mary started school this week. she has been in playgroup the last year and a half here but this year she started "real school", as real as school is for a four year old in a class full of kids that speak another language. :) she started the first year of kindergarten (it's two years here). it's 3.5 hours a day and five days a week... a little more than i wanted but it's okay. i was kind of nervous about her starting school again... we faced many tearful goodbyes the last year and this is a totally new school so i was expecting the worst. but something clicked this year and she loves it. she has been excited to go to school every day. she gets out of the car and runs in with her little backpack bouncing up and down. it has been such a relief to know she is enjoying it.
mary's first day of school was tuesday, PE uniform day. they didn't have shirts her size ready so she wore the only yellow shirt she has (the color of the uniform shirt). she was pumped to go to school and excited about her amazing outfit. the amazing hair accessory was given to her by our friend in our neighborhood... a must have for the first day of school.
and our after first day of school celebration... ice cream bar at circle K.
this was the second day in her amazing uniform that she wears three days a week. i think it's hilarious! mary was actually excited about school and okay with the uniform... it was me taking a picture of her that caused that overly joyful expression on her face. :)
a bit about her school... it is a christian school that seems to really believe in discipling children to have Christlike character. it is a small school (10 kids in her class) with a very warm feeling... but it's also kind of serious academically. it's weird to me, but academics for four year olds happens here. there are two reason we are sending her to school... two help her learn indonesian and to help her learn to socialize with indonesian kids. she is the only foreign kid at her school and though her teacher does speak some english, the kids don't. we're really praying this is a positive cultural experience that grows her love for the country and it's people and gives her a desire to learn indonesian. i'm sure she's often confused, but she doesn't seem to mind at all. :)
luke also started "school" as we call it. it's a government playgroup program here to get young kids to socialize, have fun and learn a bit. it's just down the street from our house and only 1.5 hours twice a week. the moms stay with the kids, though many of them don't participate with the kids activities... of course i do. luke won't let me out of arm's length yet... unless he's playing soccer with his new buddies during the free play time... so i lip the songs (note to self: learn more indonesian kids songs) and follow the motions to encourage luke's involvement. here he is on the first day, before we got his uniform. yes, the playgroup has uniforms. indonesia loves uniforms!
walking to his second day of school in his uniform. umm, i love him and i secretly love that he has to wear that uniform!
i really wanted to take pictures of luke at school but i was too embarrassed to pull out my camera. i snapped one with my phone just so that people can see the cuteness in the room. i mean, these kids are adorable! the little boy looking at luke is rashya... he's a little bigger than luke and they instantly connected. rashya is a very rough and tumble boy and his mom kept apologizing for him being too rough with luke... i assured her that luke has a very tough side and he would be fine. they played soccer together forever and had so much fun! it was so cute! after that, rashya became a little possessive and protective of luke. if someone would come close to him he would tell them that luke is his friend. if someone tried to take luke's ball or run in front of him, he's say "jangan adik!" meaning "don't kid!"(kind of awkward to translate). i loved it! this is luke's first little indonesian friend (he doesn't really have friends yet, he's two).
he seems to love it so far! i love it because it gives me a very natural way to interact with the moms in our neighborhood and i'm learning a lot about the majority religion culture here. we're the odd balls out for sure!!! :) but the moms are so welcoming and helpful as we learn the songs and what playgroup is supposed to look like. i'm so thankful for this opportunity in our neighborhood!
luke and his sweaty head after a lot of playing at "school"