There is a joke that has recently come to mind: Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym. It has become quite obvious to me that this joke is perpetuated by those who work in a cubical. They are jealous that there is someone making a living running around on the grass they gaze out the window at (if they work enough years to earn the ability to gaze out said window). Teachers are obviously collateral damage to reach the punch line.
I have spent the last 2 days as the newest assistant teacher at St. James Episcopal high school. I've been teaching soccer to kids as young as 11. It has been an absolutely amazing experience. I thought the students to be similar to my American peers when I was their age. I fully expected a few girls to refuse to jog or participate in the activity. However, to my amazement, there has not been a single person who has done that. In fact, when they are playing soccer or doing drills, they are all enjoying themselves. I expected to see that pure enjoyment on the faces of a few aggressive boys, but the fact that everyone shared the same smile made my month.
That is not the only expectation they have vastly succeeded. During one of my classes, there was a boy who is an inch or two shorter than any other boy in the school. He listened to everything I said, and after one hour, he now has the best passing in Besao. I couldn’t believe it when he told me he had never played before. Perfect form, quick feet…he’s a natural. I can’t wait to put him on the field during a scrimmage and watch him school a 17 year old.
Other than forgetting to wear sunscreen yesterday, my first week in Besao has been nearly perfect. It has become very obvious why all of the St. James alumni speak so highly of the school and the community. If there is one sentence to describe Besao, it is this: Everyone who has ever spent time in Besao calls it “home”. I hope to include myself to that list before I leave.