News, August 2004

Display by keyword:

News Theme, Summer in Spain and the Weather

Schools are out! Summer has officially begun! On approximately 20th June each year, schools close for the summer. It is now too hot in most areas to hold classes without expensive air conditioning, so schools have traditionally closed for almost 3 months.Indeed, what remains of school in both June and September is mornings only - although nowadays more and more schools extending morning clas year round and the kids don't return after a late lunch.

Parents are now faced with a problem: how can we keep our chldren entertained for almost 3 months until they go back to school. In some cases, bad marks mean they will have to go to some revision classes, but in most life will now take on a completely different pattern - one, for sure, identified with Spain, but not the reality during working months. Kids will get up late, play a little, have lunch at 3 or later, sleep a Siesta and posibly not go back out to play until sunset. At 11 p.m. or later, the evening meal precedes yet another time out playing in the street, park or -increasingly- own garden. Some days the family will go to a swimming pool, other days on a special outing, but most families are tied to home as Dad and often Mum too, are out at work much of the time. Fortunately, Spanish society is still sufficiently family oriented that there are more often than not some grandparents around to help. In some cases, the kids are packed off to the village where the grandparents grew up - or continue to live- for the summer. In other cases, the only remedy is to send the kids to a summer camp for a week or two. Camps of all sorts are organised and the evangelical churches also hold them. Many children come to the Lord through these summer activities.

Meanwhile, it seems the weather just gets hotter day by day. Temperatures in some cities reach almost 50ºC (120ºF), or even top it. Mid-summer storms -often severe- can cool the atmosphere for a few days, but not for long. So survival is a long Siesta and going shopping in a cool airconditioned shopping centre.

Finally, when the parents are able to get their holiday month - usually a complete calendar month, either in July or August, the whole family heads for the seaside, the hills, or the ancestral village (which is often as hot as the city, but with a calmer lifestyle).

More about the weather: