Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Submitted by Susan Jensen

“A Person needs a little madness, or else they never dare to cut the rope and be free.”
– Nikos Kazardzakis

After an exhilarating (and a bit exhausting) first day, the team rallied after breakfast to plan for the next few days. Shari suggested we have some topics and vocabulary words in our pockets with some general goals for what we’d like to accomplish in our 2 weeks.

Sally brought name tags & I had some magic markers, so we decided to start with basic introductions & ask kids to make their own tags. This worked well—.since kids wandered in at different times. When new ones came in, kids would clue them in on the drill, and even help with English spellings.

We started with a group activity, singing Head & Shoulders, Knees and Toes, led by our own diva, Jenny. Resident artist, Gil, created a masterful self portrait on the blackboard, which Jenny labeled for the kids. Almost all the kids joined in & even wanted to pick up the pace. Jackie was a big hit again with Constantina, Maria, & Vassilly, at the Bingo board. Luckily, after a bit Maria II spelled her & wanted to take over as caller. Shirley & Gil were going gang busters with Nikos & Dimitri, working on colors & numbers & simple addition, while Sallie had them picking up U.S. geography with a U.S. map puzzle. I can vouch for Sallie’s success, since I switched stations with her, and my guys, Nikos & Dimitris were actually saying some of the state names as they worked the puzzle!

Jenny & Shari also had a lively group playing bingo & working with numbers. I played a Brown Bear, Brown Bear game with a rotating group, doing lousy impersonations & animal sounds. My friend Dimitris was so excited when he guessed the animal, & quickly produced a more authentic sound for the animal—his favorite was snorting like a pig.

We ended with a final round of Head & Shoulders, to the amusement of a couple of parents picking up their kids.

During free time, I swam a few laps in the pool, joined later by Dean. We both are proud to be identified now as blue-footed boobies.

Had I known what a feast awaited us in the evening, I would have swum a few more laps. Sam had arranged for a Greek banquet—calamari, cheese balls, tzatziki sauce stuffed grape leaves, fried zucchini, and vegetable fritters, with the grand finale of loukoumades & a nice tonic of raki to ensure a good night’s sleep. A perfect ending for a great day.

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