I heard it before I saw it. Giggling, sanding, scraping and scrubbing.
The last days of the school before the brief summer vacation are at hand. The children are sanding and re-varnishing the tops of the desks. Can you imagine this happening in the USA? I presume that companies or maintenance staff complete this work during the summer recess. Not here.
Instead of lots of parties with refreshments and end of the school year skits, these kids get down to the nitty gritty.
I must admit though, while sitting in my garden early yesterday morning, I first heard classical music in the kindergarten on the other side of me. The West side. Then it was a sweet song sung by the little ones. It was followed eventually by "The Hokey Pokey" in Spanish, of course. Lots of squealing and laughter.
The primary school which is on the East side of me is more sedate. It is grades one through eight.
For some of these children this will be all the schooling they will attend. Although I must say that is changing at a rapid pace. The main reason many don't go onto secondary school is the cost that the parents must provide. Money that is not possible for them to pay.
It is fascinating to me to watch on a daily basis from my living room windows, the primary school children walking up the hill to school. Almost always accompanied by an older brother or sister or parent. Some are even brought in cars. School starts at 8AM.
Often there are announcements on a loud speaker system. No sleeping in for me!
Then about 10:30, hot food is delivered in a car. In addition, mothers and fathers are sitting outside ready to hand through the door food that has been brought from home for a mid morning meal.
Go home time is 12:30PM. Parents are waiting outside. Older kids walk down the hill together. The smaller ones are always met by someone. I seldom see a small child walking home alone.
Uniforms are the de rigeur for all schools here. The parents must pay for those along with the books.
For the kindergarten the uniform is a jumper in light blue and yellow for girls with a yellow sweater if it is cold. For the boys it is a white shirt, blue pants and a yellow sweater. The older kids wear red sweaters, black pants and white shirts or black skirts. It's a good thing.
As I'm coming and going in the mornings, I often greet, smile and exchange greetings with the mothers. Always a gracious exchange. If I speak to the children, they ALWAYS politely respond to me. A lovely thing.
After school there are tables set up on the street for the children to buy snacks and ice cream. At one point I mentioned to the maintenance man at the school that there was a lot of trash from candy wrappers and food items. I'm not exaggerating, I don't know who did or said what, but there is not a scrap of basura (trash) anywhere since then. I'm astonished.
It's fun to see and hear the children. It's a buzz of energy, giggles and laughter.
They'll be gone Friday for about six weeks.
It will be VERY quiet and tranquil around Casa Tranquilo.