Friday, Anne went to the kindergarten in Rogthia again, and had a great time. She showed the children photographs of our family, our house, Penny the dog (a big hit with the kids), the RV, and some Alaska pictures, including the bears. They then drew pictures of Anne in her kayak and so on. Really cute! The teacher, Mary, stapled them together into a book with a green paper cover as a gift. However, this seemed also to be a signal, confirmed by Mary, that she thought it was Anne's last day there! Oh-oh, another typical miscommunication. She said, OK, Anne could come this week on Monday, Thursday, and Friday, but she was behind in her lessons and curriculum now, and Anne would have to just sit and observe (with a smile "pasted" on her face). The teacher did not say THAT, and she was not put out by having Anne there, but Anne feels quite uncomfortable about it. Only Wednesday this week will be a day with the English teacher in the upper grades, as planned, and Tuesday is a public holiday - no school. Anne will go on Monday and discuss it with the teacher and Anne will suggest strongly that Anne not come on Thursday and Friday - it is too stressful and boring. This incident is a symptom of a bigger problem in the Global Volunteers program here in Gazi - the mayor is the "host" here and announced to these schools that we were coming. We think that the teachers themselves have had this sort of "shoved down their throats". Everyone has been polite, but some team members have been told not to come everyday by the teachers! We also are quite sure that there is a big political component at play, and the teachers were on strike last fall. One of Global Volunteers teams last fall was here during the strike, and basically played "scabs" (strikebreakers) while they sat in the classrooms and pretty much just "babysat" the children during the school day!
Tom came down with a cold on Thursday. This seems to be the difference between grad school at RIT and kindergarten! Many of his 3 year-olds had runny noses and they all wanted to hug him - so that was that. Thank goodness for Zicam. It helped keep the cold down to a tolerable level and Mucinex was a great help too. His Friday at school was fun. He had told the story of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" the day before and on Friday, he had the students act out the story with three of the children as goats and one as the ugly troll. They had so much fun, the acted story had to be repeated twice in each of the four classes!
We had a car for the weekend, so we drove west on Friday afternoon to Rethimno, with a detour up the mountain for Tom to see where Anne has been teaching in the village of Rogthia.