Letter from Zapallal - April 2012
The new school year started on 1st March with assemblies for both secondary and primary pupils. New teachers were introduced and after a time with form tutors the secondary pupils were subjected to a maths test. The next day they had a language test. Classes as such started on 5th.
Even now some pupils still have not got their stationery materials because, as I’ve mentioned before, these can be a great drain on the family, especially if there is more than one child of school age. I think the demands on the primary pupils are excessive. For the secondary pupils it is mainly the exercise books and writing materials but all have to pay for any photocopied material and these mount up during the year. At least for my classes of English I pay for any photocopying. I told you in my last letter about our academic successes and I have spoken to many other past pupils recently who are in various institutes preparing either for university entrance or careers. They obviously find the fees a great burden but several will not be continuing their courses as the costs of fares and incidentals, such as photocopies, are proving too much. I asked a girl yesterday why she wasn’t at her studies - the whole family pooling resources couldn’t raise the fares for that day! It is sad so many hopes and so much talent go to waste.
There has not been too much activity this month as the stress has been put on classes and workshops. I always start off classes with the 5th year with Project Great Britain. They might as well learn a bit about the where English comes from. The most popular feature was Big Ben, backed by several models, in various sizes – one over six feet. The British Museum was described with the help of a very ambitious model.
Most of the pupils explained in school uniform but several dressed up – the Scottish kilt is always popular!
There was a very big papier-maché map of the British Isles. I’m going to include a photo of one of the models. If you can guess what it is you are better than me! I’ll give the answer at the end.
One group did typical food. The first dish was fish and chips but not a fish we would have in GB. They also made a pudding which that assured me was a typical dessert. I had to own that I had never seen or tasted it before. It was a bit like semolina pudding gone wrong in colour, texture and taste. I could ask for the recipe and it would certainly be a talking-point at any dinner party. As usual there was a lot of creativity but possibly less imagination than some other years.
Next week is Holy Week so there will be various activities which I’ll keep for next time. And Holy Week means Easter one of the loveliest physically and liturgically. May it be a time of great blessings, especially love and peace, for you and yours.
God bless. Mark
The model was intended to be a relief map of England. I don’t know where they got the inspiration from!
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