Saturday, December 5, 2009
FINAL DIA ESCOLA
Friday was the kids last day of school. Summer vacation starts next week for the Brasileros. It is quite strange to think of having summer vacation during Christmas. It is also hard to get used to seeing Christmas decorations when a typical day hovers around 100 degrees! I must say that we have been enjoying some Washington weather this week though. It has rained every day for about eight days and today it has not let up at all. I have mentioned in the past that the only bummer about this is that we do not have any clean, dry clothes! Most of our wardrobe is hanging outside under our porch smelling like a damp dog! Ugh!!! I do look forward to having a dryer again!
We took the onibus into the city this morning with our neighbors, Patricia and Saulo, to celebrate Saulo's 24th birthday!!! We feel like the old folks around here! We are practically old enough to be their parents. I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but my age seems to really be hitting me in the face here in Brazil. The students at CTMDT refer to us as their "older friends" and sometimes even call me mom! How on earth did that happen?!!! I still think of myself as 32! What was really humbling was when I realized that the precious couple that I have been referring to as the kids local "grandparents" are exactly my age!! Oops! Thank goodness they did not realize I had been calling them grandma and grandpa! I could have sworn they had a decade on me! Guess I better take a look in the mirror!
O.K., back to school....The kids have had a great experience going to school here in Brazil. They attended a local private school called "Colegio Cramer". The boys had to get up for school at 6:00 A.M. which was a bit of a challenge, but they rose to the occasion and we are very proud of them. Going to an all Portuguese speaking school was not easy. Often times they would complain of being bored. When they did this I would remind them of their friends at school back home who came from China three years ago. It was not easy at first but eventually these girls started to speak English and are now doing very well. Most days the boys would come home with smiles on their faces, so I knew they were having a decent experience.
Gabriella went to school in the afternoon. Though she struggled most days when being dropped off, she was all smiles at the end of the day. It is hard to tell exactly how much our children actually learned this year but we know that the experience has been educating in itself. They are not fluent in Portuguese, but they understand a lot and can communicate quite well. We tried to keep up on American homework at home but we won't know until we get back to the states where the kids are at. I am hopeful that the five months of school here in Brazil has been a good thing that will have far reaching affects on them, whether or not they have managed to keep up with their classmates back home.
I have posted some pictures of each kid with their teachers and classmates. I also included a photo of Noah with his teacher, Angela, whom I particularly liked. The staff at Cramer was wonderful and we are so thankful that they allowed our kids to attend their school without a bunch of hassle or paperwork. It was just one more experience that went surprisingly smoothly for us in this foreign country.