Getting to know the students and Puerto Rico

The past 3 day have been complete with excitement, anxiety, and happiness as we worked with the students on their first few days of school. I was definatly pulled outside of my comfort zone on multiple occasions the past few days and I’m so excited to share with you about what the experience has been like for me.

The First Day of School!

I was looking forward to the first day that we would meet the students and it had finally come. I was looking forward to it, but also, on the inside, scared. How was I going to communicate with the students if I couldn’t talk with them? How was I going to help them with anything if they were not strong readers or did not understand what I was saying? What if I don’t know how to sign or act out what the student needs to know?

This first day I was placed with Yajaira when we were paired up. She had been living in the dorms with us since we arrived, so I had already met her. I was happy to get to spend more time with her. In my opinion, she is one of the most gracias and patient young women I have met. Though I was slow and had a lot of trouble, especially at first, she helped me and allowed me to do what I needed to do to help her learn.

Highlights of fun activities!

Over the next few days I tried different activities that I’ve never done before. For instance, Hayley, Shanna, and I attended a funeral of a man from Ms. Betsy’s church to play violin and flute. This was an odd event. The funerals are held in a big space with multiple rooms with glass doors and windows to see in. It had flowers everywhere!  It was strange because there could be up to 3 funerals taking place at 1 time. With the thin walls we could here much of the funeral next door, kind of strange, right? When we stood in front to play along with the hymns, the pastor began singing before we played. This made it difficult for us to come in, so Ms. Betsy says, transpose it to F major! We had to transpose on the spot to this crazy Pastor who didn’t want to wait. After the funeral there were many laughs all around because I guess we were just so excited to be out of the funeral. Ask me sometime, I’ll have to tell you some of the stories!

I also got to teach a group violin class with 2 spanish speakers and a deaf student. Not to mention, one student was just starting, one had played twinkle twinkle, and one had played some more than the others. Talk about CRAZY! It was really fun though and I think that my abilities were tested and stretched. Have you ever thought about how awful violins go out of tune in a place that is so humid and hot like here?

Lastly, our team went to an old navy base and jumped into the from the pier. It was really scary to jump in that far from the water. Then, Ms. Betsy said, “Don’t let the kids stay in the water, just in case their are sharks.” I’m thinking “umm… Okay, are we sure we want to do this?” But just about everyone went off accept for Hayley, Ms. Betsy, Ms. Sue, and 2 of the students. As we walked back we stopped at another pier where all 5 were eventually coaxed off the shorter ledge. It was so fun to get to know the people better.

 

Looking back on the past few days it’s obvious to me that God has been giving me the strength to do what I need to do and courage to try new things day to day.

Keep our team in your prayers as we continue to bond with each other and the students through the next week and a half. Also, pray for our new adventures that we take on as a team. Lastly, think of me as I am alittle under the weather. Pray that I take care of myself and that its just a small cold.

 

Thanks for reading, keep checking for more updates!

Lyla

 

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lyla14538

I am a music education major at Messiah College. I play flute, double bass, and violin in multiple ensembles at the college.

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