I have been remiss about keeping my blog up… not that there hasn’t been what to write about, just a lack of zest to do so.
So I will give you snippets of the past week or so, and try to fill in the gaps later.
I am teaching English temporarily to a small class of preschoolers, their original teacher having thrown his hands up in defeat in the face of a pack of rowdy 4 ∧ 5 year olds. The class is down to 6 beautiful little brown faces looking up at me, smiling and chattering away and not quite getting that I don’t understand most of what they are saying. We’ll get along. They love to colour, and are finding singing silly English songs to be entertaining.
Having witnessed a master at work while volunteering in grade 1&2 at my childrens school I actually manage to keep the wee wonders under control.
My friend Rosaria had an errand to run at the University a few days ago and there I had the pleasure of having to make my way through a crew of construction workers. There must have been 50 of them working at pouring concrete on a new classroom block. Picture will you an age old system… men mixing the concrete in wheelbarrows, then shovelling it into buckets which were then passed up a line of workers to be poured by hand. Buckets going up and buckets coming down. All while a gaggle of them stood around and directed.
Quite a sight.
But walking through this mass of macho testosterone was a memorable experience. The catcalls, whistles, suggestions and outright offers were Gringa’d up a notch or three. Intimidating yet oddly entertaining. I was soooo glad Rosaria was there.
I was gifted with an invitation to lunch and coffee with Rosaria’s friends and daughter yesterday. We began by heading to a food festival close by but there was no hint of a vegetarian anything, and even though I told them to go ahead and eat they insisted we head elsewhere. We ended up eating at a lovely little restaurant, hidden away on a side street and tucked behind one of those intriguing doorways. Sigh. Really, travel without hooking up with locals is just so “surface”.
I think that I have talked before about the composition of many neighbourhoods being block long tall white walls broken up intermittently by brown street level doorways and high windows. Oh how I love getting a peek inside… you just never know what will be revealed. Yesterday one of those doors opened wide for me and I found myself in a lovely garden surrounding a huge terra cotta coloured Spanish beauty of a home. Wood beams and windows, stone floors, cool, quiet, earthy, and equipped with every modern convenience. Wow. It came with a lovely welcoming family and sitting and having coffee there was nice indeed.
Yesterday also came equipped with a long walk down into the valley below Levanto (a small mountain town), a trip to the market for fruit and veggies (always a bustling, croweded, lively challenge), and the news that my not so baby Amy is now a homeowner.
Wow again. That little birdy has very successfully flown the coop. (Insert proud mama sigh)
Festival is winding down and the kids are getting ready to return to school after their two month summer break. Guests at the hostal have come and gone, many having infused the place with exuberance, chatter, planning and talk of their explorations.
I continue daily with my health and wellness routines, although meditation has been challenging with the sounds of many lives around me. My knee has healed, although it may take a little longer for the small remaining rabies worry to pass.
The rains have been over plentiful, the flooding in the surrounding areas continues, loss of electricity has been common, and yet every now and then the sun is coming out and reminding us all of what a lovely spot this is.
Today I sit in the sun and enjoy.