Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The bleak mid-winter?

Well the climax of Wimbledon fortnight coincided with the inauguration of the skiing season here last weekend. In fact a cold wet spell last week had treated us to magnificent vistas of the Andes covered in new, gleaming white snow which turns pink by evening at sundown. Quite something to contemplate and gaze at, even for three-year-olds. The last week or so has seen frosty mornings and even ice in the shade where the lawns and pavements are still painstakingly watered early in the day. So this is winter in Santiago... if so I think I can cope with it. The days without sun are still grim but thankfully remain few and far between on the whole. Having said that every time I marvel at the clement conditions the weather turns cold so I think the less said about it the better.
Last week I attended the latest of a number of meetings at DD1's school aimed at raising awareness of parents regarding literacy and how to encourage your child to read at home. I have been going out of genuine interest and also pure curiosity: a chance to spy on enemy territory and actually get past the impenetrable school gates. So far the meetings have been a mixed bag. The first was chaotic with a high turnout of parents, many of whom talked loudly throughout, subsequently lost interest and have not attended again, thus allowing for a smaller group and more pleasant and constructive meetings. Also the teacher leading most of the meetings has been very warm, welcoming and positively brimming with enthusiasm for how to help, encourage and inspire one's child. I was impressed that the school was at least taking an active interest for once so eagerly signed up for the group whose aim is a Storysack project scheduled for November. I now find myself anxiously scanning patterns for how to knit finger puppets as we now have to create our characters (we are already behind with the scenography). Last week the usual teacher however was absent, only to be replaced by a mumbling, passionless creature who could easily have been invented by Roald Dahl. (We are currently reading "Matilda" as our bedtime story which never ceases to shock, amuse and fascinate DD1 in equal measure. DD2 thankfully is usually out like a light by this point.) Still it has been interesting to observe Chilean attitudes to parenting though it is only a certain kind and probably the ones who already read with their children as a matter of course...

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