Emma's teacher asked me if I'd talk to the kindergartners about Guatemala. This required a bit of homework... we haven't really talked much about Guatemala since Emma has been home. She knows she's from there, but beyond that.... Well, she has become quite the little American loving American food, American traditions and the American way of life.
But I agreed. I thought this would not only be a good thing to teach to Emma's class, but it would also be good for Emma to understand where she came from, the food they eat there, and the traditions they have there.
Today was the day.
We took a few weeks to gather information - and all the "souvenirs" from when we adopted her. I contacted the woman from the adoption agency we used to adopt Emma - Guatemala is closed to adoptions now, but this woman has opened an orphanage there so I figured she'd have some information for me to use. I found way more than just information! It turns out she has a store and sells Guatemalan things that she picks up when she visits Guatemala. Bonus!
$118 later from her store (whoops!), we were ready.
Emma is in afternoon kindergarten so we spent the morning cooking. Black beans, rice, champurradas (cookies) - and the really hard part: cutting up the tortillas. ha ha. I know those poor women in Guatemala make their tortillas by hand - for every meal! - but I am glad to spend $1.50 in the grocery store for a nice package of them. ha.
When I got there, Emma was nervous. She had been so excited, but she doesn't like the lime light, so... this was a bit of a challenge. We started by saying that Emma was adopted, and did anyone know what adopted meant? One little girl knew and answered it perfectly. We then shared that Emma was from Guatemala and showed a map of where that was.
We talked about the people of Guatemala, the food in Guatemala, school in Guatemala, toys in Guatemala. We talked about the weather there (it is always spring-like!)and how many volcanoes there are there. (There are 33!) We talked about the Chicken Buses (go ahead, google it!) and the Mayan ruins. We talked about Holy Week and All Saints Day. The kids were SO good. Emma got more brave the more we talked and even told her friends some information. She passed out friendship bracelets to everyone in her class and we shared the food we made.
I have never seen her more proud.
This was such a perfect age for her to do this. She hasn't asked many questions about Guatemala. But she understands it all - and was really excited to do the research with me. The black beans, however - well, let's just say she could live without them. Me on the other hand - well, I could eat a whole bowl-full! That was a pleasant - and yummy! - surprise. I didn't think I'd like them, but Yes. I. Did. Oh yum.
(I am actually sitting here eating another plateful of them as I'm typing. Yum yum.)
I'm so glad this teacher prompted me to do this. This really was the best gift I could've given Emma. I can't imagine what it would be like to be 100% of something, but to be 100% here in America. Most of us Americans are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Emma was so excited to discover who she is - and then to share that with her friends.
She had a bit of a crying spell this morning as we were getting ready. She tried the black beans and did not like them. At all. In fact, they made her gag. She started to cry and said, "We can't take these to school, all of my friends will hate them!" I told her I loved them and she said, "Nu-uh, you have to be lying." I ate a big spoonful of them right in front of her, licking my lips - and she stood there in disbelief. She asked me if I was going to *make* her friends eat them. I assured her I wouldn't do that. But once she saw that some of her friends actually liked them... well, she was so darn proud. Too funny.
Emma being nervous...
Sharing the friendship bracelets. Man, were they hard to tie! Especially with 17 little arms in my face all at once!
Her friends trying the new food. They did a great job trying it. Some tried it and didn't like it. Some tried it and liked it. I was impressed they even tried! One little boy was so excited, he cleaned his whole plate and said he wanted to live in Guatemala just for the food. Too funny!
Next up: Russia. Luke is doing a social studies unit in May that compares and contrasts Russian schools to American schools. His teacher said Luke & I can supplement the lesson.
I hope he is just as proud.