Thursday, February 24, 2011

schooled

Add registering and preparing for school as another thing I took for granted in the States. I never spent more than one day on both tasks combined. It's a little bit painful to think of the hours we have put into those tasks in Peru.

A short rundown:

- Second day in Lima we go to the school and bring them the required information (transcripts, passport photos, vaccination cards, etc) to even be considered for admittance.
-Fill out 20 pages of informational paperwork that is all in Spanish. Spend 3 hours translating questions like, "When did your child first hold their head up?" and "When did your child first smile?"
-Take all 3 kids to 3 hours of evaluations each (and pay for these sessions too). Riley comes home very upset because they ask her which member of her family she likes the most. When she tells them she can't answer that, they tell her that she has to. (She picked Tyler which we assure her was a great choice).
-Blake and I interview with the school psychologist. It starts off with her saying, "Let me tell you about your child." Blake and I sit there for a few moments expectantly awaiting her analysis when we realize that she actually wants us to tell her about Riley.
-Sign a contract that we will hire a Spanish tutor for the kids.
-Find out that Riley is in the school, but Ford and Brady are waitlisted.

You would think that the hard part is over now that Riley is admitted, but the fun has only begun.

-Given 10 pages of registration and school policy information. Spend another night translating.
-Spend a morning at the school waiting my turn to rent Riley's books for the school year.
-Spend a lot of time trying to talk to the accounts department about tuition payment. They tell me that they can't accept North American checks. I have a mini-breakdown because for tax purposes this is the only way it can be done.
-Have a friend help me out immensely by getting Riley's uniform.
-Decide that I have tried my hardest to patient, but just can't take it any longer. Ask to meet with the Head Master of the school (who is British). I mainly just want to talk to someone who can understand me.
-Wait many days to hear back from the school and learn more patience.
-Meet with Head Master and he says they will accept our check. He explains that the school is going through a transition of moving from only national students to international, so it is a learning process right now for them. He is very glad that I met with him and I am ecstatic that the issue is resolved.

And my favorite part of this whole process: school supply shopping.

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This is just for Riley and is more money than I want to think about. We had to go to at least 10 stores to acquire everything. There is no Target here that has it all. Also, apparently all that tuition money doesn't cover toilet paper.

Notebooks have to be a specific color and in all 10 stores we couldn't find all of the colors. So we bought some colored paper, I googled how to cover a notebook, and we made do. Turns out that covering a flimsy notebook isn't quite as easy as a hardback book.


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Then you have to label every single thing. Seriously, every single thing.

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Now we wait for word that Ford and Brady got in and do all of this again. Don't think I won't be throwing myself a little "You Did It!" party on the first day of school.

6 comments:

Melissa Hodge said...

oh, but just LOOK at how good those pencils look all labeled and everything...it just speaks to my inner office-supply-stationary-loving self. Way.To.Go!

Erin said...

After reading this, the teacher in me is even more annoyed that so many of my students (even those with financial ability) come to school day after day without even basic supplies. We, as Americans, just do not appreciate the convenience of Target!!

And at the same time, I'm thankful to work in a school that holds fundraisers so we have the ability to provide basic supplies to every child that needs them.

Good luck with the other kids! At least you know what's in store for the next time around!

Christie Elkins said...

I met my best friend in the entire world in the fifth grade, all because I sat at her desk one day and her pencil was labeled. I liked her name and met her on the playground. We were college roommates, maids of honor, and were pregnant at the same time. You never know whom Riley may meet through all of those labeled pencils!!

The Wood Family said...

Not sure how pricing and shipping work internationally, but when my kids' school items need personalization, I've used Vistaprint and gotten their free 100 self-adhesive adress labels with my kids' names on them. Just a thought.

Good to know school shopping is just as fun in Peru =)

Tracie and Ricky said...

I hope you remember me... I haven't been keeping up on your posts, but today I came by your site, and see that you are in Peru getting settled. I first want to commend you for even sending your kids to school in Peru! Our kids are still too little to even consider it, but we have over 6 years of experience here under our belts if we were to try. It is a nearly impossible feat if you are just arriving... so kudos to you!

I read a couple of your other posts too and I laughed because you said Peruvian Coke isn't the same as in the States.. because I like it better here - that being said, to hopefully encourage you that you'll get used to it! And yeah the small milks.... oh and have you found the milk sold in bags yet? that's what we get and pour a few into a large glass jug...
I have YET to find chocolate chips in Peru. I doubt you will either. It's just one of those things that people send me in large Costco size bags! We live in Cusco so making Choc. Chip cookies is even harder with the altitude!!!

Anyway, I'm jealous that you have a TGI Fridays in Lima... all we have is a McDOnalds. haha. And our 3 year old learned to say McDonalds is Caca... hehe

I know I'm a total stranger, but if you need anyone to chat with (who understands your situation of living in Peru) feel free to write me! (tracieolivares@gmail.com)

Blessings

Anonymous said...

You should throw yourself a mini-party for every child you get enrolled and ready for school!
Praying the boys get in, soon!
You are doing great!
Thank you for your posts..praying for your whole family...
Warmly,
Anne