Monday, July 30, 2012

Guanacaste day in El Cocal

I sometimes wonder if we will ever have a simple, straightforward school week here in El Cocal. Almost every week there is some sort of holiday or change to the timetable, teachers having some sort of special training day or a certain grade having exams all week, even though all other classes have school as normal. You can almost guarantee that however much you try to plan for all eventualities, something will happen to throw you off course completely. Pura Vida!

I don’t really mind the constant chopping and changing though. It keeps things interesting and helps you to think on your feet. It also means you are treated to some wonderful cultural events, such as last week’s school celebrations of Guanacaste Day, celebrating Costa Rica's annexation of the Guanacaste province from Nicaragua in 1824. All normal classes were cancelled, and as we arrived at the slightly later time of 10am we were treated to the sight of the schoolyard, which appeared to have been turned into a bullring. Furthermore, Oscar (the English teacher and emcee for the day) appeared to have come dressed as Woody from Toy Story. A glance round at the other members of staff confirmed that this was the traditional dress for the day. Fiestas, folk dances, bullfights (sadly only fake, with the bull being played by a kid with a cardboard box shaped like a bull on his head) and traditional songs and food made up the celebrations. We were also lucky enough to hear a speech from Imer, wearing a rather fabulous hat and looking like he wanted to be anywhere but up on the stage. (See exhibit A).

The rest of the week went more smoothly. After a very welcome day off on Wednesday, we returned to continue with our implementation of one-on-one tutoring sessions, as well as small group English lessons. So far, it’s going well. I am lucky enough to have Derek as my one-on-one pupil. He is possibly the happiest child on the world and finds everything hysterically funny. I hope he never grows up.
This weekend we said goodbye to a group of 6 wonderful people who I feel very lucky to have got to know and to have worked with during my time here. Adios and buena suerte to you all! You will be missed.

Katie Allan- Quepos volunteer