Today is Ash Wednesday, which means several things:
1) My (non-Catholic) school held a mass in the basement all morning, and so somewhere between a quarter and a half of my students were missing.
2) This mass exodus caused the remaining students in one of my ESO (secondary) classes to ask "Hey, what religion are you?" And that prompted a twenty minute discussion of how I was raised, and a brief summary of the life of Martin Luther (the second I said his name, they said "King?" Adorable). I very much admire the fact that such a discussion is possible in Spain without really hurting the feelings of anyone, although I am aware it is due to a lack of diversity in religion in the country.
3) Most importantly (and fun!) of all, the last few days all over Spain have been Carnaval, or what Americans know as Mardi Gras. Although I'm rather disappointed with Madrid's (dearth of) festivities compared to Galician entroido (which involved almost city-wide costumes and a week-long dress up competition in my old school), I will take any opportunity that comes my way to get dressed up in a funny outfit.
And so on Monday, knowing that 90% of my preschool girls would be dressed as Elsa or Anna from Frozen, I stuck on a false nose, put sticks in my hair, stuffed scarves down my shirt, and became their friendly summer-loving pal, Olaf the Snowman. The kids seemed pretty impressed. Plus, to Spanish four-year-olds, "Hola Olaf" (words which sound basically identical) is a never-endingly hilarious joke, so that was fortunate. Less awesome was the fact that they, being curious and precocious four-year-olds, started patting my stuffed belly going "There's a baby in there!"
Glad I've worked with children long enough now to be beyond all embarrassment. "Nope!" I chirped, and quickly changed the subject to how adorable each separate Elsa was.
I hope your Mardi Gras involved less invasive questioning on sensitive topics than mine did! Lots of warm hugs to you all.
What do you think? Did I hold a candle to the real Olaf??