Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to School

Ahhh, it's that time of year for all the little ones to give their moms a little break! I know...we're a little behind here with the school year. Here's a great picture of Diego and all our little munchkins and some of the bigger kids in the background. We had planned to only take the small kids and make two separate trips but ended up with 19 on this trip. Like a worry wart I was worrying that we didn't bring enough hot dogs and all the other stuff, but we had more than enough. It would have been mayhem but with Will, Diego and I it turned out to be a fun time for all of us. And the older kids, some not more than 8 or 9 yrs. old are very responsible for taking care of their younger siblings. They learn that pretty early here. Sometimes I think it's so funny to see a 4 yr. old carrying a two year old. They are strong and hard-working kids. The lake water is cold which is wonderful if the sun is out but the wind was blowing which with the wind chill factor made going in sound insufferable. But there they were wading and laying down in that freezing cold water having a good time. Some of the kids were very, very focused on collecting bottle caps.......all the bottle caps in the country of Guatemala from what I witnessed. Thank goodness for Pepsi and Coca cola, huh?
This year, Mishel, our little 4 yr. old is now entering a Montessori school especially created for 4 yr. olds at the San Lucas parish. This is the town that Will and I volunteer at their hospital. We were all so looking forward to her experience in this new school that we took her there one week before she needed to be there! Guess that's better than forgetting her at the house :) She is pretty intelligent and we couldn't see her attending the public school. The schools are under-funded (no surprise for a poor country) and we just thought we should take advantage of Fr. Greg's invitation to us in the beginning of Opal House, that whatever kids we had here he would educate them. We are very thankful. We hope that she has a running start. The first day I took her she looked so small and lost. But she enjoyed it all. Very grown up now after one week. I like the scene in the movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan called "You've Got Mail". He tells her that he really enjoys autumn and the whole back to school scene. It makes him want to go out and buy a dozen pencils. Like a bouquet I suppose. That's how I feel watching the kids come in so timidly at first but with their new backpacks and supplies, called 'utiles' here. Lots of utiles. We sponsored some of the same children again this year and so I took a few of the older girls to the local town and shopped for their new school stuff. I treated them to a wonderful (and I mean WONDERFUL) apple fritter and some tea. Made by the shop that donated the christmas donuts. Man, I have that ladie's number! And where in the U.S. can you get tea for .25 cents and a huge fritter for .60 cents? That's a bargain. The shopping was as simple as handing our lists, about 6 of them, to the guys across the counter and watching them in one fell swoop gather it all together for us. Yahoo, that's the way it should be! Very simple pleasures, and for the girls this is like taking your girls to the malls. They don't get out to 'shop' very often. And when they get a new backpack or whatever it is something of which they are very grateful. These girls were hanging out in front of their homes to talk to me because they had not started school because they had no supplies, like last year. Just $10 can keep a kid from attending classes.

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