Today began by waking up at 8 ‘o clock– something that happened last perhaps once upon a time. And I didn’t need to Hobart the dishes of 17 people after breakfast and put them away. Nor did I set out lunch for a small crowd. Nor did I make dinner for the multitudes. Did I like eating/cleaning only for myself for a change? Unreservedly, yes. However I readily admit that this morning I had to put on a Spirituality.com webcast while I made lunch (fresh mango with lime, quesadilla with machego cheese and pastrami on a handmade tortilla and a frosty glass of OJ. YUM.) because I was feeling a little lonely with only the sound of crashing waves on the Playa del Muerte (Beach of Death: Last time I was here, I tried to swim in it before I was told that it was much too dangerous) and needed a little company.
This afternoon I biked to the Palapa Society in central Todos Santos (TS) which was about only 15 minutes away. I did not have to fend off any dogs, contrary to Sergio’s advertising of that potential excitement. In fact, I didn’t even see one though my eyes were peeled just in case. I got to the Palapas Society and no sooner than I got off my bike, a little boy asked if he could have it. He couldn’t. After greeting Donna Viglione, a short fireball ex-pat from Virginia, she thrust a work book into my hands and shooed me out back to hurry up and get to teaching while she finished up a lesson with a gaggle of giggly six year olds. I worked first with Denia, a 9 year old working on her present tense: “She has some string”, “He plays with an airplane” and then was promptly abandoned by Serena my mentor, an ex-pat from Chicago, as soon as three fifth and sixth grade boys drifted in. “You can handle it!” she called out the door as she exited.
Miguel, Ricardo and Nefthani weren’t too much to handle though admittedly, it’s quite intimidating when three preteens stare at you intently waiting to see what you’re going to do. But I loosened up and so did they and after working on telling time for a while and doing some work in their work books we played Uno, much to their elation. I think Ricardo sweared a lot throughout the game because Miguel and Nefthani (brothers) kept giggling and looking at me like, “How funny! You have no idea what he’s saying, do you??”
We went over time in class because my three charges wanted to continue Uno but when they left at 6:15, I felt satisfied and proud of myself for surviving my first day of English tutoring with enough grace to carry me into the next two-plus hour session on Monday afternoon. I finally got a chance to speak with Donna once everyone had left and she invited me to coffee sometime to which I delightedly agreed to. There has been so shortage of kindness and generosity on this trip!
I was not attacked by dogs again on my way home (I don’t think I’ll have to worry about them anymore, though Serena told me her husband was just bitten by a dog and is now going in for a series of 5 rabies shots. Fun.) No sooner than I reached my casita, I was informed by a jolly Southern woman, Molly, Bryan’s sister who arrived while I was away, that dinner was right now and that we were going out. Soon, we were all off to dinner and eventually settled on Landi’s, a beautiful restaurant in a courtyard in a historic hotel (there were bullet holes in the muraled foyer at the entrance which I thought were pretty cool. Scars from bygone days) We had a lively dinner, filled with raucous Southern twanged laughter:
Molly: “My sister was a virgin 22 times!”
Bryan: “Molly! He’s 18! He’s a nice boy, so we better send him home that way.”
Molly: “Excuse me. 23 times. Is that better?”
Me: *dying of laughter*
We were the only party in the courtyard, or else we would have been an ear full for some other unsuspecting diners.
Dinner was sumptuous; a wholly Mexican affair. Fresh jamaica juice, sopes, flautas, shrimp in chipotle cream sauce, chile rellenos, pollo con chipotle, and flan and mango souffle for dessert. Again, I was not allowed to pay despite my protests. I am increasingly blown away by Bryan and Sergio’s generosity and kindness!
So here I am now: well fed, sleepy and ready for the adventures of tomorrow. I don’t have work tomorrow, so Sergio offered to take Molly and I to the city of La Paz, and hour and a half away, and swim with the adolescent whale shark that’s been hanging about just outside the harbor. How could I say no?
Muchos abrazos a todos y mas adventuras manaña!