I give you three stories.
One Friday in mid-January, things were going as usual at the elementary school where I teach, Joaquin Chiriboga. That is, until recess (recreo). I did what I normally do at the beginning of each recreo: visited the snack lady, who has a permanent posting in the school courtyard where she sells things as delicious as 10 cent choco-bananas, 15 cent bags of chifles (fried plantain chips), 10 cent fruit cups (pineapple or watermelon, or, if you’re feeling crazy, mixed), and 40 cent plates of rice and meat- all of it very freshly prepared. Once I had my fruit cup in hand, I made my way to a bench where the teachers normally sit and enjoy their free time. Kids swarmed around me and asked me questions about my life at home and how to say random words in English (this usually happens), but the teachers were nowhere to be seen. After about five minutes of being the only teacher in the courtyard, I decided to find out what they were doing. I made my way to the office, where a meeting was taking place. They invited me in, and for the next ten minutes, I listened to some boring details about changes in the way the finances would be handled.
Then, things took a turn. Just at about the time recess was supposed to end, one of the teachers said “Well, today is a very special day. It’s the 70th birthday of our coworker Manuelito [again with the ‘ito’ thing]!!” We all clapped and then began singing Happy Birthday. Then, a cake appeared, along with cups of coke. About thirty minutes later, the dancing began. Thirty minutes after that, one of the teachers left school with an empty box and returned with a box full of bottles of beer, and it just went downhill from there. Basically, the students were left unsupervised for 2.5 hours, they had no more classes that day, and the teachers all got buzzed before noon- in the principal’s office (he was partaking in the festivities too!).