There's something about Bertha
It's been a few days since we left our host school, Bertha Gedeón de Baladi, after saying our goodbyes. Getting to know this amazing school - even just a bit - has been intensely profound. There is something about Bertha that is special. There is a feeling of learning, hope, love with the students at the heart of every endeavor.
Would you like a tour of Bertha? Because I'd very much like to show you around.....
Bertha Gedeón de Baladi is a school in the Campestre neighborhood in Cartagena. From 6am - noon, approximately 1,200 1st - 5th graders go to school and the 800 or so 6th - 11th graders attend from 1pm - 7pm. While double sessions are typical across Colombia, the facilities at Bertha are small.
Bertha focuses on three values: Gratitude, Science and Progress. And the one-woman-force that is Rosalia Mendoza is bringing English to the secondary students of Bertha to further support students' progress and engagement in the world.
As our host teacher, Rosalia planned each activity to be an opportunity for her students. From English to cultural interaction Rosalia built a bridge between her students and English and the world through our visit.
Our first visit
Please press play on the slideshow....captions included.
Take a peek
Over a few days we had the chance to observe classes and to take a peek here and there.
Our last day
There's a mixed emotion feeling of celebration/ mourning. Being with the children again on Tuesday morning was wonderful; saying goodbye isn't always easy.
First, we were greeted by the school marching band and a little parade.
We spent the rest of the morning presenting to the students. My colleagues shared about their hometowns. I had done so last week, so, instead, I prepared a slideshow of pictures I had taken with and of the Bertha students. It was fun to watch it with them.
A couple of students did presentations for us, too, including a rap and a performed poem. Finally, students presented us each with a poster as a gift for our students back home. You'll understand why I love this poster so very much.
One last celebratory photo.....
And then it was time to say goodbye......
I learned so much from these students, from the teachers, from Alli and from Rosalia, in particular. I watched teachers doing remarkable teaching with limited resources. Bertha is alive with passionate educators, determined students, and with hope.
Thank you, Bertha Gedeón de Baladí, for the inspiration, the love, and the assurance that the world is, indeed, a beautiful place.
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