Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I strap on my back pack as I help Jayden out the door. It's 3:32 p.m. on Friday, September 25, and technically, swimming lessons started 2 minutes ago. Since I'm the teacher, it's not good that I'm late, but sometimes it just can't be helped! I was ready to leave 15 minutes ago, but when I called Jason to make sure he would be home on time to take care of Jayden, he told me he probably wouldn't be home till 5:00, so I had very little time to get Jayden ready. Swim shorts, T shirt, hat, floaties, shoes, juice, by the time I had everything organized and packed it was 3:30.

Now as I slip on my sandals, hoist my back pack over my shoulders , strap it on, and grab Jayden's little hand I am in a rush. "Quick Jayden," I say as I tug on his hand. "We have to run!" Jayden loves to run and in no time at all we are out the gate and onto the road. "Umm, we'd better slow down here Jayden." I mutter. Laundry, bath, and dishwater sit in puddles all over the rocky, dusty road and I decide I'd better pick Jayden up. It's no good getting his feet all slimy and nasty and I can make much bigger jumps then he can. After carefully navigating my way over the puddles I finally hit pavement. Ahh, that's better. I put Jayden down and we keep walking at a brisk pace. People stare, wave, and greet us, and we smile and wave back. Jayden gets a lot of attention, especially from a group of school girls walking behind us, but today I don't have time to chat. I wave at the armed guards leaning over the wall that surrounds a massive mansion and they wave back. "Ou Vreman bell," (You are truly beautiful) a couple of teenage girls say as we hurry past, and I just thank them and keep going. People say that a lot here and I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing like in Korea where you are expected to say the same thing back or if they are just being friendly, so I make a mental note to ask Denise in the future. We turn right at another street and I carry Jayden again since the road goes downhill quite steeply. Traffic is a little busier too and the edge of the road has a lot of rocks easy for little feet to trip on. When we reach the bottom of the hill we turn left and this road is unpaved, dusty and rocky once again. Jayden insists on walking and two minutes later we arrive at the pool. The kids are already swimming so I quickly get ready and jump in. Since the first class is beginners, Jayden joins this class as well. Today is the last class, and after going through the usual lessons, we spend some time having fun. Jumping into the deep end, diving for rings and playing games. I normally have three children in this class, ages 3-6, but today we have one other Haitian girl visiting and then with Jayden it makes five.

When 4:00 rolls around I help the kids out of the pool and hand out report cards. The next group is the advanced group, where students range in age from 10-16. Jennifer babysits Jayden, since he's getting tired of swimming, and this allows me to give my full attention to the class. There are six students in this group and this class is the most advanced one that I am currently teaching. Shallow and deep dives, surface support, 4 laps each of front crawl and back crawl, underwater and endurance swimming are all part of the curriculum. When they are finished I hand out report cards as well and since it's 4:30 it's time for my intermediate class.

This class normally has 4 children but today just three showed up. The ages of this class is 6-8 years old. I watch as they dive in and swim two laps of front crawl across the pool.

They've also learned back crawl, underwater swimming, front and back glides, rhythmic breathing and straight legged kicking. It's really rewarding to see how much everyone has learned in 2 weeks of lessons! At 5:00 classes are over and Jayden and I slowly walk home. The swimming has tired me out and we are in no rush now. Jayden still seems energetic enough and has no problem walking home. When we are finally back home, Jason still isn't home, but calls to say he will be home soon. After emptying out my backpack and hanging up our wet towels, I preheat the oven and take the homemade pizza that I had made that morning, out of the fridge. Yum, Pizza on Friday night and a weekend of relaxation to look forward too. I am happy!


  1. Hi Will!
    It sounds like you are a good teacher! I think I might need some of these lessons too... :-)

  2. I don't think I can even do all those things! For sure not all those laps! I can't imagine being able to swim outdoors right now... it is only 7 degrees outside and I checked tomorow and it's only gonna be 4!!!! Brrrrr. I'll bust Ron's wool socks out again I guess!

    Sounds like Friday nites in PAP are much like ours in Burgessville, except I can't brag about the homemade pizza... mine comes from the box! Weekends are nice aren't they?

    Chat to you soon! love Anita

  3. Did you teach swimming in BC as well? How do you know what to teach them at each level - or are you checking it on the trusty internet? You're so brave! I'm proud of you Will for how you deal with everything! Jason too!
    Take care - love Jenny.