Sunday, October 27, 2013

United nations - São Paulo

International Day - all photo credits to Rainy Russ, except as noted
My kids attend a very small private school here in São Paulo. It is not as well-known (or large) as the American school or the British school or as many of the other Brazilian private schools here. We were looking for a small English-speaking school for them that would provide a bit of diversity (tough at a private school but the public schools are not where you send your kids here, if you can avoid it), allowed them to be in separate classrooms (they are twins) and provide a good education. 

Through luck or skill, we found everything we were looking for. It is a wonderful school in a labyrinth of converted houses--the latest addition is a pretty nice artificial turf soccer field created from crushing a neighboring house. We are particularly lucky because the parents of the grade my kids are in are a tight group--and the kids are too. 

Yesterday was International Day, an event held only every two years at the school. While I have some minor complaints on how the event is run (costs are covered by the parents, not the PTA or the school), I was reminded yesterday just how lucky my kids are to attend this school. For seven hours yesterday (yes, I was there for all seven), my kids played, danced (gangnam style, of course), ate, visited and learned from 23 country stands. 

And these stands were amazing--the food, the decorations, the happy helpful people inside. Some countries enlisted help from family if they were the only representatives of the country at the school--Taiwan in particular was amazing. Only one mom involved, and her mom did the cooking early in the morning, they had a lion dance that the whole school loved, and at the end of the day, she was just as friendly and energetic as at 9 am! Australia was also a parent team running the whole show--at one point I passed within grabbing distance and ended up with an Australia tattoo on my arm and a yummy cake in my mouth.

It was impossible to try all the foods. After I set up the USA (we had a college football tailgating theme--how American can you get?), I did a visit around to the other stands. Ceviche from Peru, pasta from Italy, curry in India, wine in France, beer in Belgium and sausages from the lederhosen (sp???) wearing folks in Germany--by 11 am, I thought I was going to POP! Which didn't stop me from eating more when the sweet Japanese kids came over to the USA with little boats of sushi, and then the Brazilians with brigadeiro sweets. 

And through all of this, I chatted a bit with a couple of high school kids attracted by the Michigan helmets and Northwestern banners at our stand.  I tried hard to convince them away from Notre Dame (kidding, folks, kidding, not really). Smaller kids came by to try on the helmets and have their pictures taken. The chili, cupcakes and chocolate cookies disappeared. A special thanks to Sophie & Theo's Cupcakes which donated red velvet cupcakes that were a smash hit! One South African man came by asking for Southern Food (I don't even know what chitlins are but he did!) and fortunately we had the red velvet! The only thing that did not disappear was the cornbread--we've learned that local tastes run sweeter and the cornbread was a little stuck in the middle--neither sweet nor salty.

So, here's a little photo essay. I'm so proud of my school. 

A tiny tip of the USA, Dominican Republic and Mexico
Vegemite anyone? Set-up Australia

Brazil hard at work!

La Belle France

Germany with a sushi visitor from Japan

India and henna tattoos (my lone photo here)


South Africa

The lion dance from Taiwan

USA! Chili anyone?


No comments:

Post a Comment