The kids began at another new school yesterday. Sacred Heart Primary School is a Catholic school with an enrollment of 1,000 kids that’s set high on a hillside in San Ignacio. When we first visited the vice principal, Miss Marta Madrid, a couple of weeks ago, she was very welcoming and seemed delighted to have our kids attend their school. As I understand it, we are among only a few other expat kids who attend the school, although they have had several over the years. We are blessed to have found Sacred Heart.
Two of our kids had a little trouble adjusting. I was surprised at this, since most everyone seemed extremely friendly and helpful. When the children in Laura’s new class heard she would join them, an excited murmur ran through the group of little girls around me. “We have a new student! We have a new student!” One little girl standing next to Laura touched her hair. I’ve seen this many times. Not many Belizeans have golden blonde hair like my daughter!
I was a little less surprised that Brenny felt ill at ease, since the kids in his class are 12 or 13 and he’s only 10. There’s a big difference between those years, no matter where you are in the world.
Andy, on the other hand, a.k.a. Doogie Howser, did just fine. He made friends right away and was even asked to join the football (soccer) team, which practices in the park right next to our rental house.
I hope they are all doing better today.
I waited to leave until after Laura’s class said morning devotions. Although we attended a Catholic grade school in the States, our kids aren’t used to praying as often in the course of the school day as they did yesterday. It was very sweet to hear their little voices saying a morning prayer and then an Our Father and Hail Mary for good measure. Afterward, they chanted in a sing-songy way, “Good morning, Teacher! Good morning, Classmates!”
The tuition for each child was $25US for the rest of the year, with an additional $15US for Laura’s music program in Standard 2.
The boys are both in Standard 6 at this moment (which was where they were placed in the school down in Monkey River). This school is a little more advanced than its counterpart down south, however, and I’m wondering if they should both be in that Standard. As I mentioned, they are with kids who are 12 or 13 – maybe some are even older. If we were to stay in Belize indefinitely, they boys would be attending high school next year. That would be jumping the gun for my little guys. I plan to speak with the principal today and talk about moving them back a standard or two, depending on what she thinks.
After I dropped them off yesterday, I had to run down the hill to copy their passports for the school records. I happily skipped down the hill, not thinking about the trip BACK UP. Oh my good Lord, I almost had a heart attack. And then, when I got to the top of the school grounds to leave out of the gate I had used in the morning, an Infants 1 (preschool) teacher met me and said, “Oh, the gate is locked for the day.” Ugh. I’m going to have legs of steel by the time we leave San Ignacio.
We’re so glad we made this move, to Belize and now to San Ignacio specifically. Not every part of this journey is easy but we are all learning to accept change gracefully and with humor. What can’t the kids conquer after they have conquered this?
Thanks to all of you for reading along! I have to run. There’s a fair at school this afternoon, complete with a BBQ chicken lunch. All of the proceeds go toward the school, which always needs funds, not unlike any other Catholic grade school I’ve ever heard of.
And Kevin just walked in with a small spicy meat pie, a couple of chocolate croissants, and a coffee pot (which we can actually use now that we’ve rejoined the grid). I love that man!