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Middleton High Fire

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Yes or No?

A couple weeks ago, slipped in the far reaches of my mailbox, I found a note that took me back to the good ol' days of elementary school.  
You know what I'm talking about. Remember how you would just be sitting at your desk, one leg pumping back and forth, pencil eraser nudging your bottom lip, as you tried to puzzle out those mind-boggling multiplication tables?  And then, out of the corner of your eye, you would see Andy passing a note to Melissa, who would then pass it on to Mark, who would then palm it off to you right before Mrs. Nelson turned around from the blackboard.  Your name would be written all in cursive and curly-q's on the clumsily folded paper.  Carefully, stealthily, you unfold the paper to find:
Well, InterAmerican sent me a 'check yes or no' note, and it raised the same sensation of anxiety that those old love notes of yesterday used to inspire.  Instead of the traditional, "do you like me?" question, it was the "will you continue …

Ecuadorian Fun Facts

D and I have been reading up like crazy, trying to prepare for our huge move to Ecuador. I have started to share little fun facts with my students each day about the customs and the food. I have found that the more disgusting the fact, the more the kids love it. Some of their favorite facts:

* Guinea pig is considered a delicacy in Ecuador. It dates back to the time of the Inca's and is referred to as cuy. The Ecuadorians call it cuy because of the sound the guinea pig makes when it is roasted.

* You never flush your toilet paper down the toilet in Ecuador, you place it in the trash cans next to the toilet.

* Hot showers are a rarity, with many showers requiring you to connect the electrical heat wires inside of the shower stall yourself. This gives you about three minutes of hot water along with an electrical shock.

* Animals that might be living with you include iguanas, bats, snakes, rats, various bizarre insects, and of course, guinea pigs.

* The celebration beverage of …

The Tipping Point

I read this book a couple of years ago, The Tipping Point, you might have heard of it once or twice.  It is all about the momentum of change, how one small moment can spin you into something life-changing, something great.
Meet my tipping point: Homes of Hope
I know it would make sense to start from the beginning, to tell the whole story about Homes of Hope and how I crossed its path.  But it seems like there is no way I could do the story justice.  I'm still trying to figure out how this place, and the people I met there, are changing me and my understanding of the world.  All I know is that I recognized the moment when the potential for change hit me full on.
Over lunch in her beautiful home on the beach, Aleida Mejia, one of the organizers, contributers, and all around amazing developers of Homes of Hope, was telling us about her exile from Cuba when she was only twelve years old. I listened as she recounted her early childhood in Cuba, the revolution, her family's escape to N…