As you may know, the purpose of this blog is discovering. This means I am trying a lot of new things to figure out the life I want to live, living in Cartagena, Colombia. Now that I’m here, I feel obliged to myself and to you guys to get the most out of this adventure. For me this means discover to the fullest. Not only places, people, and things, but also my spirit. What excites me? What gives me energy?
I decided to get involved in a foundation, where I now am a volunteer english teacher for kids ranging from 8 to 12 years old. Because I don’t have much experience with children, nor with teaching, this was kind of a jump in the unknown. Especially because I am not really the motherly type (meaning, I like kids, but they can be pretty weird, no?). But since I needed some activities to practice my Spanish and I like voluntary work this could be the perfect match!
How it goes?
Well, it turned out to be pretty difficult. If you thought that school was the same everywhere, then think again. I really didn’t have any expectations but obviously I thought school is kind of the same everywhere and kids are kids everywhere. But it’s not. The kids here are so different. Is it because of the Caribbean culture, or because the school is in a less developed neighborhood, or because these kids have their share of misery, or because education is just totally different, or is it just me who cannot really control the kids? I don’t know, probably it’s a mix of everything. But I can tell that there is a big difference with Belgium.
To be or not to be..
The kids in La Boquilla are so energetic, and loud. They are constantly screaming at, and fighting with each other. But they can also be very sweet and happy. They love to talk, dance, sing, hug. And now that a month has passed, and I’m getting to know these kids better, I really start to care about them more (who would’ve thought that?!). And though it is very difficult, I am struggling, and learning more about teaching each day, I do hope I can teach them some english and maybe some other life lessons, because they are not so fortuned as we where when we were 8, and they sure can use a bit of luck and encouraging.
We will see where this goes, but for now I would say to be a volunteer english teacher (our better, try to be)!
ps, This is how they roll!