Thursday, August 21, 2008

Morning Adventures

Starting this past Monday, Jocelyn and Dunc have been teaching an intensive English course for students in the San Franciscan community. Lasting two weeks, the course is designed to act as a refresher in order to prepare the students for the start of school come September 1st. They have five students enrolled, and come back each day a little exhausted, absolutely famished (first thing Jos does is get out the ketchup, regardless of what's on the lunch menu), but positive about the progress their students are making.

This morning, however, they came back in a frenzy. Eliah, Annie, Luke and I were all working on our respective computers (writing program proposals, researching for upcoming projects, emailing the Ecuador09 listserve an obnoxious amount of articles, the usual) when Jos and Dunc came bursting through the front door, each talking a mile a minute. Turns out this morning's class veered a little off course.

Apparently a pregnant cow had picked the grass right outside the Casa Barrial (building where we host our programs) to give birth at 8:30am, to the astonished horror of Jos and Dunc. The cow's labor noises, coupled with the early morning downpour of rain, flustered Jos so much that she used a little too much force in her attempt to open the lock to the Casa Barrial, snapping off the key head while leaving the body jammed in the lock's interior. Thus, the class trudged over to the Cooperative to search for help, managing to find someone with an enormous saw to effectively destroy the lock. After buying a second lock and key and tracking down the rest of the students who had dispersed in the rain-soaked chaos, the group was finally able to start class an hour later. The mother cow (now eating the umbilical cord) and her baby also joined them for a few hours of English grammar.

It speaks to Jos and Dunc's ability as teachers that they were able to run an effective class after all of the morning's excitement. There never is any way of predicting what exactly will happen on any given morning here in the Valley, but that's part of the adventure of it.

Until tomorrow,

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