May News from Zapallal
Not a lot has happened in April, a pause before the various activities of May.
There were two national earthquake drills (simulacros), including the rescue of the ‘wounded’, transporting them for treatment and searching for the ‘missing’. The primary drill went off very well.
One Wednesday afternoon, the whole school was closed down at 4.30 so men from the municipality could come in to fumigate all of the buildings; quite a long job. The chemicals they use are quite strong, hence the closing of the school and the personnel involved wearing full protective clothing and masks. The main targets were mosquitoes and zancudos – flying, biting insects. Sometimes you are aware of them only after they have bit you and the inevitable ‘blister’ quickly appears on your arm or wherever. The effects of the fumigation did not seem to last long as the insects were quickly occupied again in their mission. There seem more of them this year.
We have a pastoral system here, additional to that which normally operates in schools – tutors, year tutors, senior staff (which we have). Volunteers from former pupils and older pupils, helped and guided by Brothers and postulants (young men thinking of joining the Brothers) spend Saturday afternoons with a large group of young pupils. One group prepares pupils for First Communion, another group is involved with catechism and another group – Young Lasallians – with religious awareness. The dedication and enthusiasm of the volunteers is very impressive. Some have been involved for years.
1st May, the Day of the Worker, was a national holiday, though it was hard to believe in the nearby town as it was business as usual. I spent several hours moving books from the library storeroom, books that had been there for years doing nothing but occupying space and gathering dust. They were then put in a lorry to be taken for recycling and hopefully funds for the library. It was hot and very dirty work but now there is more space for the books we use and to store other materials. There are still plenty of old, no longer used books in the main storeroom, so that’s another job to look forward to.
At the moment the school is very busy with preparations for the celebrations for Mother’s Day and Founder’s Day which will include anniversary celebrations. I’ll save all that until next time.
The weather is changing. Mornings are much cooler with people complaining of the cold. There is still plenty of sun in the late morning and afternoon. May spring continue to be pleasant to you, leading to a lovely summer.
As always, thank you for your interest in us.
God bless. Brother Mark
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