Monday, March 30, 2015

The First Saturday Session! : Day 1,721

Two days ago, my handsomer half and myself went out to Solola for our first "Saturday Session" with the kids.  Because it was the first one, we invited the parents to attend with us as well and gave away points a little liberally.  (The Saturday Sessions, because of my lack of Kaqchikel, are designed only for children in third grade through ninth grade.  This Saturday we gave away points to some of the younger students as well.)  However, the day went really well, and I'm looking forward to the next one.  Any suggestions about lesson ideas are welcome!

Upon arriving, we took attendance, and I gave some of the older children some tasks to complete involving passing out things and the like.  Upon finishing with that, we started our first secular lesson.  When I was last visiting my parents, Clarkston Family Dental donated some toothbrushes for the kids, and the dentists with Children of the Americas (COTA) donated some toothpaste in January.  So, it just made sense for basic dental health to be our first lesson!  We talked about healthy food choices and the importance of brushing twice daily.  One little boy kept answering all of my questions at which point Manuel, the community leader, got on the middle schoolers' cases.  (It was pretty funny, but everyone else started participating more.)

After we talked about the basics of brushing and watched a few videos (link is to the site in Spanish, but the same videos are available in English), we had a snack of carrots, banana bread, and atol de incaparina (a vitamin-protein drink) which a couple of the mothers prepared for us, and can you guess what we did after snack?  Yes, we all brushed our teeth!

 While we waited for the kids to finish brushing their teeth, they started on their craft projects.  This month's craft wasn't as much of a craft that they could take home as it was administrative stuff.  The kids decorated thank you cards and created a large banner which we will use periodically for donors to the project.  They also filled out some information sheets about themselves and their dreams for the future.  Once the banner was made, we took our first pictures: for the two donations listed above and also for the backpacks which various team members from this year's COTA team donated to us.
The sign reads "Thank You" and below, "Matyox" which is "thank you" in Kaqchikel, the primary language of the children at this site.
Once we had taken pictures, we settled in for our Bible lesson.  As it was the Saturday before Palm Sunday, there was really no lesson more appropriate than the Easter story which was lots more fun as told with a set of plastic eggs that Moving Mountains gave me in July.  I was actually really bummed at the time because I wouldn't be able to use them for about 9 months!  It was worth the wait, though.  The kids really enjoyed opening each egg to find out what was in it, and I sure got in a lot of practice reading Spanish aloud!  Once we finished, I gave them a Bible memory verse for our next Saturday Session, and we sent the kids home to eat lunch.  As I had hoped, the entire session took about 4 hours.  Depending on content, we can probably whittle it down to 3 hours in the future if the families think that is a better time frame.  Additionally, in the future it won't be necessary for a parent from each family to come unless they don't want their children walking alone; so they can be at home preparing lunch without worrying about getting back from the meeting.  Most of the children either don't have far to walk (by Guatemalan standards) or they are old enough that it isn't a big concern.

For me, the biggest excitement of all of this is that Educacion con Esperanza is now operating at 100% in its first community.  That means that around September, I'll start the process of considering a new community.  I have about 3 communities which are interested in having EcE work with them; so please be in prayer that God shows me where He wants us next.  Also, I'm still working on that whole non-profit thing; so please be praying for a breakthrough there as well.