Denis (14) and Astrid (12) started in November at a new bi-lingual, international school (http://antiguainternationalschool.org/) just outside of Antigua. In its first year of operation it is small enough that both children are receiving all the attention and help that they need to catch up after suffering from the Guatemalan educational system. Denis, whom you might imagine, has suffered the most from having a deadbeat dad is just thrilled with the new school and after six weeks is already using his newly learned English. I am sure part of his thrill is about having some decent male role models (the director and the majority of his teachers are gringos) who care about him and his progress. "Dad" may soon be a distant memory. Astrid, too, has taken to the new school like a fish to water. The teachers report that both are working very hard. They have already been on a field trip to the zoo in Guatemala City to do research for a science project. Both are stunned to find out that school can be fun.
|Denis at the school Christmas Party|
|Astrid wants to be a doctor or veterinarian.|
|School for Denis and Astrid|
|One of several classrooms|
|Jackie's only gift from "Papa," a new sister.|
|And a little brother too.|
Chris and Michelle just finished a vacation program at their bi-lingual, Montessori pre-school and are eager to return in January. Both are thriving and speaking a mix of English and Spanish. If only every child in the world was able to go to school, especially a decent school, things might be very different. Let's keep our eyes on these five (all I can manage), especially little Michelle.
Happy Holidays and let's hope that the world becomes a better place for all in 2012!