Some of you have heard bits of this, but I wanted to put it all together… Yesterday brought an adventure of a new sort… we went to mass at the Zoo! Yes, Mass… Zoo… add in Rain… and some INTENSE mud…and a walk of about 3/4 mile in said mud to get to the entrance to the zoo… and you have the makings of an adventure. The mud was unlike anything I have ever encountered. THICK THICK and STICKY STICKY and, judging by the fetid water of the puddles, filled with things I chose not to think too much about as I schlucked my way. I kept thinking, I have no cuts on my feet, water will rinse it off…I have no cuts on my feet, water will rinse it off… Mass was in one of the theaters you´d use for an animal showing. It was to celebrate women who had completed a course of study in a program sponsored by the church for well-being, child care, basic education, problem resolution, etc. It was a big deal… dancing demonstrations followed… even with a light rain. The walk home was by a different route–this time about two miles around a lake. Much less mud…but many more fire ants. Easier to avoid those than the mud.
I was playing a lot at recess today… working with kids on eye-hand coordination. I paired up kids, each with a ball, throwing and catching one to the other at the same time. The game was to see how many exchanges you could do before one or the other dropped the ball. 16 was the highest. Fun stuff. We have one kid in our group who has some significant learning issues… he will go from more or less cooperative to snapping out with his teeth like he will bite fingers to sitting in a corner all by himself, saying nothing and rocking slightly. The others do not know to leave him be which agitates him further. I can´t help but wonder what will happen to him in an environment of such poverty and deprivation.
Now that we have been here for a while, the area knows us and always calls out to us when we walk by… there is a regular refrain of ¨Maestra! Maestra!¨ Teacher! Teacher! as we make our way to school. Alejandro walked with me this morning and was full of details about sticking himself with a needle during a workshop yesterday afternoon. He´s about ten, maybe eleven. Cute.
I am going to the workshop on painting this afternoon. There are thirty some odd kids in that one…all under 8 years old. Two more hands and one more mouth will be welcome.
Hoping all are well… this brings with it a smile, a hug, and the crow of a rooster…a constant here.