First, I must personally say how impressed I am with this group of kids. This was a long journey getting here with a 4 hour layover in Dallas and everyone entertained, watched over each other, were respectful and helpful in the process. When the plane was delayed an hour, two went up to the desk asked questions and then reported back what to expect. Made our jobs as the chaperones easy.
Amazingly , when we arrived the airport was not busy, customs was smooth, everyone found their bag (helped each other find their bags) and Javier greeted us and we were on our way on a really nice bus to the schools. The kids helped Javier coordinate themselves and introduced who was who. Shinto is his assistant for our group and one of the teachers, she is originally from Indonesia and also has child that attends the school.
It was the last day of school and the kids were receiving their grades. The two schools in the Gredos system that we are attending are 10 minutes apart. Gredos San Diego Vallecas and Moratalaz. We arrived about 1:30 pm and had lunch. Wow, this school system is impressive and it is not a private school. You cannot compare it to anything in Portland. Definitely an example of how a school can be an integral part of the community and family, thinking about education with a lifespan approach integrating all levels of development. At lunch the Gredos kids were interested, excited and asked lots of questions to the kids. Some knew exactly who they were and were asking for names “where is Joe?” Lots of giggles.
After lunch, the kids had free time (recess) where they interacted with some of the kids on the playground. The Gredos girls were trying to get our girls to sing the “cup song ” from Pitch Perfect (in Spanish). Following recess, the kids received a tour of the school to gain familiarity, so much goes on there. Though school is out; they still have the younger grades, a pre school and day care. They will be helping in those classes in groups of three, the first few days. At 3:30, the reports were given and the families came and picked up the kids. To rest, have cena and enjoy their weekends. Lots of smiles, hugs and kisses as entire families came to welcome the kids. They all are part of the school community as some of these kids have been part of this school since they were babies. The families were so welcoming.
So the adventure begins for our kids…….