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Marcy's Journal




A Different Kind of Subbing

Cayos Cochinos

Model UN

Chronicles of Discovery Gala 2012

A Different Kind of Subbing

While Kjell went on a school field trip, I decided to offer to substitute teach for his classes.  It really came about because I would be driving the kids to and from school already and did not want to drive back in the afternoon.  No problem, right?  I’d just get the lesson plans from Kjell and I could even BB (Blackberry instant message) with any questions.  Well, when I got there, Geometry and Calculus were added to the list (coverage for the other teacher on the trip).  And there were some 11th and 12th graders not gone and some of the classes overlapped.  But I survived. 

     It was very cool to get a paycheck for L1200 until I realized that I got paid $15 a day (a day) and that was high.  People in the mountains maybe make L100 a day ($5) and more recently, I have heard that even further out (indigenous groups) make less than a $1 a day because they are living off of the land (eating what they plant) and are dealing very little with money. 


Cayos Cochinos (see pictures)

Almost every year, the 12th grade goes on a community outreach trip to Cayos Cochinos. This year, Kjell was a chaperone.  They left early on a Sunday morning and drove over 7 hours or so to La Ceiba.  The first night, they stayed at a student’s family’s vacation home.  They were able to go on Canopy, in natural hot springs, and get a massage (really roughing it). 

     Monday, early, they packed up to start the 40 minute boat ride to the island.  Cayos Cochinos is a group of islands in the Carribean Sea (Cayos meaning ‘keys’).  The island Kjell’s group was going to was Cayos Menor.  This is an uninhabited island that is a preservation:  no fruit on the island is eaten and no fishing is allowed. They had a talk that explained the islands.  That day, they went in a boat to another beach, part of the same island, and picked up garbage.  They filled ten huge bags of garbage (with bottles, Styrofoam, flip flops, toothbrushes, etc.). 

    Tuesday, they went to another beach to clean in the morning.  They filled another 10 huge bags of garbage.  That afternoon they went snorkeling and listened to a talk on solar power. 

     Wednesday, they went to a school on Cayos Mayor.  This island is inhabited.  Children from the other inhabited islands take a boat to school.  The school was one building with two rooms and then some other little buildings.  There were about 30-40 kids, of all ages, grades K-11.  The Discovery School students played games, sang songs, and danced.  Each student was also given a packet of school supplies:  notebook, pencils, etc. that were donations from Discovery School.  They even played some basketball.  That day, they also went to Cachuati, a small island with no electricity.  There were about 30 huts and it was only about 10 minutes to walk around the whole island.  The clean up was not as bad.  They were able to go snorkeling again, but had to watch out for the jelly fish.  Did you know that even a piece of a dead, broken up, jelly fish could sting?  There were small pieces of jelly fish floating in the water and some of the students and even Kjell had sting marks after. 

     Every morning, Kjell enjoyed looking out over the beach and ocean.  He said that when you think ‘Caribbean island’ and you get that picture in your head, that is what he was looking at daily.  Each evening, everyone played games.

     Thursday, they packed up and took the boat back to La Ceiba.  The plan was to take the 10am bus home, but there was a strike that blocked the road (yes, the only road).  There were two strikes going on:  land owners and teachers.  They had to make arrangements to take the 2pm bus and thank goodness the road was clear by then.  This got everyone home at around 10/10:30pm and not one student showed up for school Friday, but the teachers had to! 

Model UN (see pictures)

Kjell left on a Sunday and came back Thursday.  Katarina left on a Wednesday and came back on Saturday.  Model UN was in La Ceiba at the Mazapan School.  It is a United Nations Simulation with students studying about and representing different countries in delegations.  Katarina’s country was South Africa.  She had to know about Piracy and Disarmament Agreements.  Here is a quote from the website:

We (at MMUNS) are dedicated to sharing the experience of learning about and practicing international relations and to give delegates the opportunities to debate over significant global issues that threaten our world. Students are able to develop leadership skills and gain proficiency in public speaking while trying to find practical solutions to these urgent topics.

    This year’s quote for the simulation is “Let us move from the era of confrontation, to the era of negotiation”. We hope Richard Nixon’s words of wisdom will inspire delegates to strive and achieve more in order to become better world citizens and advocates of peace.

     When the students first arrived, staying in one of the student’s family vacation home by the beach, they spent time in the ocean and pool.  Once the simulations began, they had a pretty busy schedule of session, delegate dinner, and more sessions.  There was a dress code and Katarina had to learn certain protocol for the sessions:  simulation rules, parliamentary procedures, position papers, and resolution guidelines.  From Discovery School, two students won best delegate and one received honorable mention.

Chronicles of Discovery Gala 2012 (see pictures)

Kjell was busy once again this year submissions for the 2nd ever Literary and Art Magazine and Awards night (Gala).  This year, they held the event at the school:  rented some chairs, used the stage and the extra platforms as a secondary stage, created a backdrop for a ‘red carpet’ photo shoot area, painted the cafeteria rope poles black and gold, and used the lighting to create a first class, semi-formal type, event. 

     Kjell opened the night with his humor and wit as well as the challenge for the students to always reach to do more and do it better.  He closed with special thanks to the art teacher, Mrs. Campbell for all her hard work and acknowledged how she will be missed (she is returning to the States) and she received a standing ovation. 

     Katarina’s poem, “Standing Brave” was nominated and she won best poem!  She also performed a song, “It’s Your Life” by Francisca Batestelli, for one of the entertainment segments.  The event was regal and just like the Emmy’s.  Participants and guests were photo-ed as they came down the carpet, nominees were announced with short video clip interviews, winners were announced, and speeches were made.  Some also read sections of their literary works as part of their speech.  In addition, there was another song, interpretive dance on violence (and how it is connected to each one of us), and a flash masterpiece (a lash mob by the freshman of the Last Supper).  There was also delicious food and the Art Exhibit was open before and after to see art work from all the students from Discovery.  The Chronicles was presented and was on sale.  A fun time was had by all. 

Cayos Cochinos

I think the boat is big enough for the ocean

Discovery students

Looks like we are going to no where

There's an island!

The island we stayed at

Natural Marine, Scientific Station

Our accomodations

It was tough, but someone had to chaperone


One wave and it would be gone (different island than the one Kjell stayed at)

Ready to work


The school

Makes you appreciate your school building, classroom, and supplies

Time to play some games

More games

Having fun

Great to see students having fun serving

Giving away supplies

Kjell teaches the kids some chords

Playing some new chords

Another island

Picking up garbage

Filling over 10 bags a day of garbage

There's always time to play

Model UN

Road trip!

La Ceiba during the day

La Ceiba at night

Delegate dinner

Mrs. Fink, Krisna, Katarina, Vickie, Sachi, Cati, Paulina, Santi, Cata

Waiting for food at the dinner

South African flag

Are you ready?  Uh....

Katarina - delegate representing South Africa


Mrs. Fink cooks dinner a couple of nights

Chronicles of Discovery Gala 2012

Stage is ready

The red carpet

The Fenns on the red carpet

Katarina finds her star

Kjell's opening remarks

Students take over while Kjell is techie

Flash Masterpiece - The Last Supper

Interpretive dance on violence

Side stage for performances

Katarina sings "It's Your Life"

Katarina wins best poem

Katarina with her Chronicles award

Bekah and Mikayla's art work

Art Exhibit

Mikayla's art work

Katarina's 3D basket

Jeremiah's art

Rebekah's art

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