Thursday, March 11, 2010

Valentine’s Day -Day 3

What a gorgeous day! Just because it’s Sunday does not keep anyone away from the school. In fact, today they come dressed in their fanciest outfits – most of them donated by Brenda.

The team is off and running by 8:30am. Neighboring villages have heard that the Americans are here. Some have walked for more than 5 miles to get here. Some hired a scooter but most have arrived by foot.

We do our presentation again for these lovely kids. I find myself already falling in love with them all …. They are just gorgeous souls. My daughters (Ava 5 and Isabella 7) made a card from plain posterboard that said Happy Valentines Day in Spanish. I brought it with me and presented it to the children. They kept admiring how gorgeous my kids were – unaware that they too held so much beauty.

Just before noon I notice a little girl sad, sitting in the hallway on a tiny chair. I find out that she is next in line to have her mouth worked on. I look for her mom but see no one with her so I sit and just hold her. She falls right into my arms – I am guessing, longing for comfort.

After lunch we head back to the school and as promised, decide to paint some outdoor games on the backyard pavement for the kids. Most know how to play hopscotch and duck, duck goose but to be able to have this game painted at the school makes it much more real!

It takes us some time without measuring tools, but we finally get an even circle and straight lines drawn on the cement. We are now ready to paint! In 80+ degrees and blazing sun, Liz, Eileen and I paint, and paint and paint….the kids are so patient! Just sitting silently, watching our every move. Every now and again they smile and you can feel their graciousness in their eyes.

Around 5:00pm we finally finish and warn the children not to touch the games boards until the next day. We are still able to do yoga on the patio – keeping our eyes on the now sky blue patio. The team comes on out to join us, we do a little yoga and then head home to Brenda’s. I’m not a beer drinker but a cold beer and Carmen’s food sounds real good right about now!

The children follow us home and sit outside waiting for us to finish our meal. It’s customary in this village for the adults to eat before the children so we eat inside and then make sure to leave enough for the children. This concept has me a little confused but when in Rome…..

After our meal the electricity goes out so we put our headlamps on. We sit outside covered in DEET to keep us from getting bug bites. I was right, a cold Presidente never tasted so good.

Some of the children, now changed into their “evening outfits” come over for Valentine’s Day. They want to just hang out with us – that’s it. They want to watch us, sit on our laps, talk with us, show us their yoga stunts and how well they dance.

The feeling of pure presence and love is so obvious. As I sit here taking it all in, I am once again reminded of the power in being still. Of noticing what is happening in each moment without judgment, without expectation, without thinking of what is coming next. This is how they live and it’s so beautiful. I want to run and get my camera but I hold off, just to enjoy this moment.

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