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