Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to School

Here in Nicaragua, the academic school year runs February to November. We are gearing up to go "back to school" in January instead of August. We've needed to purchase the traditional school uniforms here (white shirt and blue pants/skirts) and a plethora of school supplies. Instead of hiding the cost of supplies in the tuition, it is our responsibility to purchase all of their books and supplies. We received the "materials list" and worked on translating it so that we would have some idea of what to look for in the stores. Some of the "translations" have been confusing to us. For example, what translated as 100 Eskimo paddles is actually 100 popsicle sticks, that makes sense...the ice cream brand here is "Eskimo"...but 100? 'Chips or Tokens' turned out to be 3X5 index cards. But what about "milk erasers"? They turned out to be white pencil erasers the size of a Hershy's miniature. [I should remember that we have "gum erasers" in the States...not made out of gum.] We still don't know what "frost jars" are; but whatever they are, our poor kids are going to be the only ones without "frost jars" on the first day of school...I am sure that it will scar them forever. I can just imagine, two decades from now, as Ella sits on a soft couch in therapist's office, "...I would have grown up to be a functional adult if only my parents had bought me 'frost jars' for first grade...sob, sob, all I ever wanted was a 'frost jar'...pass the Kleenex please".

By the way, the picture below is not posed. Andrew and I are doing our Spanish homework together, and Noah is enjoying breakfast. There is something to be said for a father and son learning the same thing side by side. It humbles me, while showing him that I still have many things to learn.