Tuesday, May 4, 2010

San Miguel de Allende it is!!!

Since the sleepless in Guanajuato night, much has transpired.  Much to my relief and excitement, Todd arrived and I gave him the grand tour of Guanajuato: Houses, town, meandering calles, las escuelas, mercados, hilltop vistas etc...HE LOVED IT!!! (of course!)But the burning question was what schools should the boys attend and how deep is the deep end? What is healthy immersion vs unhealthy immersion? What will the first 6 months look like in a full immersion mexican catholic school of 350+ kids where NO ONE speaks any english? Head of Primeria: Madre Josephina was absolutely fabulous and I knew within a millisecond of meeting her, that she was a divine human being....yet still the red hot question remained....

The following day we took off to check out San Miguel de Allende, the next Colonial town on the map, one hour away and a lot more famous/international town....It's on the must see of small cities list of Conde Nast travel site. San Miguel is magical in an entirely different and unique way from Guanajuato. Yet more gringos, more swank shops, top rated restaurants and possibly less Mexican? Dreams are funny in that way...It may be that we don't really experience authentic Mexico until we can speak the language fluidly and relax down to the slower pace of life and then it may unfold before us...And maybe "that" Mexico is EVERYWHERE across the country and we will just need to be patient, slowly peeling back the layers. There in lies the fabulous mystery of living and traveling to a different part of the world: Sounds, smells, light, and feel of the air is so new and fresh that it heightens one's awareness to an epic extent.

OK, back on the earth....findings on San Miguel:
NUMERO UNO: We found two fantastic schools in San Miguel and that pretty much frosted our cupcakes. The Waldorf school for Will and Marky and Vic's school for Tommy.
NUMERO DOS: We fell in love with an old hacienda style casa near centro that has a pool/yard  perfect for kids and dog. Despite the fact that we don't know for sure if we will be able to rent for the year,  I can't help to feel positive vibes that it will all work out.

Marky and Will are to attend The Rudolph Steiner School in the outskirts of San Miguel and it's totally worth the 15 min yellow bus ride out of town.  High dessert foliage flanks the dirt road driveway to school and we arrived at an idyllic country setting with multiple small adobe classrooms, organic veggie garden and quaint rotunda performance hall. Each interior glowed with color washed interiors and ceilings draped in long swaths of cloth. Quintessential Waldorf Style. It was heart warming to see so many joyful children tossing bean bags while doing their times tables. The school is full immersion spanish with about an hour a day for English, which I think will become our kids favorite class (may even trump recess). A few of the teachers do speak english and many of the kids come from biracial, bilingual families. It was comforting to know that even though our kids would be learning in spanish, they would not be completely isolated in a difficult situation....they would be understood in their mother tongue.

Tommy will attend Victoria Robbins School that is highly unpublicized school (not even a single sign outside the door). Like many things in Mexico, only a vigorous hunt upturns treasures. And a treasure this is. We walked into a small interior courtyard filled with about 60 kids all middle school to lower Highschool. The kids were mostly speaking english yet I think everyone of them is bilingual and it's a flip flop situation to the waldorf school. Most of the day he will be doing his studies in english and an hour or two of spanish each day. Todd and I were welcomed to talk with all the kids in an informal way and we were so charmed and impressed with these young adults and knew that Tommy would fit in and thrive. When we asked these children about their bilingual experiences they shared much...most importantly they told us not to put Tommy in a full immersion situation in Guanajuato....that would just be too brutal...we listened and learned.

1 comment:

  1. We're thinking of relocating to San Miguel and would like to know more about the Victoria Robbins school from someone with personal experience. We have a 15-year old daughter.

    If you're willing to discuss it, could you please send me a message via the Followers link for Greg? I'm not sure how else to get in touch with you.

    Many thanks!