Archive for May, 2010

How to make Gak

Peabody has been making mounds of Gak, a homemade polymer that’s fun to squeeze. There are many different recipes online. Peabody mixed eight ounces of Elmer’s glue with 3/4 cup of water. Then in a separate bowl, he dissolved a tablespoon of Borax into 1/4 cup of warm water. Then he mixed them together with a plastic spoon. You can get different consistencies of gooiness by reducing or increasing the amount of water. You can also add food coloring. Peabody recommends putting it in a plastic zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin to flatten it out like pizza.


With a picnic basket of lemonade, sandwiches and Nettie’s homemade cupcakes we headed out on a Mothers’ Day excursion. We stopped at Muir Woods for a short hike along the hillside trail. The drizzle seemed to keep the crowds from going to deep into the park and we were able to hike in relative peace. Outside the park they have a long poster where visitors can measure their wingspan against those of various birds. Peabody is about the same as an Osprey and Nettie was just shy of a Pelican. After the woods, we drove into San Francisco and picnicked by one of the small lakes in Golden Gate Park. We were lucky enough to catch a couple men captaining their remote control sailboats across the water.

Taller Uno: Cuidado de Animales

While at El Molino, we got to choose a morning and afternoon workshop. For the mornings, I chose Animal Care, taught by Eloy. Every day we would go to a pet store to buy medicine and vaccinate animals at different farms. The first day we went to a chicken farm, and gave eyedrops to chicks to, as far as I could understand in my espaƱol no muy bueno, stopped them from getting a disease that turned them loco. The next day was my favorite. This time we dusted albino rabbits’ ears with blue powder that killed ear parasites. I think that the blue in the powder was supposed to help the farmer know which bunnies had been vaccinated, but it still looked pretty funny. At the end, we got to hold newborn baby bunnies. They were so small they could fit in your hand, and their eyes hadn’t even opened yet! On the last day, we walked to a large mansion that kept five horses. We gave a pregnant horse a shot to make its appetite stronger, and fed alfalfa to the rest.

This was one of my favorite parts of my Mexico trip, and definitely the best workshop. I LOVE animals, and I want to be a veterinarian, so this was the perfect class. You can see more pictures of the workshops here.

Traveling to Erongaricuaro

Last Saturday, my eighth grade class took a midnight flight to Guadalajara, Mexico. After an hour in customs, we boarded a tour bus to take us on a four-hour trip to Erongaricuaro. This small Mexican pueblo is the home of El Molino, a camp for American and Mexican kids. Every year the eighth graders from my school stay here for a week, improving their Spanish, going on field trips, and attending workshops.

We stayed in a colorful building surrounded by trees, cacti, flowers, and places to play four square, volleyball, and soccer. We ate outside. Our largest and tastiest meal was lunch, served at 3 o’ clock. We ate tamales, rice, spaghetti, enchiladas, and these small tortillas with refried beans served with the cheese and meat made by the Quesos y Embutidos group.

Sadly, the class of kids from Chihuahua did not come. However, we did have fun with the counselors, who we taught to play Egyptian War and TOUNGEs. Later this week, I’ll post more of my adventures in Mexico.