Monday, 6 March 2017

Off to do some learnin'

After almost three months of holidays, Truce and Depp finally started school.  Silvina had arranged to pick us up at 7:45 so that we could all attend the first day.  In true Hollywood style the alarm didn’t go off.   Perhaps through lack of use, the alarm had been made to feel redundant and in its own way was sulking and punishing us.  We were out of bed by 7:05 for a 7:40 pick up and preceded to wake the troops, feed, dress and with a lick of mummy spit in their hair, photographed by the front wall.  We piled into Silvina’s car and she showed us the "back way"  dirt road, with road works, stray dogs, potholes and the odd chicken. 

The school hall was filled with parents and children greeting each other warmly, as they do in Argentina.  There’s something to be said about how close people are here.  Men kiss on the cheek and adults greet children with equal enthusiasm.  The men have a 9 de Julio handshake and one for foreigners.  There have been some fumbles as I try to initiate a local 9 de Julio handshake.

Truce had already met most of her classmates and was able to mingle in the crowd a little bit.  She sat next to a girl whose house she has been to and beside the principal’s daughter.  A hanging bell is rung by hand to signal the start of classes.  The primary students gathered outside at the flagpole for parade and about six students took turns to raise the flag.  We saw Truce later with a group of girls around her so we think she’s going to be OK.

The kinder kids started an hour later than normal today due to assembly.  We had some time with Depp’s teacher before the other kinder kids came and presented her with some Mem Fox books for the class.  Talluah did her best to give the teacher a quick translation of Possum Magic but found it a bit tricky to explain things like lamington, Vegemite and pavlova.  We don’t know if it was by design or by chance but the aide in the room is also one of the English teachers.  We asked Depp if he learnt any new words today and he said he learnt four words but he forgot what they were now.  One phrase we made sure he could say before the start of school was, Necesito al baño.  He said he didn’t even need to use it because the teacher took all the kids to the toilet at the same time and he just followed them.  The kindergarten/prep room has blocks so we know that he’ll be OK.

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