Fin de 2013

2013 has been a long year, but a fulfilling one. We have just completed the first two weeks of “Food for Thought” (F4T) and the SOG crew have learnt a lot during this short period. Personally, I have learnt un monton (a large amount). Team SOG is finding a learning experience around every corner! We have started to understand the complexities of integrating healthy food into the children’s diet, the education of the parents around healthy cooking for the children and their families, the logistics of running a kitchen to feed around thirty children per day (soon to be more), and the realities of working within an area that has a very high diabetes rate, combined with a diet that contains a lot of sugar, and an education system that offers very little “education” around the implications of such a diet.

There are many contributors to someone developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes which I won’t and can’t go into because I have no expertise in the area but what I can say from the little information I have read is that if you have a diet high in sugar, you are more likely to be overweight, and if you are overweight then you have a better chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Sugary drinks are a very big contributor, and I have seen a lot of sugary drinks being consumed here. Moving on…

For me, it was the perfect finish to an eventful year. The last time I was in a classroom was in Australia in early 2009 so these two weeks have been great for me to get my teaching mojo back! Classroom behaviour management seems to be the same all over the world. The only difference between all of my previous teaching experience and the teaching I am doing here is the language. Luckily because of the type of activity I have been engaging the children in, non verbal communication plays a big role. This helps a lot when my Spanish is lacking! My lessons involve body percussion, actions, dancing and moving so I can get away with speaking less!

On the last day of F4T for 2013 we had our largest class of 30 children for the Christmas breakup. It was a great finish because I feel that SOG had it’s best day on the job! Ellie and the ladies had the kitchen pumping! They made some delicious pizza, and gingerbread men for dessert. Valeria was in cracking form with the kids, playing some great pair-dancing games that are sometimes difficult as the children can be reluctant to pair up with others who are not their friends, but it worked really well! The children were extremely receptive and got stuck in to all of the activities. My friend Nahuel helped out with some great rhythm patterns using body percussion. They kids loved them and it has planted the seed for future development and improvisation lessons around this theme.

All in all, I am stoked with the way this year has panned out and also the way it finished! We are all taking a break and recharging our batteries. We will be ready to get the wheels rolling again in the new year! I will post some photos soon. Merry Christmas and happy new year to all. Until next year… I’m out!

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