Letter from Zapallal - December 2012
The school year is coming to an end. In fact there are only a couple of weeks of classes and then the final exams. The pupils will then have time off while the staff deal with paperwork and admin matters. The staff will be free on Christmas Day but back on 26th (no Boxing Day here) with the school officially closing on 28th.
November was quite a busy month, heralded by several earth tremors. They didn’t do any damage but they went on for quite a while. November 1st, All Saints, is the traditional day here when families remember their deceased members, so the cemeteries are packed – it’s a national holiday. There are traffic jams. To get from Lima to here you have to pass three large cemeteries and it is slow going. A teacher coming to school for the former pupils’ championships took two hours to get here. His journey is normally forty five minutes.
Just one week more to go for these championships and it is pretty tight at the top. All will be revealed on 8th. As many former pupils are not all that interested in sports, it was decided to hold a Day of the Former Pupil and make it a family day. There were games for the children, plenty of food dishes, dancing and bingo. The day was considered a great success.
Another successful day was the exhibition of the work produced by the various workshops. Avery high level was achieved, especially in textiles, carpentry, metalwork and pastry. The stalls of the latter workshop were among the most popular as 3rd, 4th and 5th years all had produced various savouries and desserts. It all looked very impressive and inviting – but just a bit too sweet for me. Children from a local orphanage came to show off their skills in music and dance, much to the pleasure of everyone.
A large number of pupils made their First Communion and more than thirty received the sacrament of Confirmation. Pleasant and memorable days for the pupils and their families thanks to the hard work of Brothers, former pupils and older pupils. We have a very dedicated pastoral group here. They have already started the project NANIPO (Christmas for the Poor Children) when it is hoped to collect hundreds of toys and other gifts and food to distribute in very poor localities. It is good to see them thinking of others even poorer than themselves.
On a more limited topic, my 5th years have just finished English Drama. The idea was to get them acting while speaking English. As usual they chose well-known fairy tales as their plays, thus helping people to understand the plot even if the English was not too clear. As always, they gave vent to their creative abilities. For two weeks, in the evenings, the library was a hive of activity – and that is not a cliché, as it was difficult to move around – with the making of scenery, props and costumes. They must have used gallons of water paints but they did produce some very fine work. I’m always intrigued by the way they can turn bits and pieces into quite effective costumes. This year heavy plastic, tissue paper and black plastic bags seemed to be the most popular media. Some of the acting was very good and at times the English but generally they struggled with it. I could understand it because I had translated the script. All, except a couple of very pessimistic pupils, seemed to think it was worthwhile and something memorable in their last year at school.
It is dawning on them that this important stage of their lives is drawing to a close. They greet this with mixed feelings. Some will have scholarships for higher education but the majority who want to continue studying will have to look for jobs to get the funds to pay their fees and expenses. Some on scholarships will drop out as fares, materials and extras will be beyond them. We wish them all well and I’m sure that whatever worries they may have about their futures will be forgotten when they have their leavers’ fiesta on 27th. Hours of non-stop dancing will see away their blues!
Thank you to everyone who reads this and is therefore interested in our news but especially those who over the years have given financial support so the lucky ones can break from the circle of poverty, improve their future and so help their families. They will not have a lot to spend on Christmas but they can relate to that other poor Family and thank God for the blessings they have. May you and your families receive all the blessings of Christmas, especially love and peace and may they continue in 2013.
Return to Homepage
Have you looked at the Delia Online Cookery School