Thursday, July 12, 2012

How the Party Went.

So, here were my main thoughts and questions upon receiving the party flyer featured in my previous post:

1. There is a parent organization for the school? Great! In all my research I never found any info about that, nor was I told it exists.  Too bad it will all be in French, for sure.
2. Is this the first everyone is hearing about this performance and party, two days before, or just me?
3. Diablo? So, Devil? Perhaps a demon? Ok then.
4.  In what way/shape/form will Scooby Doo be incorporated into the party?
5. Grilled bread on a wood fire?  That certainly sounds yummy.
6. What happens if it's raining for the courtyard stuff?

During the kids' first week or so of school, we heard them talk about practicing a dance, but then they didn't mention it again for several weeks.  We didn't know if/when/where it would be performed.  I assumed we just got our answer.

At the bottom of the flyer was a contact name and email, so I set a message asking if I could help with set up.  I received an immediate response (in English) saying, yes, meet in the courtyard at 2pm.

When I arrived there was no one in the courtyard, but James' teacher showed me to the Cultural Center, which is next door to the school and which apparently they had rented for the evening.  Fortunately, I immediately ran into a Luxembourgish mom I'd spoken to before in the school playground (it seems most educated Luxembourgish natives speak excellent English), and she introduced me to the woman who'd I'd exchanged emails with, the head of the parent organization.  I apologized for only speaking English, to which she replied something to the effect of, "Well, you don't need any languages to set up chairs!"  Nice, I can do this.

We set up the chairs as the children filed in to rehearse.  Then we moved outside toward the courtyard of the school to set up for the party.

As more moms showed up, much animated discussion ensued (some in Luxembourgish, mostly French - the way people here move in and out of languages never ceases to amaze and shame me).  Carole (the mom I already knew) eventually filled me in.  Typically, the whole performance and after party takes place in the courtyard.  But here was the courtyard on this this particular July afternoon...

Finally, after several false starts, the decision was made to set up the food tables, lottery items, and games outside and hope for the best.  There was simply not enough room in the back of the auditorium.

setting up under the bit of shelter
Eventually, as we continued to set up, one of the moms spoke a couple words of English to me, and I quickly grabbed this lifeline and introduced myself.  She is from Iran (but of course speaks English, French, and who knows what else).  She was very nice and friendly.

Side note: Pete and I talked about an aspect of the Luxembourgish culture the other night - Luxembourgish people (and non-Anglified, non-expat-ish people living in Luxembourg) will pretty much respect your right to be left alone.  That is our interpretation, anyway.  It's up to you to introduce yourself or your existence may be almost totally ignored.  But if you put yourself out there, most people are quite friendly and kind.

Anyway, after that I found my courage and introduced myself to a couple more ladies over moving benches and cutting table cloths (again, probably most of them speak some English, but the default common language is typically French).

When I felt like the "helping" I could do with my language handicap had dwindled, I headed back to the auditorium to save a seat for Pete.  He arrived JUST in time for the pre-primary kids' performance.

Here's a clip of their song.  You'll see James up top and Daphne down below.

African zebras
James and his "best friend" from school (parents from Peru, born in France)
This was the only number that an entire class or age group performed.  The rest of the show...basically imagine a school talent show and you'll get the idea.  Dance routines (presumably choreographed by the students), singing groups, keyboard solos, etc.  There were explanations in French/Luxembourgish throughout, but of course we have no idea what they said.  The surreal part was most of the actual songs except for the pre-preprimary performance were popular American or British songs -  Maroon 5, Adele, Beyonce, etc.  I'd like to say we we perked up and were proud to be American at that point.  But I won't.  We weren't.

Oh, and Diablo?  I think we figured that one out.  A little girl did a solo interpretive dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller"...
Dressed as...a, wait...the Hunchback of Notre Dame with fangs.
Then we were released to the after party.  Mercifully, the rain had quit by then.  We socialized in our limited-language fashion as much as we could, but we were getting hungry and everything cost money, even the kids games and activites - I suppose it was all a school fundraiser.  It looked like some sausages were being cooked but that it could take hours to feed everyone with the tiny grills.  And speaking of grills, we didn't see any wood fire or grilled bread.  Maybe canceled due to rain?  Maybe mis-translated.  Who knows.

No sign of Scooby Doo either.  Pete said he saw a Scooby Doo sign at one of the tables, but it just looked like kids making bracelets. 

It's probably for the best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you'll get the french in no time Rosie - I am confident of it! thanks for the updates - miss you guys! Jake