Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween (sort of) Minus One

Katya left this morning for three days away at a Pioneer Youth Camp. (The Pioneers were the Soviet Scouts--and they still exist for hold-outs in the Communist party. I like this picture of scouts that I found below--and that's NOT Katya in this first picture). The whole elementary school went! They're staying at a complex next to a forest with enough bedrooms for all (in small groups), common areas and sports facilities. The first grade is studying Prehistoric Man and they're going to somehow recreate a primitive village; you've got to admire how the teachers throw themselves into their teaching! Katya has been eagerly anticipating this trip; I can't wait to hear how it's going. (The teacher will call each child's parents using her cellphone tonight). So much for making Halloween plans...
There are a few areas in the city where foreigners live in clusters (compounds) and we probably could have found someone who would let us in to trick-or-treat... but given that today is a school day, and I didn't get home from work until 7 p.m. after an hour and a half in traffic, I'm glad we're just staying home. (My 1st graders had fun playing "Duck-Duck-Goose" today--but we said things such as, "trick-trick-trick-OR TREAT" and "ghost-ghost-ghost-WITCH." My high school students, on the other hand, all had midterms... I'll write more about cultural differences in grading some other time).
Talia decided to dress up for school, so she has had a wonderful day even without trick-or-treating. This weekend both girls will get to celebrate as we join our friends at their dacha and all of our kids will recreate Halloween.


Tina in CT said...

I showed Nelya the pictures on the blog from yesterday and she has pictues of herself in elementary school back in the Ukraine in the same outfits. She's going to bring into work for me to see.

I've tried calling but can't get through. I am wondering how the first day went as K's teacher was calling each parent last night.

kate said...

i'll be curious to hear how political the pioneer outing is. we've got lots of tension, lots of indoctrination and lots of signs up around here.