Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Zacatlan de las Manzanas - Taller

We are now going into our fourth year of schooling! That seems so CRAZY to me!!! I canNOT believe it. It has been hard work, we've had our ups and downs, learned how to do things by trial and error. We are STILL learning. So much is happening in regards to the school, one of which is the meeting in Zacatlan that we went to this past weekend. We went to Zacatlan de las Manzanas for the first time a few years ago, when we were looking into starting a church school.

A mini run-down...
Until a few years ago, homeschooling or having a church school was illegal and unheard of. Like a baton, it is still a vision we are working to pass on to our people. Four years ago God opened a door for us to start a school. Some laws had changed and there was now a loophole for us. We came in contact with a lady here in Puebla that had written an entire curriculum in Spanish, online, grades K-12. She was also a Christian and the curriculum was all based on the truth of the Bible. We went and visited her school, she showed us the curriculum, gave us pointers on how to start a school, and basically gave us the confidence we needed to get this show on the road.

That educational platform has been growing ever since. People are realizing that the public school system is a disaster, it is the devil's playground, and not something we have to put up with anymore. The founder of this new homeschooling program announced there was going to be a meeting in Zacatlan for anyone that had a "Centro Educativo" (Education Center - what we call it since technically we are not allowed to call ourselves a school), and anyone who was interested in homeschooling or starting a Centro Educativo. Nicole and I are not professional teachers, we haven't been trained in teaching kids. We are learning as we go, and are hungry for any help we can get, any information we can acquire to help us along the way. When we heard they were planning this meeting, we knew we had to go.

Elder Wakefield's church also has a school so they brought a group as well. We all left early in the morning; it was about a 3-hour drive to Zacatlan. The sky was clear and our volcano, Popocatapetl, was looking beautiful!

The drive was so pretty, everything was so green.

I rode with Elder Wakefield and his crew
We had a little trouble finding the meeting place and arrived about fifteen minutes late. The founder, Hilda Magana, was singing the praises of homeschooling.

We did not really need to be convinced. We are full-blooded Americans, products of the land of the free, and home of the brave. We have been both homeschooled and been a part of a church school.
We got a little antsy - I think we all were so excited to be there. We had a little trouble paying attention.

"Hey look, Dad is drawing."
"What's he drawing?"

His view of the lady speaking - HAHA. 
See the pillars, and Senora Hilda's face peeking around it.

We got our act together after that first 30-minute session, and got our antsiness under control. The remaining four and a half hours of the conference were so good, so encouraging, and so very needed! This program is growing, more people are getting on board, and the curriculum is getting better and better. We learned so much and are so glad this opportunity was made available to us!

After it ended we went driving, looking for food. We was houngry!
Zacatlan is known for its apples. They sell everything apple! We stopped to pick up an apple drink that we like and can only get in Zacatlan.

While there, I saw this drink. Blueberry soda?! I bought one to taste and oh my word. I rarely drink soda...but if they sold this stuff in Puebla, I might just become an addict. It was SO GOOD, tasted like actual blueberries.

We found this restaurant that was overlooking a canyon. The view was so beautiful, we had to stop.

The other side of the restaurant...I think this is where the owners live - haha! Reminds me of something I've seen in redneck jokes :P Just needs a broken down truck in the yard!

This picture doesn't do it justice - everything was so vibrantly green, and the canyon was so deep.

Two of our students' parents were able to go up to the school conference with us. We tried to get all of our parents to go, but most of them were unable to because of work.

The view was so pretty, the lighting was so great...of course we had to take some pictures! 
Nicole insisted on her picture being taken with this tree...
If the tree were to break, Nicole would go crashing down the side of the canyon. I was so scared for her, could barely take this picture - LOL.


This is the restroom - very blog-worthy :P
This is what a lot bathrooms look like here, especially in houses. No toilet seat (normal) and you flush with bucket of water!

On our way back, we were rolling laughing. We were using the GPS to get home, but apparently the lady voice on there does not speak any Spanish. Her pronunciation of the cities and streets here was absolutely hilarious!

And one crazy sighting to end this blog post - a full grown horse riding in the back of a truck. In the rain. Poor guy!! He had pretty good balance though - this must not have been his first time riding in a vehicle.
I got super inspired last night and got a ton of blog posts ready. I will have one up every day until Friday, and if I can get internet on Saturday while at the conference, I will post one more! Normally I wouldn't worry about the blog, especially on a weekend, but since we haven't posted much this summer I've gotten behind. School is about to start and I prefer not to post things a month after they happened soI am getting on the ball!


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