Feliz Navidad and Greetings from Honduras

We have so much news to share about our new lives in San Pedro Sula!

Dave is teaching computers at the high school. He is also doing yearbook for the entire school. He is in process of getting a totally new computer lab installed. There are some inherent frustrations with this process, but we hope the benefits of a functioning lab outweigh the temporary setbacks. He is Department chair and enjoys his work.
Susan is Preschool Coordinator and still wondering exactly what that entails. Any one day might find her writing curriculum, evaluating teachers, solving problems with maintenance, watering trees in the classroom gardens, acting as translator for parents who don’t speak Spanish, helping teachers create child assessment portfolios, dealing with crabby parents, subbing for sick teachers, sitting in on useless senior admin meetings, directing traffic during student parades and/or taking digital photos for our preschool webpage. She’s also been offering parent in-services, creating guidelines for student admission to the program, writing a new preschool handbook and submitting proposals to the board about appropriate child services. She squeezes into daycare one or two times a day to have lunch with the kids, read stories to the daycare children and help organize the weekly activities for the daycare providers.
Alea is in her first year of school.  She loves it! Her teacher’s name is Mrs. Ceci. Ceci has had been at the school for about ten years. She has a son of her own – also 3 ½ - who is in another classroom. Alea loves he dramatic play area. Right now, her class has a ‘pulperia’ (like a corner 'got it all' store) with pretend money, a cash register and boxes and boxes of neat stuff to buy and sell. Her second favorite area is the science table. She has brought shells, bugs, lizard skins and seeds to share with the class. She especially likes the magnifying glass. She is in the ‘listening’ part of learning a second language. She understands a lot but produces very little.We know she will with time!
Breck is also in school with us. He is in the daycare. It’s not quite the place we thought it would be, but we are working hard to make it great. They went to our new playground today and spent a lot of time building sand castles. We had a deluge this morning, so the sand was nice and wet – just right for building. They made green playdoh in the afternoon. Alea spends the afternoons with Breck in daycare. We are glad they get to be together.
We have been able to travel quite a bit. We went to Omoa Fortress a few weekends ago. What a neat place! The Spaniards built it in the mid 1700’s to protect the coast from pirates. The kids ran around the old cannons and dashed in and out of the old ‘cells’. Breck especially liked the gunpowder containers.I think he was so fascinated because they looked like balls (his favorite toy next to Blue’s Clues stuff). 

We went to the beach after visiting the fortress.The kids just can’t get enough of the ocean.They love it! Alea walks out past her chest (much to my consternation) and Breck goes in as far as mid-thigh. He’d go farther, but gets too distracted by all the neat shells to throw around.

We’ve also visited Tela Beach, Pulhapanzak waterfalls, Santa Barbara and La Lima and Copan ruins. We pretty much stick to day trips out. We plan on doing a whole bunch more when Grandma Wagner comes to visit on the day after Christmas!!
Although things go well, we’re undecided about our future in Honduras. This will be our second time teaching in Central America and are excited about seeing more of the world. We are looking at all our options for next year and will keep everyone informed as to our decisions!
Dave keeps our webpage updated and well stocked with photo ops. Check us out at http://www.stutzfamily.com/. My preschool webpage can be accessed off the main EIS school page at www.netsys.com/~seis.
We hope this greeting finds you well and enjoying the holiday season. Although we don’t have the time to write like we used to, we still think of you all often and hope winter finds you well and warm.

And now that the holiday is over, you can enjoy some pictures of the festivities!!