Paul and Gayle are taking a year from their roles in Picton and Belleville and will be teaching at the Maple Leaf International School in Trinidad. We will use this blog to record some of our edventures!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A week in Trini

Here is a little insight into our normal day to day lives in Trinidad.

Paul went biking with another teacher on Sunday morning for a solid and sweaty 2.5 hour ride. I did not. Instead I went to the air conditioned gym and ran on the treadmill, while watching some shows on Netflix. Life is tough.

Monday was a normal school day. Paul jogged to the gym for a workout before school. I left our apartment at about 6:30 a.m. and drove the 2 km. Depending on the two traffic lights, the drive might take 5 minutes or 10. School starts everyday at 7:40 with morning announcements, and no national anthem. We both have period 1 as our prep, and then teach 80 minute classes. The classes are slightly longer here to compensate for multiple holidays during the school year. Lunch is 35 minutes, followed by period 4. This last class of the day ends at 2 p.m. Typically we've been working at the school until 4:30 or 5:00 pm but due to high volume of traffic, many teachers leave shortly after 2.

On Tuesday we headed down to the Savannah after school to watch our under 16 "footballers" (that would be soccer players) play a league game. By 5 pm swarms of sandflies had invaded the field, looking like columns of haze and tasting a lot worse. The game was postponed as breathing and sight was tough with bugs in your mouth and eyes. It was really gross. Apparently this happens sometimes in the rainy season. Lucky for us the flies were not on the grass for frisbee so we were able to play a fun pick up game. As a reward after frisbee, with dead flies stuck to our legs and necks, we trundled off to McDonalds for $9 ($1.75 Can) chocolate sundaes!

Speaking of the rainy season, the weather is consistently HOT and HUMID. Like I'm talking 32 degrees C during the day and "cooler" at only 25 at night. And when it rains, it RAINS. Sometimes it comes with thunder and lightening. But usually it will rain hard for 30 minutes and then be done within the hour and come out hot and humid. Paul has been soaked only once so far during phys ed :)

After school on Wednesday we drove out to Chagauramas as Paul is planning to take his phys ed classes to do some orienteering. We biked around a bit and managed to see a momma howler monkey and her baby over us, climbing around in bamboo. We got a few pictures, but the cell phone camera makes it look a little more like a blob in a tree.

Thursday was an exciting day at school with a school wide assembly to launch Maple Leaf's 20 Year Anniversary. It came complete with cupcakes for everyone, so I was happy! That night we attended the PTA Wine and Cheese back at the school. This catered event provided a nice way to chat with teachers and parents while drinking a glass of wine or juice at the school!

The student council election assembly happened Friday morning (we like having assemblies) with speeches and then voting after. The rest of the day was all a buzz with talk of the 2014-15 StuCo. After school Friday was our first volleyball practice. We have an EA that is a national volleyball team player (how cool is that!!!) so I'm working with her to coach some volleyball.

Seeing as Paul is teaching phys ed and has already had a couple of first aid situations (a fainter and a sprained ankle), the school suggested he re-cert first aid. So off we went on Saturday for a Red Cross CPR and First Aid course. Trini's are a little edgy and funny, so the 8-4 course went by quickly and we got a little more insight into Trini vocab and culture.

Now it's Sunday and school work is on the agenda. Although Wednesday is a national holiday - Republic Day, and a day off school for us so it is a short week. We have plans to do another Hash on Wednesday - complete with red dresses. Should be a good photo opp!!!

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