May 18, 2014

Celebrating Teachers

Every fall (spring in the U.S.), Paraguayans get all sentimental and start honoring folks.  The first of these holidays is Day of the Teacher.  A few of the teens from my English class happen to go to the same high school, and they mentioned a special assembly they wanted me to attend, where each grade would give a presentation in honor of their teachers.

At the time, I was still using crutches, and I woke to a stormy day.  The students were very attentive and met me at my car to see that I got to the gym okay, where they'd saved me a seat just inside the door...the first one we came to.  I was very excited at the time, thinking I'd avoid walking across slick concrete with those crutches, but I soon realized this meant I was sitting just a few feet in front of the speakers.  Nothing happens at normal volumes here.  It's all maxed-out, distortion-heavy, bringin-the-bass fun.  Mental note: Bring cotton next time you go to a school event.

A couple of classes kept to the traditions that are present in every ceremony in this country--harp music, dances in the long skirts and shirts with crocheted sleeves and hems, and poems in Spanish and Guarani.

Traditional Paraguayan bottle dance. They actually managed to get one
more bottle each on their heads after I took this picture.
But the majority of the presentations followed a retro theme and involved 20 or 30 teens dancing to music from various decades.  Most dancers were wearing short poodle skirts and t-shirts with a bandana around their necks, and whether their dance was officially titled as Tribute to the 70's, 80's, or 90's, the music they actually danced to was mostly from the 50's.  An 80's song did make it in on one group who said they were paying tribute to the 70's, but I kept that to myself.

These guys were going through their routine for "Jailhouse Rock" when
I heard the first chords of Michael's Jackson's "Thriller"
and they were invaded by zombies.
The best part was that each song began with a long howling siren, much like that noise you hear just before the blaring rock song as the roller coaster starts up at the local parking lot carnival.  My ears stopped buzzing four days later, but it took about two weeks to get the hearing back on the left side.  I kept that to myself, too.  ;)  The kids had obviously put a lot of work into their dances and I was proud to be invited to watch.

The next day, the cultural center where I teach English hosted a party for Day of the Teacher, where Ken and I ate pizza and watched various attendees sing karaoke into the wee hours of the morning.  Never a dull moment!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wanna leave a comment? Be nice, please, and if you can't, at least leave your email address...