My name is Suzanne Russell Parker and I am the Education Coordinator. I am from the States, but come by way of Australia. My husband and I are here in Peru for six months and will travel further to Patagonia in January and on to Nepal in February. Here is my first story regarding re-starting the Education program:

With the previous education director’s warning in mind, “If all else fails, pack chocolate and caffeine for when you need to hide in the corner while the kids go to town on their pinball games” we commenced our second week of computer literacy classes hoping for less surprises than the first.

The first week of classes had been punctuated with surprises and we hoped the second was less so. We had learned:

 While classes are supposed to start at 8:30 this is highly variable. Some kids rock up to class 30 or more minutes late. We have discovered class starts when class starts. Likewise classes are supposed to run for an hour and half with the last class ending at 1:30 or 1:00 or 1:15. Classes end when class end.

à We originally thought, as what was indicated to us, we would be teaching classes on these little green computers like look like they are only for games and only games for pre-school. We are teaching 6th graders. The day classes started we were ushered into the computer classroom by the director of the school. Much to our surprise we had a classroom with actual computers! Much to our dismay only five of the 10 computers worked or/ and had working parts. Still five computers were five more computers than we thought we would have.

à We had second graders that did not know that alphabet. Our other discoveries were points of frustration—this, this was something more. The first week was about understanding the level the kids and that was one that we had not anticipated. We were a little lost as what to do because we had planned to play learning computer games. All was not quite lost because we just played computer games of a different sort. Matching—Pokemon cards! Next week we’ll start learning the alphabet.

All in all classes weren’t so bad. We only had one class where a student had to sit in time-out. That being said—there were a couple more that probably needed time-out! Nonetheless, we didn’t need to hide in a corner with chocolate. I’ll count that as a success.