Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tricks and Treats

Jim, the head of maintenance from the Arlington Hills Lutheran Church, put on his annual trick pool shots show for the school.  There were over 90 learners, teachers and children attending this year!  Jim preformed original trick shots with volunteers from the audience, and everyone ate popcorn and got a salted nut roll to take home, courtesy of Jim.  A great time was had by all!

Jim explains the game to the learners.
The Children's English School loved the trick shots!
Jim gets some help from members of the audience.
Tree Nae and Way Way Lah play Jim's game, "Helping Hands Across the Sea".
Ready, aim, shoot!
Teacher Jessica is one brave woman!  Fortunately for us all, Jim didn't miss, and Jessica is still with us.

Good-Bye Garden!

We said good-bye to our gardens for this year and got them ready for the winter. 

Teacher Jessica's class, led by her sister Liz that day, took care of the courtyard tomato and chili pepper gardens.  They stored the potting soil, sifted out the rocks for drainage, pulled the plants, and stacked up the pots.  Some of the students took chili pepper plants home to try planting them in their apartments over the winter.

Teacher Marya's class took care of the outside church garden.  They pulled up all of the plants and got them ready for Jim to take to the compost heap.  They took down the fence and the sticks for trellising, and got them ready to store in the garage for the winter.  It took us weeks and weeks to put everything up in and around the garden, and less than 10 minutes to take it all down.

The marigolds were still beautiful!

Teacher Andrea's class took down the Sue's Park garden.  They pulled the fence, pulled all of the plants, and said good-bye until next year. We have to say a huge thank you to the wonderful Hmong family that allowed us to use their water for the garden so that we didn't have to carry water from the church.  They saved our backs and arms from a lot of work! 

Bal Tamang wrestles with the fence.

How many students does it take to pull out a fence post?

Nga Reh decides to take the sunflower heads home for a snack.

Aung Moe Kyaw shows us how strong he is.

We carry the vegetables back to the church to send with Jim to the compost heap.

Teacher Andrea's class is very grateful to Santiago's family, who allowed us to pick apples from their huge apple tree in their backyard.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Personal and Minnesota Histories Meet

We took an exciting trip to the Minnesota History Center today. The day started at 9:30 as the first group of 20 students boarded the 64 bus toward downtown. Over the course of an hour, over 80 students rode public transit and practiced feeding tickets and tokens into the bus. One group even had the authentic (although not intentional) experience of getting on the wrong bus and having to backtrack.

Once we got to the museum, Chong assumed the role of bus driver on this restored bus in the MN150 exhibit.

Eh Dah practiced conducting as he listened to the MN Orchestra.

The "Open House" exhibit gave everyone a chance to practice the vocabulary they're learning this month in the housing unit. Here, two students are playing in the "yard."

Many of the students made connections between their own wartime experiences and the displays in the "Greatest Generation" exhibit.

Say K Paw compared notes with an interpretive volunteer on food rations used in the U.S. during WWII and those used in the Thai Refugee Camp where he lived.

On the way back to the school we packed the bus with Arlington Hills learners. A few learners joked that today was "Karen Language Day" on the bus. Several students were soaked after having run through the downpour to get to the bus. Despite the rain, everyone seemed to have a good time.