Back to school! Here in Panama we have “summer break” from mid December to early March. Today was the first day of school (4th grade for Zoe, 8th grade for Haley). It’s very strange when the stores move out their holiday decorations and bring in back to school supplies! At any given moment I’m usually confused about what month it is and that’s one reason why.
Haley and Zoe are returning to the local Pedasi school, having attended the school for about 6 weeks in November and December. Our American friends the Smiths and the Fullers have also decided to put their kids in the local school, and another local family (father American, mother Ecuadorian) are adding their kids to the mix for the first time too. It’s a big group of foreign kids! The Panamanians looked a little confused when we arrived and were taking all kinds of pictures. Gringos in Panamanian school uniforms is a Kodak Moment, for sure.
We are lucky to have Aunt Kim here with us. She has been slaving away on all the teenagers’ shirts, which require school patches to be sewn on the pocket. Thanks, Aunt Kim!
Along with local school we are getting back into homeschool. We are starting slow so today’s only assignment was for the girls to write about their first day. Here are their reports:
From Zoe: Today was my first day of school. It was pretty good. I am in fourth grade and my friend,Vanessa, is in the same class. My other friend, Ashley, is in third grade. Ashley has never been in any classes at this school but I have. Ok lets move onto my day. Today I had to write a ton of words because I was writing down all of my supplies for the whole year. We had to copy almost everything that she wrote on the whiteboard. Someone came into the classroom in the morning. She teaches English, chuckle chuckle, I don’t need that class. The rest of the day was basically free time. The best part was break because I was with my friends and I ate. And the worst part is copying down EVERY SINGLE THING because my hand was SO TIRED!!!!!!! The second worst thing is that I have math homework, Wah Wah Wah. I was kinda happy and kinda nervous. I even got a second backpack full of supplies. It was full of colored pencils, a ruler, geometry stuffs, 2 notebooks, and some pencils. Anyway, overall it was a pretty good day.
From Haley: ughitty ugh
That would probably be my input for the day if mom didn’t make me write everything out for homeschool. I guess I could be over-exaggerating, but the day sure wasn’t one of my best.
It all starts with the fact that I have to get up at 6 in the morning. One thing about me: I stay up really super late, and get up at lunch. I am not one for going to bed at 10 and waking up at 6. After I got up, I got ready to go. Another thing about me: I don’t eat breakfast. When I wake up, I won’t be hungry for another hour or so. So of course, I didn’t eat anything, and that came back to bite me in the butt.
We then met up with the Smiths to start walking to school. After a while of walking we finally came to the streets where we had to split up. Melanie and Cyril and I walked through the back way because that was the easiest way to get to our side of the school. Very soon after we got to the gate of our side of the school, we found a fellow ex-pat who also happens to be Lucy’s brother. He’s been going to this school for a while now, so everyone there knows him and he is almost completely fluent in spanish, so he helped out a lot. He’s also in my grade.
It got really awkward from there. You have no idea how many people stare at us at school. It’s like we look like monkeys to them. It makes me extremely uncomfortable and I wish they wouldn’t do that.
When the bell rang, we all lined up in a field next to the school by grade. There weren’t actually a lot of people lined up, and I was kind of surprised. For the next 30 minutes, we stood in the sun repeating strange prayers and singing the national anthem. The fellow ex-pat, our friend Lucky, told me that they were going to call out names and group them up into classes. But of course, our names didn’t get called at all. It took a little bit, but we eventually got some help and we were grouped into 8-A. There are 3 groups of 8th graders; A, B, and C, and they all rotate together between classes.
The next few hours were kind of a mix of doing absolutely nothing and trying to translate the lectures that the teachers were giving. Within one of those hours, we found out that I had the wrong skirt. The skirt that I was wearing had turned out to be the skirt that elementary kids wear; not middle school. So now I can look forward to more shopping 🙂 Joy. At least I didn’t get it as bad as Melanie. Turns out that she got the wrong shirt and skirt! Ha!
That’s about it, I guess. I hope you liked it 😀 Have a great day!