Environmentally Friendly

This morning we learned about the environment. The kids were being loud...at 9 the Australians
were giving swimming lessons and I was glad to get the kids out of the classroom. A lot of them were pretty resistant so it took a significant amount of energy to get just half of them into the pool. I kept saying "swimming lessons are expensive! This is a great gift!" I managed to get about 10 of them in there which is better than none. Most of them are really poor swimmers and could barely stay afloat - so it was good they were there! I played mom holding all their phones and money and cheering them on. Only one of the girls went in. Tomorrow I'm planning to bring my suit with me to try to get them to come in. I think it's really important that they learn, there's a lot of water around!

The afternoon was a much more productive lesson. We continued learning vocabulary, worked on a dialogue about the environment, and did a writing assignment (would you prefer to live in the city or country?). We talked about pollution and endangered species and what we can do to help. We learned the phrase "environmentally friendly" and I taught the kids about litter and recycling (pretty foreign concepts here). I encouraged them to try recycling, to refrain from littering and to try to pick up the trash they see on the ground (there is litter everywhere). We talked about how smoke pollutes the air (they burn waste here frequently and there's a ton of smog from motorbikes, trucks, buses and tractors). I explained to them how in America you are fined for littering, recycling is strongly encouraged, and we have developed things like hybrid cars to try to help with air pollution. 

After class I went out to play and found my little girl gang and Bao around the corner making flower bracelets. They put some in my hair and Chi grabbed my camera to take a picture of me. We walked around the grounds and Bao was being a HUGE ham. The girls pointed out flowers to take photos of and Bao would grab the flower and pose with it or the girls would put the flowers on him in a funny way - it reminded me of how my sister Ali and I used to dress up our little brother Nicholas, forcing him into silly situations for our own entertainment. Bao had about 6 big sisters today playing around with him! I loved that we were exploring the environment on the day I taught my class about the environment. We went back to my classroom and did some yoga (I did poses and they followed along) and Bao literally climbed all over me as I was doing it (like this). He really tested my balance! After that we did a little bit of ballet - their splits are getting good! And some of them can turn a bit now! So cool. I've been seeing kids with natural talent here - drawing, gymnastics, flexibility, artistry - and can't help but think man, if this kid was in America, they would be doing dance competitions, or in gymnastic practice every night, or making their own jewelry, or going to art school. It's a great blessing to be able to develop your natural talents, but it's also awesome to see how the kids develop them on their own here - flipping around in the mud, making bracelets out of flowers, drawing in chalk on the board, and whipping out perfect splits.

  Chi! They all love to do this peace sign pose
 Bao was snorting like a pig! He was being very silly today!

 Photography by Chi! I have to squat down to let them put the flowers in my hair

 So joyful!

 Chi's little hands with her rosary bracelet

 That's an interesting face!

 Another funny face

 This is the face she made when she realized I was taking photos of her and not the flower she was showing me!



  1. You made me smile today with your entry Laura! It is wonderful how kids who are outside a lot discover how wonderfully talented they are in so many different ways! Beautiful photos! xoxo