Sunday, August 6, 2017

Back to Manos de Amor orphanage --and movies!

 Wednesday was a crazy full day. The Manos de Amor place hadn’t had a computer teacher for a while, so I asked if they had internet, and when they said yes, thought we might show them Khan Academy and their computer courses. This way they could teach themselves. Imagine if all these kids started doing the hour of code challenge? Now that the internet is accessible in so many places around the world, it can be such a powerful tool for education, and pulling people out of cycles of poverty. Khan academy being free, and so comprehensive is an especially valuable tool. You could seriously teach yourself electrical engineering or linear algebra or yes, java script or C++. Can you imagine how that could change someone’s employment prospects? I was hoping to help. As with all grandiose dreams, the nitty gritty is sometimes less glorious.

Our internet has been next to nonexistent this week, so Jeff was going in to work at the real estate office of our condo manager. So nice of her to let him use their office. It has been a crucial week for his company, as thoroughly inconvenient as that is for us. Jeff drove us into Puerto Vallarta, and we took a bus the rest of the way to Bucerias. That went without a hitch. We then walked the kilometer or so to the orphanage from the bus stop, only getting lost once. Sigh.

I showed up and the computers in their little room were literally all in pieces. The cables were tangled, processors piled in stacks, and everything was very dusty. I am not a hardware girl either. I don’t know what things are sometimes. I only recognized one PC to start with, the others I thought might be game consoles? Routers? I figured it out eventually, and got four computers completed and online ready to go. I was filthy though by the end!
The director came in and talked with me a bit, and we decided it would make the most sense for her to understand how to use the site, and then she could share with the kids. We had one little girl come in for a minute while we were talking, and she ran over and started pushing buttons as fast as she could before I could get to her. There didn’t seem to be a lot of experience there with computer etiquette! She was little though .

The keyboards are re-keyed to make them work with Spanish, and it took us forever to figure out how to get her logged on. For example, the @ symbol? Not where it says it is on the keyboard. You have to just keep guessing with different keys until it shows up. One more thing that will be a problem with programming. The / symbol too –not where it should be. Neither is the _ symbol. Anyway, my glorious dreams of creating orphan programmers may have been a little ambitious haha. But once you figure out where everything is, you are probably fine, it {could} work.
We were also thinking math, science, etc. If the schools here don’t offer advanced math, or if the director and her helpers can’t help very knowledgeably with homework (I know I have gotten stuck trying to help Ari myself), this can help everybody. The director seemed really interested in this. The whole site is in Spanish down here, and the videos are in Spanish and everything. I was really impressed.  
 Kai was able to share his DS with the boys --who loved it.

 Ari and Kai were going to teach the kids about the website, since they use it every day this summer, and all the time during the school year, but they ended up playing with the kids –Kai sharing his DS, and Ari playing ball in the yard. 
 Ari again was all about the soccer.
 I had a little peluquera (hairdresser) there for me.
 We walked back to the bus stop, and I got a text from Jeff saying he was able to figure out a huge problem at work, and was able to meet us. The kids and I found some late lunch, and waited for him. This reminded me so much of the mission! We are walking along dusty streets with our backpacks, looking for a little almacen to get a drink or a snack, trying to meet a bus, or find a member’s house. Good practice for my kids I guess!
 Our friends told us that all the theaters had bargain days on Wednesdays, and the tickets were only 30 pesos or so. This is around two bucks. Seriously. First run movie theaters (I think? I am not up on movies, but they all seemed pretty new to me), movies are in English if you pick those showings, (with Spanish subtitles). Getting us all in, and getting a big tub of popcorn to share put us back like $11.00 total. We saw the new spiderman!

This whole mall was lush. Everything looked just like the states to me, if not nicer. I guess it is super close to where the cruise ships dock so…  

 We headed towards the south end of town, and stopped for dinner in this little place in the hotel zone that looked liked nothing much. It was called Blake’s sport bar. We sat down, and while we were waiting to order, I noticed seven stickers in the door from Tripadvisor. This place had been talked about! We lucked out. We all loved our food. I got a chicken parmesan, subbing out the pasta for what they said would be a salad of baby lettuces. I didn’t have much hope for that part being good, but I needed vegetables badly at this point. The chicken was delicious, but the salad was perfectly crisp lettuces, with a housemade orange dressing that I could have licked the plate for. The garlic bread on the side was made with fresh garlic. Jeff got another kind of salad that I tasted and was delicious, and we all tried Kai’s nachos, with a guacamole that was housemade with fresh lime. Oh my goodness me. Ari got an Italian club sandwich that she ate every bite of, even when she couldn’t eat her fries she was so full. When a kid leaves fries for a sandwich, the sandwich is probably good. 
We drove home full and happy, watching the sunset through the trees most of the way.

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