|Alethia with her best school buddy (Alex)|
"They" are rebuilding the German kindergarten that Alethia goes to. During this 1 to 2 year process, the children have been moved to a "makeshift" kindergarten on the campus of a primary school (grun schule) in the next village over from ours. Unfortunately, her kindergarten was around the block from us and now it is a 10 min. drive, 5 min. walk up a hill, and two flights of stairs up. We will be glad when the new kindergarten is done!
However, for the meantime, Alethia (and the other children) seem to like their new school. The classroom is bigger and better equipped. The major downsides: the bathrooms are only on the ground floor, which means the teachers have to really be proactive about getting 3-6 year olds down two flights of stairs and to the toilets in time, and there is no playground, so they are indoors more and will walk to a nearby park in the nicer weather. We have managed to work out a carpool schedule with the other American kid in her class, so that is making the transition a bit easier.
For St. Martins Day (in November), the kindergarten usually organizes a parade and celebration in our village. This year, since they have relocated temporarily, the local church hosted. The kids all made their lanterns at school. We met at the church for a short service with a skit about St. Martin and traditional singing (all in German, of course). Then, we paraded through the streets, led by the children and their lanterns, and ending at the fire station for a bon fire, brotchen, and gluhwein. It was a pretty cold night, but we had a nice time. Anthony was on retreat with students, so my wonderful friend, Gin, joined us. It was great to have another pair of hands (and legs) to keep track of the kids among the masses.
|Masami, Alex, & Alethia in the parade|