Friday, November 04, 2005

Aplastado!

This means ¨smashed¨. In the school system here, it isn´t uncommon for students to not pass final exams and have to retake the test in order to pass onto the next grade. I had to aplastar 18 English students out of my 62, and really it should´ve been a lot more but I passed people down to 60% (D-). I was pretty disappointed with the overall test results since so many people failed. I am trying to figure out why, because I frickin´ handed the test to them on a silver platter, dedicating a fair amount of time in the two classes before to explaining exactly what I was going to put on it and what they would need to study. Based on my best guess, I think the problems most people had fall into the categories of: Didn´t pay attention in class, Didn´t understand and was too timid to ask a question, Didn´t study, and Has no experience whatsoever in test-taking. The people that failed probably mixed and matched a few of these. I stood up on the last day of class, after reviewing all 5 sections I was going to put on the test, and said ¨if anybody doesn´t understand this, ASK ME NOW. If I get a pile of lousy scores on the test, then at least I´ve done my best to help explain this stuff to you.¨ Not a single person raised their hand, but obviously a bunch of people should have. Fighting this kind of thing is going to be annoying, I can tell.

Hurricane Beta messed up the North coast of Honduras, but all we got down here was a couple days of drizzle. Now it´s cleared up again and the weather is beautiful - 70-80 in the day with sun and wind, and 6oish at night.

On Wednesday I went around inspecting some coffee fincas (a finca is like a family farm, but I hesitate to use that word because it conjurs up images of corn, cows, and barns and that´s not what the deal is here). This is work that the coffee cooperative wants me to help them with, and I am somewhat reluctant to do because I have to be ¨Mr. Inspector¨ to all these new producers that I am making friends with. They get kind of embarassed because they haven´t done a damn thing we talked about in the capacitations and with every problem I find, they say they either do it right normally or are about to fix it. This is what keeps me strict, the excuse-making. A couple of the places had in fact started working on improving their beneficios though, so that was cool to see.

Played soccer again on Sunday. We won the first game, then I left and and we lost the second. Har har! Maybe I am good luck. We have a big 4-way tournament coming up on the 13th in which the politicians are going to donate new uniforms to the team that wins. They are chucking free stuff left and right at the moment since it is election time. This is important because even though we´re pretty good, our uniforms are like the suckiest of all the teams in the area.

I´m here in Choluteca right now because I had to go to the bank today before I head off to yet another training event in central Honduras and I wouldn´t have time to do it in the morning before catching the bus. So I did that and now I´m going to tool around town for the rest of the day and leave tomorrow. It´s nice having plenty of time in Choluteca because any other time I come here I´m always in a godawful rush. I may end up spending yet another day in town because it appears I got my messages mixed and the thing starts a day later than I thought. I have to call up to Agua Fría after this and figure that out.

I answered some emails this time and hope I did not miss delivering any information that people wanted. If I am indeed still stuck in Choluteca tomorrow I will check my email again. Maybe somebody wants me to call them?

cheerio,

Gabe

4 Comments:

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Thanks for all you are doing in Honduras, I am a Honduran but live in Florida now. I like reading your blog because my family comes from El Corpus.

By the way, I think you mean aplazado (instead of aplastado). Aplazado means "flunked".

Take care,

Honduran in Florida

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger pineconeboy said...

Hey Honduran in Florida,

What´s your family´s name? Want me to say hi to them?

You must be correct about aplazado; I have a hard time learning new words sometimes if I don´t recognize the sound pattern. Pretty funny mistake though.

Gabriel

 
At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabe,
Do you want to call me and Maya tomorrow? She's coming up in the afternoon to go to a ballet in Bellingham with me tomorrow evening. Write one of us and let us know what the story is.
Con Cariño,
Tu mamá

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Slice/Chris said...

Score a goal for me Gabe during your next game :)

 

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