All the while trying to keep calm and act like a Tica, getting upset doesn't usually help the situation so instead I just took another deep breath and waited for things to work themselves out... and guess what?? They did!
At 9 o'clock sharp this morning, Irma and I were all ready so we ventured outside to round up our little campers... Amubri is probably the biggest and most developed town on the Bribri indigenous reservation of Talamanca. Although a couple of our students live in Amubri itself, the majority of them come from surrounding villages, including Soki, Kachabli, Alto Kachabli, Suiri, Alto Urén and Duriñak. Soooo, we went out to invite our students in... and found 4 anxious teenagers waiting for us. Yeah, that's right: 4. Out of the 14 students that registered for JumpStart in Amubri, only 4 showed up to camp on time. *sigh* Another one came rolling in at 9:45. Another one's father called mid-morning to report that his son was sick and to ask if it would be okay if his son started camp a week late. Yet another one's mother showed up after school to explain that they'd gotten things confused with the transportation, but that her daughter would be showing up on time tomorrow and from here on out.
Meanwhile, Irma and I just plunged right in, introducing ourselves and trying to get to know our students a little. At first everyone was very nervous, including us! A couple of the students were so shy that they wouldn't speak louder than a whisper and one initially refused to speak at all. While Irma was explaining the camp rules and getting everyone started on their student surveys, I took the students out one by one to record their initial oral assessments. With patient smiles and a few words of encouragement, all of them are beginning to open up... slowly the ice is being broken!
By the end of the day, everyone was speaking louder than a whisper. Everyone had smiled and laughed at least a few times. And when they were asked, at the end of the day, what they thought about camp so far, they were unanimous and LOUD in their response: Yes, they liked camp! Yes, they thought it was fun! And yes, they wanted to keep coming!
|Irma doing what she does best...|
|Hard at work on the first day!|