Letter from Zapallal - July 2012
Since I last wrote I’ve been to Chile but only for a night. I had to leave Peru so I could return on a tourist visa to sort out some problem with my residency identification card, a process that has now been going on for five months and still is not finished. It was a pleasant break, even though all completed in under thirty hours. The weather there seemed milder than here but it would be difficult to describe our weather at the moment. We have had several chilly, dull, damp days but the 26th was a hot, sunny summer’s day. There are lots of colds around. Fortunately, with help from sponsors and friends in England we are able to give some of the poorer children at least one hot meal a day. So thank you for that.
Unlike Mother’s Day, Father’s Day passed off with barely a ripple though there was a lunch for the staff and a present for the dads. Sikus Fusión, our young music group (very good) serenaded during the lunch.
We had a short but very powerful earth tremor on 21st at 5.20 in the afternoon. The pupils evacuated the buildings very rapidly. I am always in two minds because the equivalent of Civil Defence put up in the library six notices under the concrete beams, stating that these are safe areas in case of an earthquake. So what to do? I always go out with the pupils to give good example.
Mind you, the library, for a couple of weeks, did look like a mini-disaster area as the 5th Year prepared and presented “Going Shopping” in English as part of the course. The idea, obviously, was to get them talking in a situation they are used to and to widen their vocabulary. However this did not satisfy their creative natures so the end of the library was turned into a series of shops, complete with security personnel. I don’t know how they managed to bring all their goods as only a handful of families here have private transport. I felt they put too much work, time and effort into the preparations but they wouldn’t listen and in the evaluation afterwards they all said they found it a useful and enjoyable project. If they do all this for simply going shopping I can’t imagine what they will do when we have English drama towards the end of the year.
It has been a busy time in the sports. Our football team and the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have been involved in the district and regional championships. After a reasonably easy semi-final the boys then played in the final, cheered on by hundreds of our very biased pupils. It was close game but in the end we came out as the regional basketball champions. The girls are also the basketball champions but they didn’t play here so their success was overshadowed by the lads’.
July will be a busy month with plenty of activities – Day of the Teacher, Day of Friendship, official inauguration of our internal sports competitions, the celebrations for Independence Day, a group of pupils taking part in la misión, the start of our two-week mid-year break – so there should be more news next time.
For the internal sports competition the school has introduced a House system. Traditionally here all rivalry has been based on Years or forms so it will be interesting to see how it will take off. The names are not too inspiring – red, blue, yellow, green.
I hope the forthcoming holidays will be a pleasant break for you all, with weather to match. Here July and August are usually the most miserable months but as with most of the adversity the people face here they remain cheerful and positive. Thank God for that.
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