A day with Chris

Hello again, now that the first few days of our trip have passed, we started to get used to things here in Granada. And we are both doing very different things right now, Jenny gets Spanish classes and Chris volunteers with the kids programme of the Spanish school. Because these two things are so different, we decided that we would for now write individual posts. So this post was for instance written by Chris.

In order to understand how volunteering for a kids programme and Spanish lessons work within the same organisation, I first have to explain what the school Casa Xalteva actually is and does.

The garden
The garden of Casa Xalteva

The hallway

Casa Xalteva

It is a project aiming to support children from disadvantaged households. This is done by creating an atmosphere for the kids where they can play and have fun, but also where they are helped with their homework and where they have to do exercises. The Spanish classes are on the one hand the main source of finance for Casa Xalteva and on the other hand create an opportunity for people like me to get in touch with the institution and work with the kids.

Jenny and our host Thelma
Jenny and our host Thelma

To show you a little bit of how that looks like in practice, I want to introduce you to my daily schedule. The clocks here in Granada seem to work very differently, at least that is true for me. It gets dark pretty much precisely at 6 pm. And with dark I mean pitch dark; you get the feeling that at quarter to 6 the sun falls down instead of slowly setting and at a quarter past 6 the sunset is over. This makes both of us go to bed really early, maybe at around 9 so that it is no problem to get up at 7 am in the morning.

At around 7:30 am our lovely host Thelma has breakfast ready for us and at 8 the kids come to Casa Xalteva.The first 1.5 hours of the day are dedicated to exercises.

Chris and the kids at Casa Xalteva working with pipe cleaners.
Chris and the kids at Casa Xalteva working with pipe cleaners.

Today I helped Leynard, one of the kids, with math exercises, yesterday the kids had to read a book and answer questions about ancient China and the day before that was dedicated to what it means to be a Nica (Person from Nicaragua). After that they brush their teeth and eat something which is usually the time when I sit back a little bit and waste some time on Facebook. After eating comes what I would call the most exhausting thing I ever did. We play baseball and tennis football outside; at over 30 °C; with a lot of sun; and high humidity. Talking about it: Baseball is the national sport of Nicaragua, as we have explained before. After roasting ourselves in the sun for a good hour we go back inside and have some activities like making figures out of pipe cleaners or papmache balloons.

What happens in the afternoon I save for another post. Generally it is still great here with an amazing host and relaxed volunteering, even if I wouldn’t really call that work at all. Jenny will tell you about her day soon as well.

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