While I was home in June, I was fortunate enough to receive several monetary donations from friends to benefit my service here. As I mentioned in my blog post about my trip home, one friend gave me a check for the specific purpose of providing the students with another pool party. She had loved my blog story about that day and wanted them to be able to enjoy it one more time.
This time, we decided to make it an official school outing—a celebration at the end of the first full week of school. [This was actually the second week of school, but last week was just a four day week since the opening of the school year on Monday, September 5, was canceled due to torrential rain.] Rather than a long hike, we would rent a bus to take us over and bring us back. The hotel charged a little more this time, because we had nearly 40 people. Below is a picture of us all, squeezed on the bus as we left the school (these large buses are referred to here as "coasters").
Another difference was dealing with the children's anticipation as the event drew nearer. They were so excited about it! "Sir, how many more days until the pool party?" On Friday, they were really psyched and couldn't hardly wait until the end of school. "Mister Kurtz, what time is it? How much longer before we leave for the pool party?"
The good news for me was that this time, I was not the only adult. We had three teachers and several parents who came along to help supervise. I think many of the parents were a bit dubious of this endeavor, because many of them have not had much experience with swimming pools. They probably wanted to watch over their children themselves to ensure no one drowned.
I didn't get to do much swimming the last time, because I was the sole lifeguard for two pools of children entrusted to my care (40 years ago, I passed my Red Cross Lifeguard certification test—I still remember a lot of it, but hope to never need to use it). This time, with so many "supervisors," I got to spend all my time in the deeper of the two pools (which was only about five feet deep). Most of the supervisors stayed up in the shallow pool with the younger students, while one other parent (who also came dressed to swim) and I watched (and swam with) the older students in the pool down below. I even got to spend time trying to help improve their swimming techniques. In the picture below, you can see me in the upper right corner with outstretched arms encouraging a student to swim to me.Atlantique View Hotel.]