Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm baaaack...

Let’s begin this update with a story about three boys, freckles and an eraser. On Monday and Wednesday afternoons I work in the second grade classroom of the Escuela here at the CMT. I usually focus on the kids who need a little extra attention, like the three boys I’m about to tell you about (Kevin, Dario and Cesár). The other day the four of us sat together because they are very much behind in their reading skills. At the beginning of our reading session, one boy asked me why I have so many freckles. I told him I didn’t know, and that seemed to end the conversation. We began to read and about five minutes into our first story Cesár leaned into the boy seated next to him and whispered “she has 94 on her arms.”

Soon it was time to practice writing. At one point Dario loaned his eraser to Kevin, who said he needed to keep using it when Dario asked for it back a few moments later. Finally Dario decided that he really needed his eraser, but Kevin insisted that he no longer had it. Where could it have gone? We began to check under the notebooks and under the table when Dario noticed that Kevin had little bits of some white material all around his mouth. Dario asked, “what’s that white stuff on your face?”

Kevin feigned ignorance at first, but when pressed he sheepishly spat the remains of the eraser out of his mouth. Yes, Kevin ate the eraser. Dario was quite upset, even as Kevin suggested he could still use the last unchewed bits recently salvaged from his mouth. The situation was so far out of line with anything I would have ever expected that I began to laugh almost uncontrollably. I felt guilty for the amusement I got out of Dario’s loss, but c’mon, the kid ate the eraser. When can you ever say that you watched a kid eat an eraser and then lie about it? I wish I could show you the little bits of white eraser on Kevin’s face, it was perfect—like when the cat is caught with bird feathers around its mouth yet still acts like nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

So that’s the story of the freckles and the eraser. I’d like to show you some photos (many of them care of Ally Stoltz) from my New Years vacation to the coast…

First Canoa, a small, tranquil town to which I will definitely be returning. Everyone there seemed to know each other and we even ran into a few old friends.

Then Puerto Lopez. The town itself wasn’t as pretty as Canoa, but we took a short boat trip to Isla de la Plata, where blue-footed boobies are abundant and the snorkeling is top-notch.

The hanging heads belong to paper-mache figures that represent the old year (el año viejo). The tradition is to fill the figures with explosives and then light them on fire at midnight, first of January. We rang in the new year on the beach in Montañita with hundreds of people and various bonfires full of exploding año viejos. Montañita photos are below; the first is Ally and I in our hostel room, or closet. Small, smelly and overpriced for how thin the walls are, but totally worth it. Having Ally here was a Christmas miracle that left me feeling a little homesick (read: this is an open invitation for visitors--I'll show you a great time!).

We told these people they wouldn't be in the picture. oops.
The little guy in front (red shirt) is actually an año viejo and not really a little guy.

That's all. If you're reading this I probably love you, so take care!


1 comment:

kt said...

i want to visit!!! but you're leaving in august huh?