Alvaro and I at the children's day festivities.
The second week of school was a short week and jam-packed. There were two holidays that week, a Catholic holiday and Children's Day so we only had classes from Monday through Wednesday. There were people in and out of the school and special assemblies. One group that came in was a group of kids from a middle or high school. I think it was some sort of required community service for them. They came for a few hours one morning and brought activities and candy. This got the kids even more hyped up than usual. But it was pretty cool to see the kids interacting with young people who speak their language, if only for an hour or two. The second group of volunteers on Wednesday was from a women's group. They did a children's day celebration complete with the creepiest clown costume I've ever seen.
The hallway doubled as a stage and multipurpose room for school events.
They brought more sweets and a bunch of new toys.
During my second week at Frutos, I settled into the school and teaching and really started to understand the kids individually. Despite the language barrier, you see who they are by the way they play and interact with other students and their approach to the art projects I brought in. They were pretty wild and energetic... I think for many of them, school was the only place they had the space to run around and just be kids. I tried not to pick favorites, but there was one little boy named Alvaro who had such a great personality. He wore the same shoes everyday that looked like hand-me-downs because they were a few sizes too big. He was constantly tripping on his feet. Half of the time, he was very social with the other kids and the rest of the time he would be off in his own little world exploring and wandering. He had a very expressive face and a huge smile and everything to him was a new and amazing discovery. At school, they called all of the teachers "Tia", which means "Aunt" in Portuguese. Alvaro started calling me "Tia Chocolate" and pretty soon the entire class started calling me that.