Friday, February 19, 2010

rebe's word notebook: malabarismos

Just like in the US, I still always carry a little notebook and pen with me.  This year, however, I have two.  One's for the normal scribbles: maps, grocery lists, addresses, quotes, to-do lists, etc.  The other has turned into a list of new Spanish words: words I learn in classes, from my intercambios, roommates, tv shows, you know... words I learn while living life.

Since it seems like there hasn't been much "news" to blog lately, now that classes are up and running again (well, not quite all classes - one of my classes doesn't start until next Thursday...), thought I could start sharing some of the words that make their way into this notebook, and the situation in which they were learned.

That being said, a new word from Friday is:
hacer malabarismos: to juggle

And now the accompanying story.  Asad volunteers at the women's center on Wednesdays, and I on Mondays.  The women who run the center are Marta and Laura.  This Wednesday he told me that Laura was wondering if I could come on Friday this week, because Marta was going to be the only one with all the kids.  Fridays are "fun days" (non-homework days), and rather than two separate groups an hour each like Mondays and Wednesdays, everyone is together for an hour and a half on Fridays - so the older kids and younger kids are mixed.  I had gone to my first Friday volunteering the prior week; the kids made masks for Carnaval.  They had been quite rowdy and some bad-behaved, but since I had no plans this afternoon, I went.

When I walked in, I was surprised to see every other volunteer there... minus Asad (I couldn't convince him to come with me!).  But it ended up being fun - I finally know all the other volunteers' names!  Now I need to work on learning the kids' names...

Their activity yesterday was another art-project type thing.  They had to make a picture of a woman that has made a positive influence on their life.  There were newspapers they could use to cut out pictures, markers, glue, yarn, and (unfortunately?) glitter again... (Like last Friday, today I left the center with glitter on my clothes, hands, and in my hair.  Somehow, one of the containers of glitter always gets knocked over and spills on the floor or table).

After we finished cleaning up, when some of the kids had already left, us volunteers and the three or four remaining girls started playing "Veo veo" (It's the Spanish version of I spy).  This is how it goes:

Player: Veo veo (I see, I see)
Group: ¿Qué ves? (What do you see?)
Player: Una cosita (Something.. - literal translation: a little thing)
Group: ¿Qué cosita es? (What is it?)
Player: Una cosita que empieza con la letrecita... (Something that starts with the letter...)

Then everyone guesses the object, and the person to correctly guess the word is the next "player", and gets to pick the next cosita.

It was the best behaved I had ever seen the kids!  (Granted, there were only 4 left at this point, and all girls.) But two of those girls usually cause some sort of trouble, but when we were playing "veo veo", they were genuinely interested, trying to guess the right cosita.

During the walk with the volunteers from the center to the train station afterwards, Marta (one of the directors) told me that Marina (another volunteer) could juggle (yes, that's when I learned the word), and was going to teach the kids to juggle one Friday.  She then went on to ask me if I had any "special skills" that I could teach for an activity some Friday.  Nothing came to the top of my head, and I told her I'd think about it. 

And I'm still thinking about it.  Do any of you have ideas of an activity that would be engaging to kids whose ages range from 8-15 for an hour and a half?  Or if any of you know a "special skill" I possess that I'm just not aware of... hah

I'm trying to think of a fun game we used to play in elementary school or something.  I don't think we have enough kids for Heads Up-7 Up.  I thought about "Crocodile moray," but I'm not sure if that would go over well.  And you can only play that for so long.  Or what was fun in art class back then?



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