Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jean Claude Van Dam

For some reason Jean Claude Van Dam is huge in Armenia. My students love him and so do a lot of other people around the country. Last year when I began working at my school in Artik kids would ask me all the time if I knew Jean Claude Van Dam. I don’t know why of all celebrities they chose him or why they thought I would know him after all I think he’s Austrian. But after about the one hundredth kid asked if I knew him I said yeah he’s my neighbor. Jean Claude Van Dam is not my neighbor and I thought that they would understand this because it would just be absurd if he was but it turns out that they did believe it and now I’m lying to 80 kids. Lying to your students does not make you a good teacher and it does not make me a good Peace Corps Volunteer. I am now trying to rectify my mischievousness. The other day I did a Goggle search for Jean Claude in trying to find his mailing address. I was determined to find it no matter how long I had to search. But the first hit I got his fan club. I hope that whoever receives those emails is moved by my “touching” note and sends a head shot to this part of the world. I will frame it and put it next to the presidents picture that greats students as they walk in the door.
Yesterday, I and another volunteer, Sam, taught a lesson on teeth brushing and the importance of doing so. I passed out tooth brushes that my dentist had given me back in the states (thanks Dr. Smith) to each of my students then taught them how to make homemade toothpaste and together we all brushed our teeth. The lesson went well and I felt good that the kids each got a tooth brush. Now I just hope they use them!
The weather here has gotten cold and rainy. Everyday it rains here and every morning I apprehensively look out my window to see if the first snow has come yet. So far it hasn’t but that doesn’t mean I’m not bundled in my house sometimes literally hugging my heather for warmth.
And lastly, next month I hope to be brining the Turkey to Armenia. Not its neighboring country but the bird…for Thanksgiving. I am in the process now of writing a small grant and once that’s approved you or anyone you know can help provide a special and memorable Thanksgiving feast for the first time in Artik, Armenia and your donation can also help buy a pair of warm winter boots for the students who will be needing them as it gets colder. And if you happen to have an autographed head shot of Jean Claude Van dam that you don’t need anymore we at the Artik Special School would love to have that too!