Friday, February 26, 2010

Life's little joys

I got a warm breakfast this morning which was very exciting. Usually I’m up and leave before Cecilia starts breakfast. She does a lot in the morning before she makes breakfast beginning the minutes she wakes up. Most days I grab a tamale or bread on my way to school. That holds me until lunch, which is the main meal of the day. Today I got warm beans and plantains with bread. Delicious!

My first class this morning was third grade. When I arrived a woman and her little girl were there to talk to the teacher and give a little boy something. After a few minutes the little girl waved to me and starting talking to her mom. Then she came over and gave me a hug. She was so sweet!! I knelt down to say hi to her and thank her for the hug. She gave me another hug and a big grin. Little things like that melt my heart. I think it is God’s way of reminding me how important the little things in life are, and that they are not little at all, but great joys that I can draw strength from.

The kids have really started to use the English we’ve been learning. I think they feel more comfortable saying “hello”, “good morning”, and “goodbye” to me when they see me. They ask “how are you”, say “see you later”, and even say “bless you” when someone sneezes. One boy today asked me to “please repeat” what I had said. We’re able to have mini conversations in English which are wonderful. Very impressive. I’m glad they’re retaining what they’re learning. Two different classes today asked me what time it was in English in addition to the date. Their eagerness makes teaching so more enjoyable and rewarding.

While I was walking around the classroom today in my fourth grade class to see how they were doing writing in their notebooks, one little boy said, “I love you” in English. I immediately told him I loved him too. He sat there beaming and continued writing in his notebook. When class was over and I was escorted to my next class another 4th grader followed suit and told me he loved me too. Of course, I responded in kind, and he smiled when he handed me the water bottle he’d been carrying for me.

Back at the house around noon Otilia walked in with a little bundle. I heard chirping coming from the bag and asked her what was inside. She pulled out two tiny parakeets. They were just babies and didn’t have all their feathers yet. Too adorable for words!! I called to Kathy to come see the little birds. Otilia let us hold them. I, of course, had to get some pictures with them. After we finished lunch Otilia mashed up some watermelon in a bowl and fed the babies with a spoon. When the phone rang she answered it and I got to feed the babies. They hungrily slurped down the juice. They are going to be pets at her mom’s house.

My afternoon was spent checking email, going through photos, reading, and napping. I crashed pretty hard sometime around 3:30. I was lying on my bed reading my book when I laid my head down and fell asleep. Kathy and Otilia came back from a meeting to see me out like a light. I was lying face down with my hands under my stomach and my feet hanging off the bed, shoes still on. The door to my room was open and apparently there was some loud discussion going on in the dining room. I heard nothing and actually remembering dreaming. I guess I needed the sleep.

I heard some music coming from outside in the evening around 6pm. Kathy told me that there was a processional every Friday after mass around the town. We went out to catch the end of it. There were a lot of people following a big cross that appeared to be lit up with light sabers. “No, Alisha, those aren’t light sabers,” Kathy told me. Those were lights to help people see the way since it was dark. She told me about the time she went on Good Friday when they were carrying Jesus in the giant casket. I guess the whole thing took about two and a half hours because the casket is really heavy so people move very slowly. We’re planning to go to mass this Friday and the processional afterward. I’m looking forward to it.

Back at the house Kathy saw a ton of ants carrying away bits of fruit that had fallen earlier (probably dropped from a bat). I love watching little ants carry things away to their homes. There were a couple mutant ants with giant heads. I got a few pictures of them. At one point I accidentally breathed hard near the ants and they all scattered. Eventually they went back to the fruit and I decided to call it a night.

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive."
~Eleonora Duse

Baby parakeets!

They only have a few feathers

Holding the babies

Otilia feeding the babies watermelon

I took over the feeding

Saying hi to the baby

Snuggle time

She fits nicely in my hand

"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?" ~Rose F. Kennedy

Birdie kisses!

"Show me a person who cannot bother to do little things and I'll show you a person who cannot be trusted to do big things." ~Lawrence Bell

Giant ant with the little ants

Another giant ant

The ants eating fruit

**NOTE: Yes, I realize there a lot of pictures of me with the birds. By now I'm sure you figured out how much I love animals, all animals. They always make me feel better when I'm sad or angry.


Matt said...

It sounds like you are really connecting with the kids and they are enjoying learning English. The pictures of the birds are too cute. I can't believe how tiny they are!

Anonymous said...

Parakeets? Ants? What a great entry on your blog. Wow - what an experience and I love the kids and how they interact with you. Just a darling blog, Alisha. Kevin