September 29, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things...

"When the street dogs bite, when the big spiders crawl on the wall, when I am stressed to the max, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad..."

Being paid for tutoring with fresh fruit. 
Me: What can we learn from Noah?
Student: That we should learn how to swim.

The View
Student 1: Mrs. Broekhuis, you're as sweet as cookies!
Student 2: Yeah, Mrs. Broekhuis, you're as yummy as...uh...whoops!

Disney Coffee Mugs: gifts from two students who went to Disney World 

Teacher: What are some ways you can be a better friend?
2nd Grader: I can be put Jesus first, yourself last, and others inbetween.
Teacher: Where did you learn that?
2nd Grader: I learned that in 1st grade last year!

Notes from students...and 1st Grade attempts at spelling. 
Student: Mrs. Broekhuis, you have to eat so much because your body is SO BIG!
Same Student, Writing Workshop Story: If you eat your vegetables, you will grow like my teacher!
A stocked cupboard after Saturday morning grocery shopping. All the essentials.

Our produce bucket overflowing with fresh fruits and veggies.
Me: What's your favorite smell?
Student: Gasoline!

Guatemalan hot chocolate that is made from a real bar of chocolate. 

Ordering this dessert for four people because we thought it would be the size of a large mug. 
A Child's Passion
Student's Writing Story: "My Friend Jesus"
I have a friend that is in heaven. His name is Jesus. He is the best best friend I have. He is number one friend. I pray to Him a lot. When I am falling He will grab my hand. He will, He will. He died for our sins. And that is true. Is He your best friend too? Well if you are the friend of Jesus that is good!!! He can be the best best best friend there is and that is true. I always read the Bible and pray too. Do you do it too?
The book, Heaven is for Real: For Kids
After reading Heaven is for Real: For Kids, one student exclaimed, "I just wish to see Jesus! I can't wait to go to heaven!"

These are a few of my favorite things.

Grace and Peace,

September 16, 2012

We Climbed a Volcano

Our weekend...

September 15 is Guatemala's Independence Day.
We did not have school on Friday, so we went to Antigua with a group of friends. On Friday, we enjoyed the sights, shopping, and a lot of eating.
 On Saturday, we decided to climb a volcano early in the morning. The volcano is called "Pacaya."
 On our hike we saw many cool things, including the view of two other volcanoes, "Agua" and "Fuego." Those names mean "water" and "fire."
 Our tour guide was very informative. He showed us these leaves called "cheese leaves," They are great for wiping the sweat off your brow.
 Or, as our friend Sarah showed us, for blowing your nose.
 This past week, the volcano "Fuego," had been errupting. We got to see that from our volcano as well. If you look closely to see a very dark cloud, you can see the volcano Fuego errupting a little bit too.
 The view was very beautiful. We could see many different cities and mountain tops.
 As we continued to hike, the vegetation became more and more sparse.
Until it our path was made up of only volcanic rocks and pebbles from dried lava.
Our group continued on, until we reached... 
 The Lava Store. They were selling souvenir jewelry made from lava rocks. They said something about how the jewelry will pass on the "energy of the volcano" to you. And then I stopped listening.
 We then continued the hike until we we came to a little cave.
 We climbed down into the cave.
All of the walls looked like this. We thought the walls were wet, but they were dry to the touch.
 Soon after we climbed out of the cave, and did the most exciting thing on the trip...
 We roasted marshmallows using heat vents of the volcano!
 It's not every day you get to roast a marshmallow on a heat vent of a volcano.
It was pretty warmish by the heat vents, but it was so fun.
 To top it off, we turned those marshmallows into smores! I was quite estatic. 
 After smores, we had to decide as a group if we wanted to continue up the mountain or turn back. Our guide offered to take us to the top crater of the volcano for a small additional price of Q300. He said it would only be another 40 minutes to the top. The hike so far had been decent, and we thought, "Why not? We made it this far?" So we hiked on.
 Unfortunately, the hike became too steep and slippery. It was too sharp of an angle to hike, and we were already slipping and sliding with nothing to hold onto. It was already so difficult to climb up; we couldn't imagine how difficult it would be to get down. We decided to turn around. It had to have been a sight to other hikers down below, as our guide had to help each one of us ladies back to a more secure spot of the moutain as we clutched his hand. After we got back down to a safer place, these lovely policemen checked our guide's credentials. The guide promised it would be only 40 minutes to the very top. From the highest point we reached until we got back down to the main trail, it took an hour and 15 minutes.  
 Here we are on safe ground again, enjoying the view.
 This is one happy hiker.
 This is another happy hiker.
This is a group of happy hikers.
This is a couple of happy hikers.
We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend away with some great friends. The first part of the hike was not as difficult as others we have done, yet the great group we were with, all of the dried lava, and roasting marshmallows at the top definitely made it the most interesting hike we have been on so far! It was a lovely Independence Day break.
Grace and Peace,

