It has been an unremarkable week in the soya-growing backwaters of central Argentina.
We managed to find out when school starts… sort of. Technically I have to attend a parents’ meeting tomorrow, and then classes start properly on Wednesday. But naturally the teachers are on strike tomorrow; this happens at the start of every academic year. So there won’t be a parents’ meeting tomorrow. It might be on Tuesday. And classes might start on Wednesday. Or Thursday or Friday. I have every faith that they will start at some stage.
We managed to collect the medical certificates that Joni needs to start school…. sort of. He has a local-authority issued health book and before the start of every school year we have to get two pages filled in by the paediatrician; one to say that he is healthy, and another to say that he is fit to do sports. I kind of thought that meant the same thing, but apparently not. Then we have to get another page filled in by the dentist, and another one filled in by the optician. All this involves going to the “centro de asistencia” (public clinic) very early in the morning in order to queue up and hopefully to be allocated a numbered ticket for today, otherwise you have to come back and do it all again tomorrow. So we went at 5.30 on Monday morning. This won us tickets for the paediatrician and the dentist, although sadly not the optician; apparently they were only giving out 20 numbers a day for the optician so with every school child in the city needing his signature that’s going to take a while. The receptionist suggested that we leave it a few weeks and then try again. Fortunately school will be fine about that, they’re used to it.
Apart from that, it has been the usual round of running a household and entertaining two children for the last week of the summer holidays. Cleaning, cooking, parks, plazas, and painting. We did the supermarket run and discovered that stock cubes and Joni’s favourite soya drink have also disappeared… that’s ridiculous, we live in the middle of the biggest soya growing area in the country. Joni and I made a chocolate cake with smarties on. Joni and Martin finished the base for the train track and I revamped the utility area at the back of the garage to make a permanent space for it.
So term is about to grind into action. Danny starts nursery on the 11th of March (at least they won’t be on strike). And I’ve just been asked about my involvement with disabled kiddo from the village this year. I need to think about that. I’d like to be involved with him, and with the special school, but school won’t be interested unless I can sort out my qualifications. Which leaves the glorified taxi-driver’s role. On one hand it gets me in. On the other hand I’m effectively subsidising the Argentinean state who have a legal responsibility towards him. And on the third hand (alien life form) there is the little issue that our car continues to drink fuel faster than we can put it in, so subsidising the Argentinean state also turns out to be rather expensive. We need to fix the car. I need to go and see the social worker, and the kid’s grandmother, and probably also the school. So that’s this week taken care of.