If the regular school day was not enough to remind me that I am outside of the U.S. of A., a field trip will definitely do it. Reminder 1: On the bus, students are told to sit three together in two seats to make space while some of the teachers sit on the floor. We enjoyed a pirated movie on the hour long trip to Guachimontones, the excavation of a pre-Columbian village, including circular pyramids. It is a really fun site to visit! We first went through the mini-museum and then hiked up to the site, doing activities along the way, like playing a ball game in the ancient court used for ceremonial games.
After the morning at the pyramids, we drove ten minutes away to the lovely Hacienda de Carmen, which was a Spanish hacienda built in the 1500s. It reminded me a lot of Thomas Jefferson’s plantations in Virginia and the types of field trips we took when I was in elementary school. The main house was built around a lovely courtyard and there were lots of big open spaces, and the land included orchards, stables, and a tequila distillery.
Reminder 2: Students are divided into groups and given a map of the hacienda for a scavenger hunt. The teachers are told to relax and enjoy the courtyard while they wait for the students to get back. Okay then, I’ll go take some pictures. Reminder 3: Unsupervised students wander around a field of rubble with large machinery looking for their next flag.
The hacienda restaurant provided delicious hamburgers; however, it took about an hour for everyone to be served. The last four boys were flagging the waiter down like they had been stranded on a deserted island. Reminder 4: The teachers enjoy their meal around a table while fifty kids run crazy behind them since they finished their food more than a half hour ago and are going stir crazy.
On the whole it was a great day and I loved the chance to go somewhere new and enjoy time with my sweet students.
Photos are my own.