I can't believe we are almost at the end. I felt like we still had so much time left, until Monday when someone said to me 'last week guys!' and I felt a sudden rush of panic as there was still things I wanted to say or do.

The teachers were at a conference this week so we were being heavily relied on to keep the school wheels turning! On Monday we just went into any class that had no teacher, but without the ability to teach Maths or Science in Spanish we had to think on our feet and teach English to the older classes and conduct colouring competitions with the younger ones!

Not wanting another day of chaos, I prepared a range of classes on Monday night, and on Tuesday I held my first English class alone! The children do have textbooks so I taught them the next chapter…clothing. We had fun drawing people on the board, labelling them, pretending to dress ourselves…the children loved it and the teacher appreciated my English pronunciation.

We also spent some time on Tuesday decorating the school and bins with 'keep school clean' signs. There seems to be a culture that rubbish can just be thrown on the floor, and as a result the school grounds were a mess. This probably stems from children who have seen and worked on rubbish tips.. Thankfully this problem is greatly reduced in Esmeraldas. Anyway the children did seem to be taking notice and telling each other to use the rubbish bins, so I hope this continues.

On Wednesday we went to another school in Sua to create a mural for the headteachers office. We each took a class and they drew 2 pictures each, these were then stuck onto a white sheet about the size of two double beds. Every class was involved, and the result was lovely…


We then went to a restaurant of one of the parents for some brilliant seafood, and her 9/10 year old son (a pupil at the school) was waiter for the afternoon. This is common in Esmeraldas, we have seen children selling coconut juice, wooden boats, waitressing… Possibly the most upsetting thing for me was seeing a 6 or 7 year old boy at 11pm sat in the road, leaning on the kerb, doing his homework while his mum worked in a beach bar a few feet away.

Tomorrow is our last day at school. I have saved a packet of tissues, the battery on my camera and a few sweets….

Erika is one of our Pronino volunteers and is blogging from Latin America. To find out more about Proniño, head to http://dnc.o2.co.uk/home/Pronino.

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