As any mom can tell you, the end of the school year is a busy, busy time. Class parties, teacher gifts, field trips, ceremonies, class shows, and every day backpacks are jam packed with a year’s worth of notebooks and folders and art projects.
E played a witch doctor in his school “spectacle”. His class has been studying “Afrique” this year and, I have to tell you, it was pretty good. Those teachers deserve a gold star for getting two classes worth of five year olds to dress up, dance and sing songs in Swahili, or whatever it was, for an hour. Well done, Madame Christine!
The end of the school year is also the time that the teachers start to pawn their jobs off on the parents. “The students would love it if you parents would come in to talk about your country!” When you are part of a school that is super-multi-national, like the American school at SHAPE, you get to do things like this. Only about half the kids in each class are actually American. L’s best friends at school are Italian, German, and Turkish. The one nationality you are not going to find is…. Belgian. And that’s where Ben comes in.
“I’m going to talk to you today about Belgium. So, who here lives in Belgium?” At this point, everyone was supposed to raise their hand. No one did. Not one, single kid. I think they’re just so used to discussing what country they’re from, that this question confused them. Then, Ben gave them waffles. That made them happy.
Ben and L spent a field trip day in Brugges on Saturday so little E and I spent some time in the woods. Because that’s where the geocaches are.
We also fed some ducks, played some Frisbee and dug in the sand at the playground. It was a boy-guided day.
Sunday was Father’s Day here and we spent the afternoon exploring Tournai, a very nice little city about thirty minutes northwest of Mons. As always, we headed into the cathedral first. Unfortunately (for us) it is undergoing a major restoration to, you know, keep it from falling down, so we couldn’t see much.
The Grand Place, though, was full of people waiting for a parade. Of giants. Of course.
You know what the giants do in a parade? They twirl. There is one guy in there, holding that thing on his shoulders. See the little square hole in the front of her skirt? That’s so he can see out. One guy. Holding a giant on his shoulders. Now spin!
There were also marching bands which looked strange to me but I couldn’t figure out why. And then it hit me. Those are adults. The marching bands in the U.S. are nearly always all high school kids.
And then there was this group…
The Tijuana Dixie Dan Band. A little Mexico, a little Louisiana. Who in Belgium is going to know this doesn’t make sense?
Happy late Belgian Father’s Day and Happy early American Father’s Day!
See you on the other side of the last day of school!