As I wrap up my duties here in San Diego, I can’t help but feel nostalgic. My host family has become my second family, including all of their pets. (see ClaraBelle pictured below).
The family pup, ClaraBelle, playing dress-up in my shoes.
My host family has been so hospitable and welcoming. Gerry, my host dad, always shows me new running routes in the area, and Jennifer and I stay up late talking about school, work, and life in general. Last night we went out to dinner and a movie together.
This past weekend the host family took me to Point Loma to check out the cliffs and tide-pools. With our picnic lunch packed, we headed out. The view was gorgeous as we hiked along the cliffs!
Silly pic with my “sisters” at Point Loma tide pools. Quite the view, but soooo windy!
Also that weekend I went to a Padres game with my friends from SMC that live a few hours north. We grabbed dinner before the game and had a good time catching up. Also, the Padres win was pretty cool, since every run they scored resulted in a fire/firework show at Petco Park!
Padres game with my friends from OC. Padres beat the Mets 5-0, with 3 homeruns. My host family said I looked like a local!
Monday was the last day of school for the year-round schedule, which meant Summer Intercession at Bayside the next day. We fed the students lunch, and then sent them to read, do arts-and-crafts, and garden in the Linda Vista Community garden behind Bayside.
Last day of school! This is a snapshot in front of the Academic Club classroom with some of my students.
Doing an arts-and-crafts project with the students: each one made their own sea creature and then presented to the group.
First day of Summer Intercession. Making tostadas with fresh ingredients from the garden with Miss Amy.
Overall, I would say my last week down here is bitter-sweet. I absolutely love the work I am doing, my host family, and the location. This experience has been once in a lifetime and I am so glad I was able to serve the Linda Vista community. This might sound cliché or corny, but I learned so much from my students. I learned how to be more patient. I learned how grateful they are to be in the Academic Club. I learned about their lives, and their families, and how similar yet different we are. I learned a LOT about classroom management and lesson planning. I learned to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, because that’s what my students do everyday. They struggle with new words, new books, new grammar rules, but they take it in stride and struggle openly. I have tried to approach my fellowship in the same way. Coming into this fellowship I did NOT expect to basically become a teacher. But the students needed me, and I knew I had to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Granted, not everyday was the best, and there were days where I felt unproductive and lost. But every night as I lay in my bed, I knew it was worth it, and I looked forward to getting up in the morning and doing it all again.
I am going to miss my students, Kit Carson Elementary, Bayside Community Center, the community of Linda Vista, and my host family. I can safely say this has been the most memorable summer of my life. My host sisters are already planning next summer!