Day 8: Bulldogs, Parachutes and Soccer
Day two at the agencies went a lot more smooth than the first. Colegio 20 De Abril, the school that we are teaching physical education at, is now becoming a place of familiarity and comfort. The kids know who we are, understand that we are not fluent in Spanish and try to use as many hand guest rues as possible to explain what they are saying. Likewise, we are recognizing faces, being able to remember and apply names, and also identify which teens think they are too cool to participate in the games we are playing. Keep in mind that they individuals who act like they are too cool are generally the ones who end up having the most fun once they start participating, but take a longer time to coax into being engaged to the same extent as the rest of the group.
Because all three of the physical education classes we were teaching today has similar age groups, we were able to use the same (if not similar) games and activities for each session. For all the groups, we started out with a quick warm up game of British Bulldog, which the kids absolutely loved because they were the ones tagging and chasing them around.
Next, we took out the parachute and played a series of mini games. The look of awe and wonder on all of the teens faces as we open up the parachute to play with never ceases to put a smile on my face; the big, bright and bold colors somehow dazzle and captivate all of the kids and teens causing them to beam and exude happiness. They will be ecstatic when they find out we have left them here for them to play with after we have gone back to Canada.
Depending on how engaged everyone was after we ended the parachute games, we either moved onto basketball or soccer. Soccer is Ecuador is nothing like the soccer played in Canada. Unlike organized Canadian soccer, Ecuadorian soccer is unorganized, care free and unstructured making it incredibly entertaining and inspiring to watch. Almost all the teens that play soccer have been taught informally by friends, family members, and neighbours; it is a skill that they acquire growing up in this country, very similar to the hockey that is played on out door rinks in Canada. After about thirty seconds of playing soccer, it was obvious that their skill exponentially surpassed mine, and that I would have to be a fast learner to keep up with them. The tricks and different moves I witnessed playing with these teens is amazing, and I cannot wait to show (or attempt to demonstrate) everyone back home what I have learned today. Hopefully we get another chance to play soccer with the older teens because I feel like I have already forgotten half of the moves they showed me. Most likely due to the fact that I was so fascinated by their level of athleticism and agility the first time they displayed their skills that I just stared in amazement and did not absorb a thing.
Another touching moment happened as the last group of the day was leaving: one of the girls was crying as she was walking towards her next class, I ran and caught up with her to make sure she was alright and she replied that she was just sad that we were leaving. Insert slight heart break here.