International Women’s Day

Though as the name suggests, it’s an international celebration, I’d never heard of Women’s Day before. Of course Colombia celebrates it with gusto, and after what I’ve seen with their other holidays I was not at all surprised.

On March 7th, the day before Women’s Day, the male teachers at my school held a little dinner during 5th and 6th period for the female teachers. They posted a sign on the teacher’s lounge doors that we were not allowed in until we were summoned. When we were then allowed to enter, we found the tables fully set with plates of food, cups of champagne and soda, and a beautifully iced cake sitting in the middle of the room. After the speeches and toasts were given, we enjoyed a nice meal and I had a chance to talk to some of the primary teachers I rarely interact with.

The day of the real event, March 8th, the whole school was full of buzz. All the women were given little heart-shaped cards and candies throughout the day by the male students and teachers. My students were very sweet, trying to wish me “Happy Day!” in English (missing the key second word) each time I passed a room of students. In a few classrooms the girls had all been kicked out to go relax on the terrace while the boys made them cards and decorated the room.

In my 10th grade class, before we took the exam we had scheduled for the day, my co-teacher Alfredo sang a song about appreciating women to the class, much to the delight of the students. I only understood about half the words, but it was a funny song. After I stopped filming it, he made up a few lyrics about me being the prettiest girl from the US. And when I blushed bright red he made up another lyric about that!

I hold English club on Tuesdays, so I used the opportunity to teach appreciation vocabulary (like thankful, I appreciate you, blessing, etc.) and positive adjectives. Then we made cards for their mothers, grandmothers, and teachers. A few of them even made a card for me

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My students are the best!

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