Yesterday started a little slowly — too much Dominican coffee during Tuesday’s meeting made for a rocky night in the sleep department. But, I finally did get going, in time for the weekly Holy Communion service at the Oficina Diocesana, Padre Brooks officiating.
I spent the rest of the day emailing and blogging and reading/studying Spanish. The big news came at Colegio San Andres in the early evening, during their annual event to recognize student achievement and thank parents for their support.
My attendance was mandatory, Miguelina informed me, although I didn’t understand why until I was seated at the head table and prepped for receiving the school’s Man of the Year award. Many nice things were said at the presentation and I tried to return those sentiments in my “acceptance speech” in Spanish. I was also pressed into service awarding academic achievement medals to deserving students. A 98% average across all subject areas was a very common academic record for these kids. I was impressed (I didn’t see 98% very much while I was in school).
The guest-of-honor was the national secretary for early childhood education, who gave a speech and joined me as a medal presenter. Students danced and joined teachers in inspirational songs that saluted parents and praised the Lord. An innovate parade through the church featured children (and parents) dressed in the work clothes the parents wear every day (with the theme: I want to be like you!).
As is my habit this trip, I’m going to let the photos tell the story.
So many moments touched my heart during the ceremony. A girl with physical handicaps receiving recognition for academic excellence; parents rushing to the podium to photograph their children earning medals; the San Andres staff all dressed in gray business suits with red ties/flowers (these people are professionals, after all); prayers and pledges of allegiance led by children; so many good students that I recognized.
My last posting from this trip will happen tomorrow, likely from an airport on my way home. I fly to Omaha (through Atlanta) tomorrow afternoon. As always, I thank you so much for your support in thoughts and prayers.