Today I surfed at La Playa del Cerritos just outside of Todos Santos with Katia (sp correction) Sergio’s sister– Isabel and Maria de los Angeles (we call her Angelita because her full name’s a mouth full) Sergio’s mother and grandmother respectively, joined us and sat on the beach. Mario, the man who taught me to surf in December and who owns operates a surf school in the area, had offered me a reduced rate for lessons which is what brought me to the beach today. Twist my arm. Surfing came right back and I stood up on my first warm up glide through the white water, but I soon learned the real trick to surfing is timing the waves right. When I got out to the bigger water I had trouble figuring out the science to catching a wave and thus had many ungainly falls into the water, mostly onto my face. Mario said he’d work on that with me specifically on Thursday. Perhaps he doesn’t want a student of his so obviously spending more time in the water than in the board– bad advertising I suppose.
I returned home after running errands with Sergio which included picking up a cake for Mauricio– Tres Leches– for his birthday celebration in the evening. Then off to home for lunch and a siesta before biking down to La Palapa for a double dose of tutoring from four to six. My first class of four was full of beans– they were making strange noises, throwing blackboard erasers and making a greater din than all the other students at La Palapa combined. With just such a crew on my hands, I had to strategize. I had to give them what they wanted. I had to play Uno. For those of you who don’t know, Uno is a card game. Each player has five cards: there is a deck in the middle of the players and a card drawn and placed face-up next to the deck. There is a number on it and a color; a red 3 for instance. The goal is for each player to empty their hand of cards and when they are down to one card, they must yell, “Uno!” or else they are penalized by drawing another card and are thus put farther away from winning. The bit I throw in is that when they play their card, each kid student must say the color and the number on the card they’re playing. The kids get really, REALLY into it and thus they can yell and scream for a bit and practice some simple English. The beauty of utilizing the tool of Uno is that it gets their beans out so then I can ease into other things and then by the time I get to their workbooks (worksheets that they must fill out and that I check) they are silent as the dead (Well, kinda. Comparatively so, juxtaposed with how they begin at the beginning of class). It works and they have fun. Learning is supposed to be fun and they’ve already been at school that day so why torture them if they still get work accomplished? I used the same technique with the next class and it worked like a charm. Yay Uno. All in all, both my classes where very enjoyable and you can learn so much from kids simply from them being themselves.
None of the dogs I passed on my way home (5) barked or chased me except one that was behind a fence. Sucka’.
When I arrived home Mauricio’s birthday dinner had already commenced and we celebrated by having arrachera (steak prepared in a certain way popular in Mexico– very much like flank steak), fresh guac, beans and tortillas with the infamous and delectable Tres Leches cake for dessert. Mauricio’s fiancé Janine’s parents, Steve and Donna, are visiting from Queens, New York their stay has been the first time they’ve been to Mexico and the first time meeting Mauricio. More wonderful, boistrous conversation (when the Southerners and the New Yorkers get talking, I have to duck to avoid the heavy accents flying back and forth across the table) and then I turned in for the night.
Another beautiful, successful and gratitude filled day. Tomorrow I head into La Palapa early (9:30) to get begin creating some sort of system for displaying the kid’s art work. Hasta mañana!