It turns out that the situation is very different from what we were led to believe. The company who placed us made it sound like the students were learning English in school and were paying the company employing us for lessons outside school, essentially for conversational purposes. In fact, the students don't get English classes in school. That's where we come in - to fill that hole - for those who can afford it, of course.
I was lucky enough to have only two afternoon classes until yesterday when another class was added. The other teacher here in Peribán has four afternoon classes. Fortunately for us, neither has any morning classes yet. We've been told that adults will often wait until after Independence Day (September 16) to enroll - for what reason, I can't tell you. Neither of us speaks much Spanish, and while the other teacher definitely understands more than I do, she sometimes doesn't get the details. The company that placed us also told us that the director of the school speaks English - she does not - and that the Peribán secretary understands and speaks a little - she does not. We rely on various neighbors whom we see from time to time that speak a little English to help us get around. The only school personnel who speak English are in a town some distance from us, and since we don't have a telephone or fax yet, it's kind of tricky.
We have different levels of courses, so that we spend a lot of time preparing detailed outlines of each class. There's no time between classes to do anything but collect our frazzled wits and greet the next class, which has a different coursework - unlike "normal" teachers, who generally teach one course to numerous classes. Very challenging. So far, we spend most of the day and long hours into the night preparing. Maybe it will get easier.
At any rate, all I can manage at the internet cafe is to check my email and glance at the news. I thought I might be able to download and work at home, as I mentioned in an earlier post, but that's not happening.
My sincere apologies to those of you who have stuck with YWA. As I've said before, the links in the sidebar are to excellent blogs and sources. Please use them.
Many thanks, and many blessings.
And for those of you who would like to be informed if and when YWA cranks up again, please send me an email with your email address at: ywaciv at yahoo.com
....but hey, do what you want....you will anyway.