Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back to School

My boys are, surprisingly, sleeping quite soundly as I type this.  Surprising, to me, because tomorrow is their first day in a "regular" school here in Tegucigalpa.  When we moved here in November all of the schools that operate on the American school calendar were 3 months into the year and we decided that the trauma of moving was going to be enough without coming into class 3 months late.  We home schooled and quickly decided unanimously that it just isn't for us.  We began searching for a good bilingual school for the next year and after visiting several decided on St. Mary's Episcopal School.  With a student body of just over 200, our hope is that they will be able to connect with the other students quickly and make some good friendships.  All but 4 classes are taught in English...but those 4 are in Spanish so since the first of July they have had 3 classes a week with their Spanish tutor.  Still far from fluent, their comprehension and speaking have improved dramatically.

This past week and a half has been a flurry of activity getting school uniforms ready, making pants without the convenience of patterns, and buying school supplies.  Saturday morning we attended the parents meeting and got some general information, visited their classrooms, and picked up their books.  Real books.  Heavy books.  I never thought I would ever see my kids so happy to get school books, but they were.  Especially Brian James, who can't wait to get into class.  Michael, speeding toward 13 years old has a lot more fear and apprehension.  He's excited to get back into a real school but also scared, saying "mom, it's a little freaky going to school in another country, okay?"  I bet it is.  It was some comfort to him, however, to find out that 4 other kids in his class are also new to the school this year, so he isn't going to be the only new kid on the block. 

Ready to head to bed myself, I am a strange mix of emotions.  I am so happy for them that they will get to interact with other kids every day.  Their isolation from other kids  has truly been one of the hardest things in moving here.  They are lonely, they miss their friends, and even though they get along amazingly well for brothers, they are pretty sick of each other after 9 months.  But I'm scared too.  I don't want them to get teased because their Spanish isn't very good, or because they're gringos, or for any other reason.  Kids can be awfully mean, and especially to kids that are different and, being 2 of the 3 gringos in the entire school, they'll be different.  I am excited for them to get back to having a "normal" life with classrooms, gym class, homework, PE, and all the things they had in school back in Oregon but I'm also worried that the 4 Spanish classes are going to be really difficult with the basic language level they have. 

So instead of them not being able to sleep, I'm the one having the trouble falling asleep.  My boys, my babies, is this going to be okay? 

Please be praying for us as we start this new chapter in their lives.  Pray that the other kids will be kind and accepting, that my boys will make good friends quickly.  Please pray that the time they invested in Spanish will blossom and that the Spanish classes will not be too difficult so as to be discouraging.  And please pray for their safety as they spend their day in the city. 

Blessings and peace to you all,


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