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Back to School

What a delight! Pictures of our first class students. These eight children have waited patiently for the day they really would go back to school. Some haven't been to school for years.

Here they are with their teacher Maria Magdalena in their second week at La Escuela Caribe, preparing for the opening event on November 19th.

It's going to be a great day with the kids and their parents, the nine team members who run the school, all the dignitaries of Río Caribe and pretty much everyone Micha and I have met since our first visit to the town exactly two years ago.

Strictly speaking, we're still waiting for the very last permit - the one that will say that we're allowed to teach our students how to read and write. It's a long, long story but it's nearly at the end. And the end is that about three weeks ago we were told that the charity members in Germany must again hold a meeting to add two further sentences to the constitution, declaring that Florangel, our manager, is not only our legal representative of the charity but also of the school itself. This we did on October 18th. The minutes of our meeting had to be translated from German to Spanish by a certified translator. The translation then had to be certified and stamped by the German court before it was sent to the Venezuelan Embassy in Frankfurt for certification, stamping and signing. We then sent the signed, stamped, certified and approved translation of the addition to the constitution by courier to Florangel, tracking its progress on the internet. Florangel should have it within hours! She will then take it to the registry office and from there to the government education office in Cumaná. And then we will finally have the final permit.

First ClassHere they are - the first eight students of the Free School, with our first literacy teacher Maria Magdalena. They're off to a new start and we wish them every success.

For readers who might be confused about the name of the school: the registered charity is called The Finer English Free School Foundation. The working name for the school has been "The Free School". Venezuelan law required that we give the school an historical name so we called it La Escuela Caribe after the Caribe tribe who lived in the area of Río Caribe 500 years ago. But, we were told, according to legal definitions we're not opening a school. It's really an "education centre". So now the school bears the official name "Fundación Centro Educativo de Formación Caribe", which translates to the instantly forgettable "Caribe Foundation Education Centre of Training".

We're sticking to Escuela Caribe. And it looks like these schoolgirls and schoolboys are too!


A first class poster for the opening day! "Vamos a La Escuela Caribe" is a pun meaning "We go to La Escuela Caribe" and "Let's go to La Escuela Caribe"!


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