Perhaps elementary school performances have changed drastically where I lived as a child, and you might hear French tongue twisters, Scottish poetry and Scat at the entertainments in an American public school. I’ve never seen the like except in the International School our sons attend here in Holland.
The event was the 3rd and 4th Grade Art Show & Concert. One piece of art by each child was displayed on black felt walls or tables organized by medium and classroom. You were welcome to enjoy a hot beverage and little sweet dainties as you pondered the various works of small hands such as aluminum reliefs, color dial experiments, “my life” tile works (so appropriate to The Netherlands, land of Delft tiles), and birds both in chalk as well as 3D versions which my children now think is what doctors do with their casting supplies when not setting a broken bone.
After the art show, you made your way to the theater for a multinational musical concert. Set to music were a traditional Indian poem, a Robert Louis Stevenson poem, a Japanese text by Rofu Miki, and the French tongue twister “Ton Thé.” The children sang from memory not only in the aforementioned languages but also Nigerian, Swahili, Spanish, Tamil, and an entire number in scat. They closed with their school theme song; another item missing from my childhood. (Do you have any interest in the song list? Comment.)
When did you first travel abroad? I was in my twenties. My children, however, go to a school where over 80 countries are represented. I am so grateful. If the school were the only benefit of our short years as expats in The Netherlands, it would all be worth it. As we enter the home stretch and continue to post about Living in Holland, you can expect more mentions about the International School experience.
Meanwhile we continue to work on a project in east Congo where the children have so few educational advantages. Do you have fond memories of summer camp or vacation Bible school? The friends you made, the activities, and memories of a lifetime? You can give a Congolese child that sort of experience this summer. For a limited time your gift is doubled! Visit our crowdfunding project today.
Kristin King is an insecure writer who wishes she could harness the robust energy of her childhood, of singing loud without a care in the world, of dancing with abandon, and apply that to her next novel.