Well, the last two and a half weeks have been full of holidays - mostly just full of Valentine's Day and then Carnival (which is about a week and a half holiday in itself) so I have been rather busy!
Valentine's Day isn't as big over here as it is in the States but as a teacher from the States, you know I made it a big deal in my classes! We made Valentine's and learned some phrases to do with Vday. The kids love anything arts and crafts, but it was fun to watch them make thier valentines for thier secret valentine who they wouldn't dare say who! All of my kids are convinced I have a boyfriend, so everytime I would make a valentine with them, they would nottttttt stop asking me what my boyfriend's name is, where he lives, how did we meet, the works haha. I always just said I was making it for my parents, which they thought was pretty lame, oh well. My mom, awesome as she is, sent me a Valentine's gift box and in it, candy valentines!!!! Do you remember those Like-m-Aids...you know the little packet of colored sugar with a white stick that you lick and then eat the sugar? Well she sent me a bunch of those for me to hand out to my kids. They thought it was the coolest thing in the WORLD! Not only did I give them candy, which I rarely ever do, but they were getting candy from the USA - something I don't think they have ever imagined. They were so shocked that my mom sent them all the way from home and that they were tasting American candies ha. They were also suprised when I told them that in the USA kids thier age exchange valentines with everyone in their class - probably like 25 students. I always walk the kids out after class and make sure they get to thier respective parents and all of the kids were so excited to tell thier parents about this American candy, and most of the parents looked really suprised that I had managed it haha. I had a few leftovers and gave them to Erika's class as I was leaving the school for the weekend. They were a class of probably 15-year old girls and I said 'oh, I have some extra American candy, do you think your class would like them?' and thier faces just dropped when Erika explained that my mom had shipped me American candy for my students. Honestly, it was probably the most exciting part of thier week! Feliz Dia de San Valentin!! Thanks Mom! They loved it!
The following week, the kids were all preparing for Carnival - the huge week before Lent starts. The kids were pretty confused as to why we don't celebrate it in the States since it is so big over here. Eventhough its not big at home, I thought it would be fun for the kids to make masks for arts and crafts that week. I always do a run-through of the arts and crafts project for the week so I can make sure it works and then give them an example to make ideas off. Funny thing is that most kids just end up copying exactly what I made. It's amusing to me that they fight over where my mask sat on the table and who could hold it and for how long. Ahhh kids. Here is a picture of my 6-year olds and the masks that they made. They love to walk out to greet thier parents with thier masks on and pretend they are different people. The funniest was that one of my students walked out and her little brother, who is probably only 2-years old, was so scared of her mask he started screaming. The week of Carnival, most kids dont have school, so attendance has been spotty, but the kids who do come to class love making masks and telling me about thier great costumes they have planned! I had a class of 12-year old girls who came from school, all dressed up and one was dressed as an Arab and had her face scarf on and I legit didn't even recognize her haha.
My costume for Carnival was not so disguising. I found a costume box of kids costumes in the back room at our school and was lucky to find a cowboy hat. I grabbed a gun and sheriff badge from the china store by my house and then a plaid shirt and ta-da I was a cowgirl. My friends and I hit the town with our guy friends who thought it was sooooo fun to dress up as girls. I think that the majority of the boys in San Sebastian think dressing up as a girl is the best idea for Carnival. I saw more cross-dressing boys that I ever did in NYC haha. It was a really fun night, full of parades, bands in the streets and really fun costumes.
The rest of the weekend called for a lot of resting up but I was happy I could be part of the Carnival! Traditionally in Christianity, they say Carnival was the last big party before Lent so everyone went all out, using up thier special foods and celebrating before they gave things up for the next 40 days. This is where the name even comes from - carne vale means goodbye to meat in Latin - and this party was when the communities would use up all the meat before Lent. Thought that was kind of a fun fact to share ha.
Hope you're enjoying your week!