Following a week chock full of cancellations, this week has been another plague of class cancellations. The reasons (so far):
- Teacher hurt his foot and is out of school all week
- Teacher got jumped by a gang on Friday night and is still recuperating (this one is really upsetting and scary as well)
- Celebration for National Teachers’ Day
Also, last Friday, an assistant principal at one of my schools was attacked by a student! At this school they have primary school in the morning and secondary school in the afternoon. However, if a primary school student is not advancing grades and he becomes too old for primary school he goes to what is called a ciclo in the afternoon. It is basically remedial elementary school for big kids. So last Friday one of these man children got kicked out of class by his teacher, and she sent him to the principal’s office. In the principal’s office he wound up throwing his backpack at the principal. The assistant principal intervened, and I’m not sure exactly what transpired, but the assistant principal wound up in the hospital with some sort of head injury.
My teachers are dropping like flies, and we’ve still got a day and a half of class left this week!
Update, Friday, June 20:
Two of my classes went off without a hitch (Thursday afternoon and Friday 1:00 PM) before my last class of the week, Friday 5:00 PM got cancelled. This week the cause of death was for a political rally that they asked the kids to attend (in Spanish they call them marchas), but in reality this class rarely ever meets. Would you show up for a 5:00 PM Friday meeting? The teachers and kids have the same attitude that you do, more or less.
The rally was for the anniversary of El Repliegue. El Repliegue was a strategic retreat that the Sandinistas pulled off from Managua to Masaya during the Revolution (repliegue literally translates to retreat or withdrawal). Ever year they close the highway from Managua to Masaya and they literally march all the way on down it, re-enacting this important event. Although the highway passes nowhere near León, the event is still heavily celebrated here, since León heavily supports the Sandinistas. I hear firecrackers all night last night, and I can here the drum lines rolling right now as I sit in my house writing this post update.
So despite the disappointments in the classroom this week, I’m just going to keep on trying this week to come. Not only will I keep on working in the schools and defining my roles there, but I’m also looking forward to branching out into the business community, learning more about the local economy, and meeting entrepreneurs and business owners who would like advice and help. There is a financial support NGO here that I think does some good work. I will hopefully get to meet some of their clients starting this week. Plus, I’m trying to set up some meetings with leaders of the tourism industry and other small business owners.
To keep my mind off of work, I’ve also got a weekend chock full of activities. In just a few minutes I am going to a baroque music concert at some super fancy hotel (my friend invited me, and it’s free, so why not?). Tomorrow I am visiting my friend Blair in her site of El Sauce, in the department of León. Peace Corps Volunteers tend to call El Sauce Hot Sauce since it is pretty much the hottest municipality in all of Nicaragua. Following my day trip to Hot Sauce I may check out the central square. I think there is another cultural event going on tomorrow night. And then on Sunday, to cap off what will hopefully be a nice weekend, a trip to a new beach a bit further north of me looks to be in order.
The end of the weekend isn’t going to slow me down either. My friend Matt has invited me to watch the USA vs. Germany World Cup final group stage match on Thursday in his site, Estelí. I may head over there on Wednesday evening (depending on how my class schedule turns out) and take my first out-of-site night. As Peace Corps Volunteers we are allowed one night out of our site our first month of service, two during our second, and three thereafter. I would stay at Matt’s house (I’m hoping he has a place for me), watch the game, see the city a bit, and then catch one of the last buses back to León (I have a 7:00 AM commitment in León on Friday, so staying over Thursday night is pretty much out of the question unless I want to take the 4:00 AM bus).
How could you resist the urge to visit this guy?
So that’s the rundown on this past week and my week to come. I will be sure to keep the blog updated with posts on how everything goes.