Wednesday, June 6th, 2001 11:41 am (travelsfar 1665)
from Despina's Infamous Green Journal -- Day Five
Day Five -- Morning:
Up @ 5 am. Alberto accompanied me to the campfire, which was really cool. I had no trouble staying awake. I've never met so many people at once in my entire life!
Everyone loves Alberto, and a four-year-old's view on people's personalities is certainly INTERESTING, to say the least! The other Whites I hadn't met yet are a pair of German engineers who teach with Paul Peter over at Mound. Bruno something unpronounceable is the science teacher, and very nice, but his English is atrocious. Of course, he's supposed to be using Spanish, so I guess that doesn't matter. He's lending me a digital camera to use for the alfabeto project, which he thought was marvelous. He says the local library has a colored printer we can hook up to and make copies for 25¢ each. He'll show me how to store up to 100 pictures on the disk before we have to dump off any we don't want. The other German is younger, and very handsome, but I really don't like him much. He speaks impeccable British English, but he's definitely on the make. Horst something even longer than Bruno's last name. When I shook his hand, I felt slimy.
Paul Peter was his usual ornery self, but he does have good insights, if I can just get past the negative attitude he shows toward everything. He brought up the safe storage issue. I have my clothes in the cooler to keep the bugs out of them, and have scheduled an outing to get used refrigerators to clean up and paint and make shelves for. If I can, I'll try to get one for the hovel, too.
I've gone camping a lot, but I wonder if I can stand nearly three months of dirt floor, no doors, no water, and no electricity. When people are camping, they don't have to clean up. Their nose is the sole arbitrator of cleanliness. I can't imagine how grim this place must be in the grip of winter. Glad I won't be here for THAT.
Well, I'll write more at siesta time. I have to go into town before school starts to see about the fridges.
Day Five -- Sunset
Somehow the heat saps me so badly, I can't even pick up my pen to write at siesta time. I stick to the paper in a most irritating manner.
I introduced how to give/get directions to the students, and took my dog and pony show on the road, stealing the thunder from the workers, who were, after all, doing the same repetitive, boring, hot, thankless task over and over. I stood; the students sat cross-legged in the dirt, and as the sun moved, I changed my alignment to keep it behind my back. Nobody objected.
I bummed some stronger sun screen from Jacques this morning. He took pity on me and applied it with a feather light touch. Incredible cool relief followed the path of his fingers across my face and neck. He's just so beside himself to have a live, breathing PATIENT. No White doctor I know of would condescend to do that job. That's a nurse's duty anywhere else in the USA.
I felt so sorry for those workers trying to dig out that super hard clay in the heat. They would get nowhere if it weren't for all the buckets of water they keep dumping down the holes. They're so patient. An American would have blown it off and demanded that a big piece of heavy duty equipment come in to punch them in all in one morning. The holes are nearly deep enough. On Friday, while my students and I are at the library, they plan to set the posts in cement. By Monday, when we again need to use the area, it should be dry enough to be accident proof.
Horst just announced that the workers will be busy elsewhere tomorrow, so I won't have to compete quite so hard for the student's attention.
On a more serious note, I had an installment of THE DREAM again last night:
Dismayed, she gasped, "That's not a school! That's a bare plot!" Eyes twinkling, Cu responded in Náhuatl, with Bruno translating, "Yeah, well, we're running a bit behind schedule." She retorted, "That seems to be epidemic in this part of the country." Bruno's impeccably clipped British English sounded strange in these surroundings. "Actually, celebrating nature, being out in the great out-of-doors, is very appropriate for Indian students. Keeping/getting in touch with their heritage, and all that sort of thing." Incessed, she responded, "That's fine for you to say! You're teaching biology inside a building!" "¿Qué, qué? ¿Hay un problema?" said Cu. "No, no hay problema. Voy a enseñar sin libros, sin escuela, sin materiales, y sin sueldo. No, no hay ningún problema," she said tartly.
I thought now that I was here, actually living through such similar things, that it would change... but it didn't seem to dent it other than to add the names of the various people I've met. They did NOT get more in keeping with their real life personas, however. This is just soooo weird.