We headed out to my Tia Lyda´s house, on the southern side of Cali, on Saturday for a breath of fresh air.
Sure, she´s a little high strung too, but since she lives with her two teenage sons, a yellow dog (Quido!!!), and her live in maid, Docia, there is less tension when a stray hair falls off someones head, lol. And I cannot even tell you how unlike my normal everyday life it is to come downstairs in the morning and see coffee waiting for me (and the way I like it, too), hot chocolate for the kids, and arepas... all ready to be thankfully devoured.
Today, Docia even helped me to get lunch stains out of Con´s nicest white Guayabera shirt. I must have looked out of my leauge and lost because the spot was awful. Left to my own devices, I know the shirt would have ended up practically useless, but she made that shirt come out like brand new.
And there´s a sweet pool in this condo complex, and a sauna and play area, too. Lots of sun, too.
In direct, beautiful, timely contrast to this life of (middle class) luxury, the kids and I took a nice long walk today, past this gated condo complex, and the other complexes just like it, past the neighborhood bakery (which we found on our first walk in this area). We found a little playground surrounded by a tall chain link fence and topped with a dollop of barbed wire. There were holes cut in the fence for some reason, and the gates were wide open. A man slept on a bench with a rag on his head.
The kids and I enjoyed the (somewhat broken) merry-go-rounds and swings, but discovered that old fashioned see-saws are all but useless unless you are the EXACT same weight as your playmate. I decided it was time for Cora to do some of her school work in her fun BrainQuest workbook, and right around that time, a woman and her four kids appeared. I let Cora go run around with the kids, but one of those four children spied the workbook.
They ended up surrounding me, asking for translations for things they knew, and testing their English prounounciation on us. The oldest boy (8 yo) lovingly stroked the pages, remarking over and over agian ¨Tan lindo, tan lindo...¨ (how pretty, how pretty).
The boy ended up taking out a piece of paper and copying english words out of the book, to study later. His mother told me she hopes he ends up with a real career, because he´s very interested in school. Their father rode by, as he worked, attempting to sell ice cream from a bicycle (only about 40 american cents for a sundae in a cup), and all the children waved.