You might be under house arrest, full-metal closure, like we had in early 2020 for two months. I didn’t touch solid ground from March to May. Or maybe you can finally go out on the town like we can today, but not without a dinosaur mask. Sojourn won’t leave the house without his. I hope you got to see your friends in school this year too, but I know a lot of kids weren’t that lucky. Maybe you didn’t get to have a birthday party in person last year either. COVID sure messed things up. Today though, life is going pretty alright. School, sports and adventures are pretty close to normal. If you need to be locked down, here in Gran Canaria, It’s warm, sunny, the beaches and the schools are open and life goes on. So what is it like to live here in 2021 as a kid while COVID continues?
The Morning Routine
First thing first… I usually wake up between 7 – 8 o’clock. Then breakfast. Mom makes oatmeal or I eat yogurt and fruit. Sojourn only eats Cheerios with strawberries. I don’t understand how he isn’t sick and tired of that. Here in Gran Canaria, most of the schools wear uniforms, public and private. So, the only decisions I have to make is how warm it is going to be. Am I choosing shorts, skirt or pants, tights or no tights, small or big jacket, and of course what mask to wear. I have to wear a mask the whole day. To go to primary school, mom always drives us, but next year in secondary I think I’ll be taking the bus.
A Day At School: Covid Edition
A normal school day starts by getting to school in time for the 8:50 am entry for my group. We used to slide in right before they locked the gate at 9am, but with COVID, we now enter in waves. We line up in separate groups around the different gates at the campus, and then are let in two grades at a time. I enter a different place than my little brother. We go through the normal hygiene routine, alcohol on hands, clean feet.
They don’t mix our classes any more. So outdoor time is spread out. We are basically like a bubble group. Twice this year, someone in another class was exposed to COVID and they sent that class home until it was all clear. I was so glad they didn’t close the whole school. None of the kids at school ever got COVID, but some of their family members did.
My language classes (Spanish, English, Chinese, French) and technological drawing didn’t change much. Everything else morphed. Because of COVID, we don’t get to have swimming class or chorus this year. Which kinda sucks because I LOVE to sing and swim.
In class, all the tables are 2 feet apart. We have to wear masks all day, every day. We can’t walk around the classroom and I partner with the girl who sits next to me on most projects rather than rotating. Doing physical education in masks is tough. Running, soccer, dodgeball is not really my thing, but is way harder this way.
They broke us up into smaller groups than before COVID. I guess the teachers have to teach the same stuff over and over. Half the class has art and the others have drafting and technical class where we build stuff. Robotics and one English Grammar class were also split in half. Then we switch. I really liked making a bridge out of paper that had to be strong enough to hold a big weight. Right now in art we are making a 3d model of a town, road and nature out of cardboard and paper.
While we used to have google classroom before COVID, it wasn’t used all that seriously. Now we track all our work that way, turn in homework online. That part I like. Sojourn and I leave school at 4:20. Each grade has a pick up time about 10 minutes apart. Mom and Sojourn wait for me and play across the street.
After School: Covid Edition
OK, now let’s talk about….. after school activities!!!!! I love my improv theatre class. We grab a snack and then mom drops me off after school from 5-7 o’clock on Tuesday. Last year the class was much bigger, but because of COVID there are only 3 other kids, but it is fun because we can do more things in a class.It takes place in a dance studio and I love it. Masks, and keeping distance is really the only other difference.
My brother and I will start swim classes again now that GoFit is open. It has been a while and I really miss swimming. Sojourn wants to try field hockey, since he saw one of our friend’s daughters play.
I have some friends that have swimming classes, gymnastics and sports teams like basketball or football (soccer). Pretty much all the activities you can find in any large city, we have here..
When I get home I do homework, and then I like to read books and write for my site. We eat dinner around 6:30, which is super early compared to my Spanish friends. Once in a while I call my friends and play among us. Then I get ready for bed (shower, brush my teeth, get in my pjs and read on my kindle) and go to sleep.
Hanging with Friends: Covid Edition
The rules change a lot. One week we can’t go in restaurants and only do takeout. Other weeks, we can sit outside to eat, but not inside. Or they have to close restaurants at 10pm instead of crazy late. Dad says it’s normal in the Canaries to start dinner at 10pm and be there till mid morning, so that kinda sucks for them, but I don’t really notice as that is when I go to bed. There are no parties and no dancing. Sad.
Up until last week, we weren’t allowed to have other families over, but now the rules are a bit more relaxed. We are looking forward to having friends over for a bbq on the roof tomorrow so we can oohhh and aaah over their new baby. I heard that they might change the rules for spring break again and make it families only or a max of 4 people. They closed the pool and stopped team sports in February when the virus got bad, but we’ve been back to normal the last couple of weeks.
Because of all this, we mostly meet people outdoors. A lot of our hiking adventures are a nice way to see other families as we are outdoors and it has less risk. Its why you see so many hiking articles and so few indoor activities. The beach is also great. Dad and I played pickup beach volleyball for the first time and I can’t wait to go again. It’s been a wet winter, but it’s always warm, so no biggie.
My birthday is coming in a couple weeks and I hope we can have a sleepover with my friends. I am really excited but nervous they are going to make new rules during spring break. They always seem to put limits during the holidays. Fingers crossed.