Solana celebrated her birthday by inviting the girls- which is the older kids’ custom- to our apartment for lunch. They ate Jenny’s tacos, which they loved, and we watched a slideshow of photos of Solana and friends back home. We are still determing where and how we will carry out the actual birthday party.
The girls have been taking a gymnastics class two days a week at a municipal gym and the other week they had a tournament in which they participated with kids from other gyms. While participation was the main goal, Solana earned a 2nd place medal!
The school recently held a campaign to improve spelling and Frances was the “Genio otorgráfico” of her class (the only one to spell all 50 words right). Solana has now begun to take all quizzes and tests in Spanish without the help of her teacher. They are both making great progress!
Finally, the girls’ English language classes presented their ‘open day’ for the parents. Franny was the MC for her show and Solana starred in a skit as an elf.
The girls have been busy with the above activities as well as play dates at our apartment and friends’ houses. After a play date parents always ask about how their kids behaved and the ritual is for the other parent to say, “oh, she was an angel.” Frances and Solana are very well behaved at friends’ houses, they are adored. But as is usual for younger kids, they save the blow-ups and acting out for home. We are running into the reality of long school days – 8am- 4:30pm- in which they spend much of the day in another language and another community, and then have to come home to a confining apartment. We continue to learn how to work through the challenges and successes (sometimes small, but always significant) of a cultural immersion.