Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Makutano#2 Bits and Pieces from the Crossroads

Wait, what’s a makutano?!
Read the invitation to Beans & Rice readers here and Makutano Post #1 here.


“Here’s my makutano – an encounter with two adorable local girls while I was splitting concrete blocks for a house build in Guatemala.” -Sally Reams



A quick makutano kind of conversation between my colleague Sean in Cambridge and Teacher Jackline in Kenya. Sean writes:

It was a few weeks ago, but the conversation stuck with me.

“Teaching is hard work,” she said.

“Agreed.” I took a sip of coffee and stared at the ceiling. Trying to think.

“But I love it,” she said. Jackline is authentic. She speaks quickly, like she can’t waste a second. I love it.

“What’s the hardest part?”

Jackline said something like: “During independent practice? I have 28 pupils. I have 15 minutes. That gives me 30 seconds per pupil.”

Thanks Jackline. I love hearing about that struggle. That struggle to reach every pupil. I have no simple solution to it. I just want to identify with it, and think about it, and talk to more teachers about it.

I love that exchange.  I love how much all teachers have in common, even when our contexts are so different.


Love has no labels.  Love has no race. Love has no religion. Love this.  That’s what makutano moments are all about.  The connection at the crossroads.


A fantastic exchange of greetings between my colleague Kelly and a class 8 pupil. Kelly writes:

“Hi Humphrey! How is your morning going so far?”
“Good morning Teacher Kelly, it is good.”
“Why is it good?”
“Because I woke up alive!”
(Humphrey breaks into a huge grin.)
Happiness requirements, re-calibrated.


Look at the wide variety of countries you Beans & Rice readers come from!  I love looking at these country stats.  Thank you all for reading from all over the world. Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 2.48.52 PM

 Beans & Rice ni makutano kabisa.


3 comments on “Makutano#2 Bits and Pieces from the Crossroads

  1. shawn
    March 27, 2015

    Great post, Sara. Also have a suggestion – you should link the word “makutano” when you first use it in your #1 and #2 posts to the original post that introduced the word. I found myself wondering what it meant again and had to search it out… Keep it up, this is good stuff!!

    • Sara Rich
      March 27, 2015

      Great idea- thanks for the feedback! Will do.

  2. Sally (mom)
    March 28, 2015

    That is my favorite picture from my trip to Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity. Cute girls and believe it or not, cutting concrete block by hand with a machete was one of my favorite jobs. The challenge was to cut the block straight (versus having it crumble into jagged pieces), and to have it fit in a particular space. So rewarding to see the building rise each day. These girls just happened by and I loved their bright little dresses and smiling faces. I think it may have been rumored that we had snacks and sodas left over each day that we gave away. There was a school nearby, so after school we had visitors. They spoke no English but it was not hard to figure out what they wanted!

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2015 by in humanities, inspiration, life, teaching, travel.
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