Friday, March 07, 2008

March Regionals

Hi Everybody! I'm back in the city at last for our regional conference. I'm afraid I don't get to town too often to update, but I always seem to be ridiculously busy on weekends!

I think I'll start off with some thank yous....
Packages--the wonderful Walsh family! I just got the package you sent in October!! Apparently it was held up in customs somewhere, but it did arrive intact! I have been greedily enjoying the contents...mmmm...ravioli...pretzels....apples...oh the joys of trader joes. The enclosed letters were also very nice, though it was funny reading about plans to get together in december after the fact, and now i can't make fun of kat for not successfully writing to me, alas :)
--Grandma, Uncle Jon and Auntie Marie for the wonderful Valentine's package! The marshmallows are very yummy, though one whole bag was sacrificed to rice krispie treats which we devoured enthusiastically!
--Mummy for helpful sewing stuff
Letters--Thanks to Lisette for her nice note, though for future reference my local address will get things to me faster, and thanks to Amey Upton, Jacob Schatz and the Sunday school at GPC for their nice note. They're doing research into Portuguese-French dictionaries for us! 11th and 12th graders here study French, but even the teachers don't have dictionaries--the lucky ones have English-French dictionaries, so they try to double translate back to Portuguese
Books--Many thanks to Mary for the 4 huge mbags that I received in February, and to GPC for all the books that mom has forwarded to me--I'm not sure of the numbers yet, but I'm sure we're now upwards of a thousand new books in english, including about 8 eng/port dictionaries and three or four english grammar exercise books. I've been spending a lot of time in the library with our librarian organizing the books. So far i have five categories: reference materials like dictionaries and grammar books, and the novels/stories divided into Advanced, Intermediate High, Intermediate Low, and Beginnner. My number one priority is making these materials accessible to the kids, so I'll be working on ideas for expanding use and access. Our librarian is really proactive and interested in running a training session (on things like card catalogs.....) for the school librarian who has no training. I set aside some books for the school library if we ever manage to get it organized--at the moment they don't look after the books, and they all get stolen, but I'll have a meeting with the Director to start problem solving. I may also apply for some grant money to get good quality shelves for the district library and maybe a new roof (the beams look more like thread from all the termites). So, to all of you who have expressed interest in our projects, and all who sent books, thank you! The kids and also the english teachers are already using and enjoying the new books!

To be continued tomorrow.....

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