Friday, 18 May 2012

El dia de la madre and other exciting events

While my body and soul have been crying out for jacket potatoes, fireworks and roasted chestnuts, the calendar firmly reminds me that it is in fact May despite all evidence to the contrary. Thus we have had the May Day holiday, otherwise known as el Dia del Trabajador, on which anyone who works is given a well-deserved day (or in this case as it fell on a Tuesday, two days) off for their trouble. This was closely followed by Mother's Day which began by secretive preparatory messages being relayed to an increasingly baffled DH via the home-school diary and culminated in a crescendo of cards, treats and a very special event at DD2's nursery last Saturday morning. The mothers were invited to attend in comfortable clothing and armed with a cushion while the creative and unswervingly energetic tias had transformed the nursery into a spiritual wellness centre complete with new-age music, incense and zen-like nibbles while also urging us all to participate in a rotation of massage, yoga and meditation activities... After this we were told how wonderful we were by our children via song, dance, poetry and of course a beautiful homemade card. As if that weren't overwhelming enough, the following day one could hardly move throughout Santiago without someone selling flowers/giving out sweets/calling out "felicidades!" as the entire world celebrated the almost holy figure of the mama'. I wasn't quite sure what I'd done to deserve it when the waiter in the Peruvian restaurant we lunched in thrust a small gift-wrapped box containing a single macaroon in my hand but I wasn't going to refuse...
Less than a week later and instead of Guy Fawkes we are commemorating another semi-mythical political figure namely Arturo Prat. Despite sounding like a joke he represents the most heroic patriotic qualities, having fought valiantly for Chile in the War of the Pacific and nobly sacrificing his life for his country (hence next Monday's national holiday, el Dia de las Glorias Navales). DD2 received the requisite brainwashing this morning at nursery and can now recite proudly how many boats he had, which battles he won and how he lost the third battle but inspired victory for Chile over Peru.
Meanwhile next week also sees the end of term for DD1 and a chance to speak to her class teacher to find out just what has been going on on the other side of the impenetrable school gates. Cannot wait...

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