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As soon as we arrived in La Antigua, we found out about the local school in El Hato village, via Salina from Las Manos de Christine. Salina took us up to visit the school & explained that they were looking for helpers to act as teaching assistants for the English and pre-school classes, as well as administration tasks. After visiting the school, we were keen to get involved. As soon as we returned to Antigua a week later, we started working at the school.

The first week, we jumped in at the deep end after one of the teachers was off sick & one on holiday. We tasught 1st & 2nd Grade English classes for a couple of days, as well as looking after kindergarten & preschool classes. Colin worked along side teacher Patrick & took groups for ‘exam’ prep lessons, those who excelled & those who needed some additional tutoring.

The second week was a little disrupted due to a tropical storm, which meant school was cancelled for 2 days. We went back on Wednesday, eager to catch up on the missing days. That week we both helped mark exam papers & helped the teachers with activities.

Having taught English to teenagers & adults earlier in our journey, it was new & challenging to work with younger children. However, the two weeks were incredibly good fun & rewarding. The children appear to love to be at school. They are incredibly friendly & welcomed us from the moment we walked in the door.

Our last day at the school was a sad day, we said goodbye to the children we had got to know over the past two weeks.

Our favourite memories of the two weeks were:

1) Watching Colin play basketball with Yonatan during recess.

2) Teaching the kids hopscotch; which we could barely remember how to play ourselves (we gave it a good go though).

3) Dawn singing old McDonald’s farm with 1st Grade.

4) Reading during story-time to pre-school & watching the kids fascinated faces.

5) Washing pen off 2nd Grade faces; they’d inked each other when I wasn’t looking.

Colin & Dawn Punter, England

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