their families, schools, and other places. They had another actives in which the older kids read creation story and younger kids draw. I keep finding myself enjoying the activities with the children much more than I had anticipated.
It is now a summer break for the schools, since we are on the other side of the equator. It is quite warm and Barranquilla is an industrial city -larger than Charlotte – on the northern part of Colombia on the Caribbean coast. I am still striving to discern God’s plan for me here. I welcome your prayers and prayers for the people of Colombia.
John Paul Wilson