Thursday was another fun day with the kids. I changed the schedule of lessons up a bit and it worked out better than I expected. In the evening they had their presentations of their groups (all the kids are divided into 18 different sections or groups) and the performances were everything from extremely silly to impressive and very well thought out. There was one group who had beautiful butterfly costumes and did a really cool dance. In my opinion they were one of the best performances. One of the announcers for the concert had the kids up and doing funny dances in between a few of the groups and it was really hilarious to watch. The smiles on the kids’ faces were priceless. After the performances some of the girls from my classes and I ran around together outside until it was time for them to all head in and start settling in for the night. I myself was all sorts of worn out from the day, but needed to stay up until midnight for a skype chat. I ended up falling asleep reading on my bed and woke up a few minutes after midnight with a dozen new mosquito bites, an uncharged computer battery, and soon to find out also an internet connection that did not want to cooperate with me. It ended up being almost an hour of fighting with my computer to no avail and I went to bed pretty frustrated.
I got some decent sleep Thursday night and woke up Friday, glad that it was a new day. It was cloudy and a little chilly when I woke up, but by the time we left breakfast the sun was already shining. Teaching takes up a good part of my day because it is spread out around meal times and obligatory activities for the kids. Even when it’s not teaching time I often am spending my time with the kids. It keeps me busy and hanging out with a bunch of tweens and teens is still 100% better than being lonely. Plus, they might not realize it, but all that Russian practice is a giant plus for me as well! Friday night was the second camp disco and the girls talked me into coming. We had so much fun! It felt good to just dance around and be silly for about an hour and a half with a bunch of kiddos who have become like little brothers and sisters to me this past week. Looking around at the kids I couldn’t help but be reminded of a middle school dance, but also saw such big differences between how these kids were acting and how my peers and I acted when we were that age. I remember middle school dances being mostly just a lot of standing around and everyone being awkward. Here, these kids were going all out from the first song! Flailing around like complete goofballs? Yes, that is how I would describe most of the “dancing”. But they were having fun and didn’t give a care what anyone else thought. I taught them the English phrase “get your groove on”. After a few songs I heard, “Chelsea! Chelsea!” and turned to see Maxim, one of the boys from my youngest class waving me over. “Yes, Maxim?” I said as I walked over to him. “I’m getting my groove on!” he proudly proclaimed. “You sure are!” I said with a smile. And if that wasn’t cute enough, a while later, Nilla, my youngest student who is all of 8 years old, declared that she was a “hug monster” and had herself wrapped around me every few minutes the rest of the evening. Boy do those kids make me feel loved! J