Our school is 50 years old this year.
It’s hard for me to picture what this school would have been like in 1964. That year I was in kindergarten at Merriewood Elementary School in Lafayette, California, where Mrs. Collins taught us “duck, duck, goose” and “duck and cover.” In Ethiopia, Haile Selassie was still emperor. The school was the American Community School then. This neighborhood was out on the edge of town, and there were few automobiles. If you’ve read Cutting for Stone, the main characters Marion and Shiva Stone would have been 10 years old that year (and in case you were wondering, the author Abraham Verghese did not attend ACS/ICS; neither did Marion and Shiva, their being fictional and all).
At any rate, the semicentennial celebrations began yesterday with an all-school photo followed by music, speeches, and an evening wine and hors d’oeuvres thing for parents in the parking lot outside the new cafeteria.
There will be a whole series of anniversary events over the next several months – alumni reunions, a commemorative book, and so on.
For those of us who are here on a very temporary basis (as most international teachers are), it feels a little funny to be celebrating the long history of an institution we just arrived at and also to be involved in making long-range plans for its future. Probably only a handful (if any) of the current teaching staff and administrators will be here to see those plans to fruition. But that’s how it goes. And anyhow, it’s always nice to have something to celebrate.
By the way, ever wonder how they take pictures like this one, credited to ICS alumnus Adam Kidane? My favorite part of yesterday’s event was the little remote-controlled quadcopter with attached camera zooming over the crowd. At $500 it’s an expensive toy, but oh so cool.