Carnaval is pretty crazy here at our school. Three girls (one each from 10th, 11th and 12th grade) run for Carnaval Queen…which is pretty much a week long process.

It all started Tuesday when the candidates were announced during an hour long assembly. Each grade level chooses a theme typically based off a movie. This year is Mulan, Atlantis and Star Wars. All of the members of that grade level have matching t-shirts and come parading in to announce their candidate and basically jump up and down, hysterically chanting in front of the entire school. I wish I had taken pictures Tuesday because it was pretty nuts. The sextos (seniors/6th course) are in ¨trouble¨ for shooting black and green smoke on all of the surrounding students as they entered the assembly area. A neat special effect that left everyone choking and covered in soot/paint.

Wednesday was relatively normal at school…except for all the students not in class because they were busy setting up for Wednesday night’s festivities. For four hours on Wednesday night, the students performed choreographed dances in elaborate costumes on a stage that the Rolling Stones would probably think was overkill. I chaperoned this event last year…this year I went to be early. The late night, and the fact that the kids go out afterward made for some pretty lethargic students on Thursday, not to mention an infirmary full of severe headaches.

Thursday had a lot of students out of class once again to set up for the field day/carnival activities during the last two periods of the day. Once second recess (yes we have two) rolled around, the whole school headed to the soccer field to listen to live student bands, throw water on each other, play the dunk tank, climb the blow up wall, get ¨married¨ or maybe even ¨divorced¨, etc.

Today, the students vote on which candidate they think should be queen. The winner will be announced during a coronation ceremony last period and she will throw a giant party for the entire school tonight. Rumor has it that kids tend to vote on who they think will have the best party and parents will invest upwards of $10,000 to ensure that their daughter’s party is amazing.

Needless to say this week is quite the entertaining spectacle. I actually really enjoy watching the kids get riled up and excited. We don’t really have team or school spirit here like you would at a Stateside school so I see this as vaguely similar. That being said, it would be a lot more fun if I didn’t have to try to teach during this week. Just an example of where the kids’ heads are at:

Today I had a 10th grade class that I needed to take to vote.
The kids: ¨Instead of going straight to voting we need to march through the rest of the school chanting with the other cuartos (4th course aka 10th graders)!¨
Me: ¨No¨
The kids: ¨Pleeeeaaaaaaase!¨
Me: ¨You are basically asking me if you can disrupt every class in this entire school! Of course the answer is no!¨
The kids: ¨But that’s what Carnaval is!¨

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