Today the boys started 1st and 4th grade at Escuela Primaria Juan Zorilla de San Martin in the Cerro de Las Rosas neighborhood in Cordoba! Big success considering no one tried to escape and Elliott was apparently mistaken for Justin Bieber. The school day wrapped up with a promised heladoria stop (I had dulce de leche con brownie) and I had to jump in the pool on a 50 degree evening to make good on my promise to the boys if all went well. Yo tengo frio. Yesterday when it was 80 the idea seemed better.
The process to enroll the boys at Zorilla has been remarkably smooth, thanks to a great friend Gaby!! She made introductions for us to the principal when we visited in April and elaborated on Erica’s PTO expertise to pave the way. Getting all the right paperwork in order and supplies for the boys is ongoing, but we feel very fortunate. The people we met in April swung the decision to Cordoba, and it’s the people who continue to reinforce our decision.
We prepped for today by visiting the school the day before to meet the principal and teachers and show the boys the classrooms. The biggest adjustment so far is all the attention they are getting. The teachers and staff all gush about how cute and handsome they are and give them lots of kisses (besos in Argentina in lieu of handshakes). They are suddenly rockstars! All the touching, kissing and attention has them freaked out. Elliott was absolutely mobbed today when we arrived. The girls were asking him to sign autographs thinking he was Justin Bieber. The other kids are so curious and excited to meet both of them. Elliott quickly had a few self-appointed buddies clearing space for him like bouncers. Ben said he had to climb under a table at one point to escape the girls. They are overwhelmed by all the attention so far and pretty worried, but after Day 1, the language barrier seems to be the lesser issue. Everyone is so nice and accepting so far.
There are two sessions per day in primary school, morning and afternoon. Gaby was great in helping to get the boys in the same session and Elliott is in the same class with Gaby’s daughter Malena, who is completely bilingual. The boys start at 1:30pm and are done at 5:30pm. We take a public bus from our hotel in Villa Belgano to Cerro for school. They have 3 recesses and there is a kiosko (read candy shop) on site for the kids! Selling points for the boys to be sure. We’re blackmailing the boys with 2 pesos per day earning potential with good behavior to be readily spent at the kiosko.
More on house hunting and day-to-day challenges and observations soon!