Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 20 + 21

Tuesday morning I spent with the little kids making carnaval masks and hats. As usual it was a tornado of activity and everyone dove into things before they even knew what the project was. I wanted to bring some of the festival to the littlest members of Hogar, because they hadn't been able to see any of it and I knew they felt left out. The project turned out great - some even made themselves capes out of tissue paper and paraded around in their costumes. I'm sure there is little of it left now, but for a while, they had such a blast. I was genuinely impressed with how great everything looked. The little boys especially enjoyed this one as it gave them the opportunity to look fierce and play fight.

Kyla and I had heard there was to be a dance at 2pm, so we, along with one of the German volunteers, Robin, walked into town. There did end up being somewhat of a dance, but the level of mayhem had escalated a bit too as more people ran out of talc and espuma spray and switched to buckets of dirty water and eggs. I suppose we had it coming to us - 3 gringos surrounded by a well armed crowd. We were standing at the edge of the park when Robin got the first egg to the head. I saw one get smacked over Kyla's head and I took off running and hid behind a truck. Unfortunitely, they came from behind and I had the sickening sensation of raw egg running down the back of my head and into my shirt. As if that weren't enough, we were eventually surrounded, buckets of water were thrown on us and I even had a full liter sized cup of beer poured on my head. Thank God at this time the combi (van) had just showed up and we were literally dodging water balloons and more eggs from behind it. I dove in just as the last bucket of water hit me and I was soaked to the skin - reeking of booze and eggs. Grosssss!! We got back to Hogar where we got a good laughing at and then I headed to my cabana to clean up. All I wanted was a hot bath, but our hot water wand was lent out and there was no electricity anyway. So I scrubbed raw egg out of my hair with freezing cold water. It was probably in the 50's outside. I was so cold! Kyla was much tougher about it than me. The other girls started coming in from town and looking for a hot water wand too, but we all just had to freeze. At least there's camaraderie in misery! I wore nearly all my clothes that evening.

Yesterday we tried to take the primary school kids to the zoo. I had been wanting to take them there, so I rallied the troops (Kyla, Robin and Felix) and talked to the director about driving the big, blue school bus on Wednesday. Felix heard rumors that the zoo was closed for a few days for cleaning, so I tried to get Johanna, the secretary, or one of the directors to call and make sure it was open. This ended up being a bit frustrating, since people kept asking me if I had called, and I kept telling them to call since I speak minimal Spanish. They would say we don't have the number and i would say, look it up online. Everything is online. So, for about 3 days, I wasn't sure if the trip was happening for sure, who would drive, and if the zoo was open, but I kept pressing to make it happen. So yesterday, we loaded on the bus, assured by several different people that the zoo was indeed open and endured an amazingly bumpy 1 1/2 hour bus ride to the Tuxtla zoo. I was feeling sick again, so I think things felt a little harder than they really were. We got to the entrance of the zoo and there was a big sign saying the zoo was closed for cleaning until the 19th. I was so disappointed for the kids! And frustrated with the lack of organization. We had to do something special with our 14 little expectant charges. So I suggested the movies. They seemed really excited by this idea and I spent the next few minuted praying that there would be an age appropriate film playing at the right time.

Felix and I ran into the theater and found that the Wes Anderson film, "Fantasic Mr. Fox", was playing in 5 minutes. We talked to the manager and even got 3 adult tickets for free. We had the whole theater to ourselves. Each kid had a sandwich we had brought from Hogar, and I scurried over to the Sorianna to buy drink boxes and a candy treat for each of them. By this time I'm pretty sure I had a full fledged fever, but I was so happy to see the kids taken care of that I finished passing out my treats and collapsed into a theater chair. I know for many of the little ones this was the first time they had ever been to a movie. I felt so content just watching them enjoy themselves. The film was great too, something I think I would have liked to watch anyway! Full of adventure and humor and wonderfully, creatively done. The kids were really happy and got another sandwich and candy on the way home. I went straight to bed when we got back. I felt a little better later and went to dinner. The kids are so kind to me. I got hugs and well wishes before I headed back to bed.

By the way, I'm writing this the next day and feel a bit better, though I may go to the doctor again anyway. So don't worry!


the father's heart said...

My dear Marci,
You have been doing wonderful things for the children and having quite a time at the festival. Please take time to rest.
Much Love, Mom

Tia Johanna said...

I laughed out loud over your tale of miscommunications and frustrating lack of organization. It takes a long time to give up on gringo ways!

You all rose to the challenge, though, and ended up having a fun treat anyway! Good for you!

Now go get checked out.