Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy at School in Costa Rica, Musical Chairs and Homework

Imagine this: I am walking down the hill, past the soccer field to the school on our mountain in San Isidro de Grecia, Costa Rica, to pick Max up from school, pushing a double stroller with my 2 1/2 year old, Sara; our 3 month old baby, Sofi; and our dog, Coffee, I hear music and laughing as I approach the school entrance. To our surprise, all the kids are crowded around a large circle of chairs while laughing and playing in their school uniforms - baby blue (celeste) button shirts, navy pants for boys, baby blue skirts for girls and shiny, dress shoes all around. All the kids are waiting for the teacher to DJ the song to play musical chairs. Our son's teacher opens the gate when she sees us arrive to allow Sara to join in on the fun. I could kick myself for forgetting my Iphone to take a video of what happened next. When the song began, all the kids started dancing to Pharrell's HAPPY, while the running circle began for musical chairs. I couldn't believe it! Kids were dancing and running around, clearly singing the words to the song. They carried balloons and had candy. After the fun was over, the teachers sent the kids out with their parents and we walked to the store across the street for an icecream. We all had a smile from ear to ear as we walked up the mountain back home. When I told Matt what I witnessed, I promised him I would never leave the house without my phone again. It would have made a wonderful video to show our family, friends and followers how great some of the schools are in Costa Rica. Max has adjusted so well at his new school in San Isidro de Grecia and he is speaking more Spanish daily and has lots of compelling homework, even at public school. We are also teaching many of his new friends English words and we often engage in some quick tutoring for some of the older kids who take exams in English. Our life here is pure and simple and happy. If you have not heard this song, check out our funny family version:


Today as we were driving home from town, it was just past lunchtime and we witnessed a group of construction workers playing futbol (soccer) in the street. They were dirty and probably exhausted from digging up the concrete, but they all had smiles while kicking the ball around. I know there are lots of folks who complain that Costa Rica has become more expensive and more dangerous, but we have yet to see the negative. In my eyes, everyone seems happy here, big and small. Just yesterday, Max was playing marbles with some of the neighborhood kids. Marbles - they dug 4 holes in the ground and flicked and rolled the marbles into the holes. Genius! Do you remember the last time you saw kids playing in the dirt with marbles? They were laughing and having a ball and Max begged us to buy him some marbles. We really do experience the pure life here in Costa Rica - Pura Vida!

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