In case you didn’t catch the last blog entry, Rachel and I are taking care of our friend Agustina’s two older children while she’s out of town. Many of the experience are new to these two tribal kids, and Rachel and I are learning about their culture, too. Here are a few highlights from the last few days.
Tuesday 10:00 am: Dario goes to school in the morning, so we are home with Alma while we try to study. Every time a guest comes to the door, she goes and hides in Rachel’s office. Even so, our language helpers are curious about our houseguests and tease us that now we have kids…one for each of us.
Tuesday 1:00 pm: Scrubbed clothes in the backyard with the two kids so they’d have clean outfits to wear for school. Dario was impressed with the size of my underwear and thought it was fun to scrub socks, which I’ve lent to him while he’s here. The kids are used to dirt floors and find our cement floor cold.
Tuesday 3:00 pm: The teacher sent word home that the little boy needed a haircut. I guess when you sign up to babysit, it’s a full commitment. I put the buzzers on and went to work. If you don’t look at the spot over his left ear, he looks great.
Tuesday 7:00 pm: Rachel makes quesadillas for the kids. I offer them a little homemade yoghurt as “cream” and Dario proves he likes it by licking his plate. And then the bowl after I served him more. And then the serving spoon like a giant yoghurt popsicle.
Wednesday 6:50 am: I set my alarm for this hour because that’s when the kids usually wake up. I realize we’ve probably been letting them stay up too late with movies when they’re not up at 7:10, 7:20, or 7:30. I eventually have to pull the covers off and shake. I didn’t know if that’s what moms do here, but the kids rolled over, put the pillows over their heads, and moaned, which apparently is a cultural universal for mornings.
Wednesday 8:30 pm: The honeymoon is over. Rachel and I are busy translating a presentation on high blood pressure and the kids are running around like crazy. They don’t want to bathe, are hungry, and I cop out and put on a movie about monkeys. In bed a little later, Dario starts crying. I ask him what’s wrong and he pulls the covers over his head. This is not a culture of talking about feelings or admiting that you are crying, so I rub his back for a little while and make jokes until I hear him giggle. Lights out for the kids and back to work for Rachel and I.
Thursday 10:00 am: Rachel translates the doctor’s speech on high blood pressure into Nahuatl. The crowd goes from silent to answering back and repeating what she just said. Both are signs of tracking with the speaker. Thanks, God, and good job, Rachel.
Thursday 1:00 pm: We claim some time off. Rachel makes chocolate chip cookies with Alma and I help Dario with his homework. We read, we nap, and then we get back to work.
Thursday 7:00 pm: While playing Uno with the kids Dario says, “Hopefully my mom can come back tomorrow. Maybe if there’s no ride, she’ll walk.” It’s a 60 mile climb uphill, but for his sake, I hope she’s already on the way. Tomorrow will take us to the one week mark of the kids’ stay.