September 2, 2012

Things that make me say "WOW!"

Some things in life make me say "WOW!"

Now, that "WOW!" can be interpreted in different ways. Sometimes the "WOW!" means, "Sheesh, that is amazing!" Sometimes it means "Really? You thought that was a good idea?!" And every so often it means "Oh my word, I could throw up from fright."

But here are a few things that have made me recently say "WOW!" You can decide which kind of "WOW!" it might be. They are quite random, but life here is quite random.

1. How great my first grade class is. This week we made a video in social studies about our school. It is pretty low quality, as it was shot on my digital camera and at some parts is difficult to hear. However, I think you can get the drift of how fun and cute they are.

2. A week-long power outage. As of now, rumors are flying about Xela being without electricity for the whole next week. Apparently the mayor of Xela has missed a few payments. (Q764,000,000 to be exact.) Refrigerators? Showers? Toilets? Stoves? It could be a long week. But we will not keep you posted, as we may be without power.

3. Monkey bread. Look what I figured out how to do with pancake mix. :)

4. This cat stuck in the window. Not sure how it got there, or how it is going to get out.

5. Spiders. Thankfully we really don't find a lot of big spiders up here in the mountains; really not many bugs at all. However, every once in awhile you run into one that makes your skin crawl. Take Exhibit A, for example. While working on lesson plans on March 30, 2012, five things happened.
#1. I saw Exhibit A crawl out from under our bed.
#2. I immediately began to perspire.
#3. I realized that Collin was not home to exteriminate it.
#4. I estimated its size to 2.5 inches and took a picture so that Collin would believe me.
#5. It met death by Collin's slipper.

Exhibit A: Nasty

Also take a good look at Exhibit B. It was first spotted in our apartment back in May. It was fast. Months later, it was randomly spotted on our wall as shown. It was about 3 inches wide. On August 26, 2012, it also met death by Collin's slipper.

Exhibit B: Unbelievably disgusting
6. Talented youngsters. Gotas de Luz (Drops of Light): 5 Guatemalan brothers who each play at least 4 different instruments and sing in 3 different languages. We had the pleasure of hearing them play at church this week. Here they are playing the marimba, the national instrument of Guatemala. I don't really like the sound of the Marimba, but they were so good at it.

7. My job. Did I mention that I love it? All of it: the teachers, the students, the planning, the challenges, and the love.

8. It's September. Time is flying.

9. Christ's humility. This week's sermon was on John 13, the story of Christ washing the disciples feet. Christ, the all-powerful Savior of the universe, set his rightful everything aside and humbled himself to come to earth and wash us clean. Furthurmore, he set an example for how we should live as his followers. "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, not is a messenger greater than the one who sent Him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." Words that should affect our relationships with family, friends, spouses, co-workers, bosses, and acquaintances.

I hope you find some things that make you say "WOW!" this week too. :)

Grace and Peace,