Thursday, August 16, 2012

About La Gloria School, Isla Mujeres

La Gloria English School
La Gloria School in Isla Mujeres
I mentioned in a post from a few days ago that Ronin, Izabel and Sahana gave away lemonade and ended up with $6.50 and a package of cookies and it reminded me of the students in an Environmental Studies course for which I was the teaching assistant who decided as a group to host a "freecycle" event where they collected items that people no longer wanted and gave it away to people who did. We even gave away free cookies. The students felt that in an attempt to shifty from a consumer and save the planet, they would collect any useful items that they no longer needed and give them away in a kind of garage sale format - except that there was no cost to the taker. They made posters, advertised the event, collected and sorted the items, reserved space in a location outside the Scott Library and manged the tables.

A funny thing happened when we told people that they could take anything they wanted and there was no charge. It was not a garage sale or a bake sale - just an attempt to make someone's junk another person's treasure and at the same time, divert junk from the landfills.

Almost all the takers felt that this was such a good idea, that they offered to leave us some money for the items they took. At first we were uncomfortable taking any money because that was not the intent but an idea came to me that I was going to Mexico for a vacation a couple of weeks after the freecycle event and there was a school on Isla Mujeres that was run entirely on donations that could use the money. The students and I had a quick discussion and we decided that we would give what ever money was raised to the school.

In all, we raised $315 and I later gave the money to La Gloria English School on Isla Mujeres where I love to vacation. The money was used to provide scholarships for students on the island who want to study English. The scholarships are small (sometimes as little as $10) but it goes a long way in helping the islanders develop English language skills so they can find employment at some of the resorts. If you ever go to Isla or want to donate, you can check out the website. That's my "do-good" story of my students who made me very proud.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy birthday Sunita!

Does this family know how to plan births? My birthday is the day before my dad's. Sharm's and Subhadra's birthdays are two days apart. And of course, Ronin's birthday is the day before Sunita's. I can think of no better place to be spending a birthday that the Turks & Caicos and at Grace Bay Suites no less. Way to go Sunita! The kids are fine and when you get back, it'll be my turn. I now know why people have children when they are young because by the time you get to my age, after a day's activities with 2 high energy kids, I am READY FOR BED when they are.

map of turks and caicos

Turks & Caicos islands

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Ronin

Today Ronin is 5 (or in Sabreena speak, he's now a whole hand). Sharm had a party for both of them yesterday and they looked so cute together! See for yourself. Considering that Breen does not like to look at a camera, I am happy that we got such a picture.

2 5's - Breen and Ronin
Sabreena wanted me to reassure her on Sunday after the party that she was older than Ronin. This is what she said: Nani, am I older than Ronin? Am I now 5 and he is still 4?" I told her that she was indeed older than Ronin but by the next day he would be 5. He already had two parties in Edmonton and now one in Winnipeg so today he is having a somewhat quiet day at Sharm's.

Apparently Izzy, Hana and Ronin were giving away free glasses of lemonade today and he was being the ultimate salesperson by calling out to all passersby to get a free glass of lemonade. He told me that some people said "no thank you" but Sharm's neighbour and "the lady with lots of kids" gave them cookies and money. Considering they gave away the lemonade, they ended up with $6.50 and a package of cookies. That reminds me of the time a few years ago when I was a teaching assistant for a course in Environmental Studies. I'll tell the story in another post because I don't want to distract from my grandbabies' birthdays.