Monday, February 7, 2011

When Big Puddles Attack

Samtredia has a good relationship with puddles.
Back where I’m from in the States, February weather translates into snow-induced school closings and early dismissals. In Samtredia, Georgia- February weather also means school closings but for a slightly different reason.

It rains here. Sometimes it rains so much that school is cancelled.

In general my school has been having a rough couple weeks. A combination of swine flu and pneumonia has somehow made it to School No.11 and bedridden about sixty percent of the elementary school. (Last week, 27 of my 35 third graders were home-sick). The school director thus made the decision to indefinitely cancel all classes for students in fourth grade and below.

School hasn’t been the same without all the cute little rug-rats running around screaming my name and asking me if I like ‘snow, cat or dog’ (hey, it might be a strange grouping of words but it’s English).

Plus, with all the third graders absent my days are much less adorable. They just happen to be my favorite. They shriek like I’m a puppy wearing a dress whenever I enter the classroom and give me love notes and gifts when class is over. It’s almost funny how singing some songs, whipping up a few games, drawing a picture on the board, and correcting some class work- can send eight-year-olds into such hysteria. I guess I just miss the little squirts. Well that, and I’m generally concerned they might all be violently, ferociously ill.

Asides from the dying elementary school, school days are being cut short by one to three hours each day because of bad weather. Most kids walk to school and the school faculty is terrified to have kids walk home in the rain convinced that they’ll get the swine-flu pneumonia bug. 

Thus, every morning my day is pretty unpredictable. I don’t know whether classes will be shortened or whether certain classes will just be cut out of the day. It’s a bit annoying, but the unpredictability makes my day interesting. For my own sanity, I’m trying to love all the little quirks in the Georgian educational system.

Anyhow, today was an especially odd day at school. We had no electricity or heat (which is pretty normal) but all classes were cut to half-hour sessions which really isn’t that much time at all. You go over homework, you read something, you play a game- boom, class is over. At around 10:45 though, the faculty decided to cancel all classes because there was a giant puddle outside the school and they were worried it would only get bigger throughout the day.

I thought the same thing you did- a school cancellation because of a puddle?

Well, turns out that ‘big puddle’ was more like a lake. My students were even joking around and asking me if I knew how to swim since I’d practically need to swim home. As I left school today, the entire school even led me in a chant of “Swimming! Swimming! Swimming!” (Again, a bit of a bizarre chant, but it’s English).

This is the 'big puddle' aka lake outside my school.
Normally, on the left of that concrete barrier is a small creek and on the right is a road
Hydroplaning at its finest.

Random lonely ferris wheel cart
The new church they're building in town- and its lake.

Everything just looks prettier after the rain.

Isn't Samtredia pretty?

I love a good tree reflection photo