Farewell to the Quirogas
In September 2018 we were delighted to welcome the Quiroga family to Bramdean. They were returning to the UK from their home in Chile to spend a year on sabbatical. Little did we know when the children joined the school, the effect they would have as a family on so many people. Kind, graceful and eager to immerse themselves fully into the life of the school, they formed strong bonds with staff and parents.
It is fair to say, they will be sorely missed.
Return again one day!
Staff, parents and children were invited by the Quiroga family to a farewell party recently where Mr Quiroga gave the following speech:
Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote:
Travelling is leaving home,
parting with friends
it’s trying to fly;
to fly along new routes and other branches;
it’s trying to change.
Travelling is dressing crazy
it’s saying “I don’t care”
it’s wanting to go back.
To return appreciating the small things
sipping a drink,
it’s wanting to begin.
Travelling is feeling like a poet,
it’s writing a card,
it’s wanting to hug.
Embracing in a doorway
longing for calm
it’s letting to be kissed.
Travelling is to become worldly
it’s to meet other people
it’s to return to the beginning.
It’s to start offering a hand,
learning from the strong,
it’s to feel solitude.
Travelling is leaving home,
it’s dressing crazy
saying everything and nothing in a postcard.
It’s sleeping in another bed,
it’s feeling that time is short,
travelling is to go back.
And so, we, The Quiroga Gonzalez a.k.a. The Froggie Kingdom Family,
decided to jump the puddle looking for a strong family adventure, with our four little froggies
and give them an experience that will surely change the way that they look at the world and themselves; an experience that will make them left their house, their school, their friends, their routines and their anxiety-neutral position behind;
to meet new friends and create the foundations from the game and later to construct from a new language, in a different land, with another climate, colours, time zone, rhythm, light and culture.
Today we look in hindsight after the sun has turned around and we feel a deep happiness watching the road travelled which, with all its difficulties and initial tears, its nuances, laughter, travels, discoveries and overcoming, has resulted in a host of experiences full of light and learning for our Family.
The children had fully settled in, adapted to the language, to their school, to their new friends; no forgetting their previous history, family, friends and teachers in Chile, with whom they hold lovely conversations through letters, drawings or face time.
They have experienced a very different educational system than the one they knew, maybe more traditional and academic and with subjects they hadn’t seen in their lives.
Amelia who came from the half of Kindergarten, had to learn to read and write in a couple of weeks, since everyone did it in form 3. It’s amazing to see her progress from the purple folder with keywords and phonemes and now to see her confident and independent reading and writing, feeling herself, expressing and being that sweet chatterbox!!
Gabriel, for his part, had to incorporate not only the reading of a daily story in English, but also multiplication, division, spellings and even the weekly kitchen. We remember the first days of electronic translator and then, when the batteries ran out, he had to come out of his shell and face adversity bravely. In a few weeks he started to feel more secure and suddenly in the blink of an eye his skills began to emanate and now we can see the happy boy with posh accent he is.
Simon, who had only experienced a few months of a half-day nursery, had to shoulder the whole day in school, the lunch routines and learning to communicate his needs in a lovely English. "He's so cute!" - whisper the older girls melting - while he, flirtatiously, bids farewell “bye-byeee!”
On the other hand, they have learned and enjoyed the rugby, netball, football, swimming, rounders, drama, personalized guitar lessons and cross-country races; they have cheered "hip-hip-hooray" for their rivals and playmates; they have been part of nativity choirs and others, with the classical structure of the teacher on the piano, which we had seen only in movies.
And likewise, with their sensitive, warm and simple essence, they have been part of a loving synergy between their classmates and teachers, who admire their adaptation process and affectionately integrate them into all the dynamics, appreciating their huge effort.
That added to an infinity of invitations to recreational activities, birthdays and friends' houses.
And finally, the youngest of the family, Eloisa, who came to take her first steps in the same lands where she was “created” in 2016, full of having her mother and father at home, for her; singing rhymes and songs in English, making us laugh and vibrate with her impressive feats, wise look and lucid humour.
We have had the invaluable fortune of accompanying them in this process, we have seen them grow and mature in an impressive way; we have witnessed startling moments and touching reflections.
We have had the opportunity to travel around, showing the children that everything is possible. We take with us many adventures and thousands of photos.
We, mum and dad, have been loving us, enjoying and collaborating day by day with the inevitable, each one with his activities and responsibilities. We’ve enjoyed the environment, the predominant green, the lovely river, the beautiful forests and the wet roads, that although it rains or shines, we go out to flatten it.
We have been able to meet local and foreigner people and make good friends, with whom we have shared lots of moments and been family, knocking down our preconceptions about the barrier and the immanent distance.
We feel extremely lucky to have been part of such amazing community, to have met such lovely, close and warm people.
We want to especially thank those who have guided, accompanied and helped our children during this year: Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Cross, Miss Justyna, Miss Kelsall, Mrs. Garton, Mr. Martin, Miss Sharp, Mr. Brown, Mrs. Lowles, Mr. Thompson, Mrs. Twibill, Mrs. Prior and Mr. Trafford.
Thank you so much for the love, the teachings, the patience and dedication.
You will live forever in our children’s hearts, like a soul tattoo.
And of course, thank you very much to Miss Stoneman, Mrs. Karen Jones and Mr. Jason who were always so kind and receptive to our family.
We’ll meet again sooner than later… Pinky promise J
A big hug to each one of you.
Lots of love,
Family Quiroga Gonzalez