Monday, March 13, 2006

Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias

International Day, all 3 hours and 20 minutes of it sitting in the heat on plastic chairs and wooden stools, was a success. From youngest to oldest, each class or cultural group performed.

The presentations began with the student drummers. As odd as that might sound, the school offers weekly African drumming lessons. Some of these kids (age 6-16) have been learning for several years and they are quite good at intricate drum rhythms.
Then it was my little group's turn to sing "Hello to All the Children of the World". The kids did great, I'm still impressed by how they enjoy singing, though I noticed from the tape that the "music instructor" needs to cut back on her own volume. We were followed in quick succession by the preschooler introductions, then the 3/4/5 class which put on a native American vs. colonists play. The kids made their own costumes and wrote the play. The rest of the morning was broken up among the various Teams... Team Arab, Team Korea, Team America, etc. Team America consisted of Nicholas, Rebecca, and Miss Emily as they gave a brief history lesson, explained the flag, currency and lack of national costume.
As the morning wore on, the international buffet appeared. Our donation was homemade fudge and a package of Oreos. How much more American can you get? OK, OK, I admit I chickened out of spending my previous evening baking apple pies and making chocolate chip cookies like a good American housewife. Next time.
But here's a tip for all those heading overseas for the first time, or the first time with kids. There is always an International Day at the school, and you as a parent will always be asked to provide something from your home country. Apple pie? Snickerdoodles or Chocolate Chip cookies? Sure. Though, don't forget the easy stuff like rice krispie treats, slices of watermelon or corn on the cob. My kids actually wanted to bring a big pot of macaroni and cheese. OK, but here's my tip for before you even leave the States: Buy those American flag toothpicks/napkins/stickers; get red/white/blue paper plates; put powdered lemonade in your consumables shipment; bring M&Ms and chocolate chips. In other words, purchase all those items you'd usually only pull out for the 4th of July. You'll thank me for it later.

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