Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Week That Was

As mentioned in my previous post, I returned last Sunday evening. It has been a busy week since then, with several noteworthy events. On Monday, we worked on reconfiguring our classrooms to become a meeting hall where we could hold our awards ceremony. [Since there were no sixth graders at our school, we didn't have a graduation ceremony this year.] Everything went well! I got to make some remarks plus present an award, and we all enjoyed barbecue chicken and potato salad—similar to what I would have eaten on July 4th in America. Here are a few pictures from the event—the first shows our principal speaking and the second shows our choir singing.
On Wednesday, our school went on a field trip. We first stopped at the Cold Soufriere, where sulfurous fumes and mineral rich water bubble up from deep within the earth in the crater of an ancient volcano. Most of our students had never been to this nearby tourist attraction (which I had previously described as part of this post) and they were amazed, as shown below.
Then our bus crossed out of the volcano crater and down the hill towards the Caribbean Sea. We eventually arrived at Cabrits National Park. First, we checked out the museum, which includes the cool 3-D map of our island shown below. I liked that the students took an interest in the geography of their island.
I assumed that I'd get the opportunity to explore the ruins and hike to the mountaintop as I described in my previous visit here. However, once we arrived at the restored Fort Shirley, our students had a great time just playing on the grounds there. We ate lunch and then let the students climb all over the cannons, jump off the walls, and generally have a fun afternoon treating the grounds of the fort as their own personal playground. There was a broken picnic table that leaned over, producing an inclined plane that the children used as if it were a sliding board. Who needs video games when they are good at creating their own fun!
Thursday was report card pick up day, when parents were supposed to come to school to have a conference with their child's teacher and receive their report card. I used this last day of school to give out some small presents that I brought back from my trip to the USA. Each student got a kite, a caramel crème candy, and a Highlights for Children magazine. The kites were a big hit, as most of the kids spent the rest of the day flying their new kites on the playing field, as shown below.
One other unusual event occurred on Thursday. A couple of black SUVs stopped in front of our school, and backed into our driveway. Dominican Secret Service agents hopped out and assessed the situation before the Dominican Prime Minister (the most powerful position on the island) got out of the car. He toured our school, spoke with staff (including yours truly), and left with a better understanding of what we are dealing with here. Hopefully this unexpected visit might lead to future improvements for our school!

1 comment:

  1. Nice photos with enjoyable narrative. You are definitely well engaged in your community.