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Letter from Zapallal: May 2014


April started, and has continued, overcast and much fresher with very little sun, so people talk about the cold! I suppose it is to be expected as we are in our autumn leading up to winter.

The first big event this month was inauguration of the remodelled laboratory. There was a school assembly that several parents attended. Staff and parents then went to the lab for the unveiling of a memorial plaque, followed by various speeches, a blessing by Father Antonio and a toast. The new lab is certainly different from the previous dark, cramped, uninspiring location. Let’s hope the pupils will now be inspired to greater things. It is the plan to remodel other areas of the school.

From the lab the people went to the aguaponic area, partly to show the parents the new facility but also to catch the first fish so it could be cooked and tasted to see if ready for selling. I don’t know how many people tried with nets but the fish managed to evade capture. The unsuccessful fishermen/women all blamed the type of net. My suggestion, unheeded, was that someone should get in the tank and use their hands. Eventually a fish was caught – I wasn’t there for the historic moment – and I gather form those who tasted it that it was very good. I don’t know if they have started selling yet.

Holy Week obviously was an important part of the month. On the Wednesday the secondary pupils had a mass and after days of dull weather the sun came out, much to the discomfort of the 4th and 5th years who had it directly in their eyes. In the afternoon the primary pupils had a Way of the Cross, with each year being responsible for preparing and conducting a ‘station’. As always, there was plenty of enthusiasm.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday were our Easter holidays. During this time about 50 3rd, 4th and 5th years spent the days in the school for the triduum. They responded excellently, enacting the Last Supper, the Way of the Cross and the new fire of Easter. They returned to their homes Sunday morning very tired but very happy.

I still find it strange to work on Easter Monday and quoting the Queen´s birthday didn’t make any difference. At least on St George’s Day I treated the Brothers to a bottle of wine. The feast of St Mark (25th) passed with nary a whimper.

The 5th year, as part of their civics course, had to demonstrate aspects of the culture of Peru. The main aspects they dealt with were food, clothes, dances, music, famous Peruvians and places. It was quite a sight to see tables laden with typical dishes of the coast, mountains and jungle. The traditional dresses, made from recycled materials, showed great ingenuity. The dances were done with the usual enthusiasm and expertise. What I liked was to see real macho lads showing their companions how to do the various steps. They are very proud of their inheritance and have no shyness about dancing. It was easy to pick out the pupils who came from the areas where the dances originated. They had just that extra bit of passion and involvement.

May is upon us so we will have Mother’s Day, the Lasallian Week and other activities but more of that next time.

I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring. Thank you to everyone for your support. Where would we be without you?

God bless.
Brother Mark

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