Wednesday, October 3, 2012

German Unity Day

(I was originally just going to make this a facebook status update, but couldn't figure out how to write it short enough so here we go...)

Today is German Unity Day.  Because we are a German school the school decided to take almost half of the day to commemorate.  Of course, being the "pura vida" school we are I had no idea what the activities were until all my guia (homeroom) class came into my room asking where the paper was.  Huh?  I eventually found out that each guia class was going to get paper to paint a graffiti from the Berlin Wall.  So we spent over two hours deciding what each group should paint and finishing the painting.

Boxes were then piled up and the graffiti paintings were taped on.  It actually looked pretty cool.  The kids did a lot of the famous ones--

Unfortunately I don'y have any pictures since I didn't bring my camera.
After the wall was constructed a few kids spoke in German, and then two of our German teachers spoke.  And by German teachers I mean teachers from Germany.  The first one lived in the West and told a strange story.  Maybe I didn't understand perfectly, but he said he was very proud because the Berlin Wall came down without "one drop of blood".  Yeah except for all those people killed?  Anyways, next a lady who lived in the East spoke.  And all that wasted time of doing the stupid graffiti became worth it.  She had an awesome story.

She talked about how her house was given away to soldiers, how they had no food, how they weren't allowed to talk in groups larger than 2 at a time.  She said her and her sister were lucky and got sent to live in an aunt's house in the West after a few years, but her brother wasn't.  He was arrested and put in jail for over a year for trying to escape.  She told me how tanks used to pass in front of her house and they would play hide and seek with them.  She expressed how she doesn't understand why people still believe communism is a good thing.  She says "I lived Communism.  And I prefer democracy."

The kids were then allowed to rip apart the wall.  Everyone ran at the same time and tore everything apart.  All that work for nuttin.  Of course later a teacher comes to tell me one of my 5th graders ran over a 4th grader.  Well duh.  They all ran over there at the same time!  Someone was bound to fall.

But anyways.  Even after wasting 3 hours of class time, I was happy I got to hear this one woman's story.  The rest of it was pointless, but the story made it all worth it!  Sort of...