Sunday, May 22, 2016

The First Annual Karl Weiss Olympics

Five years ago the Karl Weiss School was in deplorable condition. Roofs had gaping holes, walls were in danger of collapsing and the grounds used for outdoor sports looked like trash dumps. Furniture and classroom furnishings were in the same condition. Rather than attempt to remodel it, school authorities decided to demolish all of the buildings and the outdoor areas. That was quite an undertaking…there were at least eight separate classroom buildings, an auditorium and several office buildings to accommodate the hundreds of kinder, primary and secondary students.. When demolition began on January 17, 2012 many Chiclayanos were skeptical that the school would be rebuilt in a reasonable time frame. Some doubted that, given the magnitude of the project it would be rebuilt at all.  The doubters were proven wrong

On February 2, 2015 Peru’s President Ollanta Humala inaugurated the re-born school. Many Chiclayanos had their first look at the school that day, and all came away impressed. The two-story classroom buildings, administrative offices, kitchen/cafeteria and auditorium as well as furnishings are all first-rate. The showcase piece is probably the gymnasium. It has an Olympic-size pool and basketball courts and space for indoor track and field events.

Today kicked off the first annual Karl Weiss Olympics; a competition between graduating classes to be held over a three month period in many different events. There will be basketball, swimming, volley ball, bike racing and many other events including track and field. Soccer was the event scheduled on this first day of competition. The new field, with its nicely maintained artificial turf has space for six concurrent matches.

Maribel’s class of 1980 purchased new uniforms for the occasion and gave their all on the field. Unfortunately the gods of soccer did not smile on them but the 0 – 6 loss did nothing to dampen their spirits. They had agreed beforehand that if they won they would celebrate with beer and ceviche at a local tavern, but if they lost they would celebrate with beer and ceviche at a local tavern. They kept their agreement.

I don’t know if the class of 1980 will be participating in other events, but they will be back on the soccer field next Sunday, and we’ll be there cheering them on.

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