Then Steve brought Tom out with a bunch of supplies to work on the little bathroom that they are building. I never knew how happy seeing a freshly mounted toilet could make me. It is going to be so awesome to have a bathroom for the kids to use, especially as rainy season is returning. Steve had a lot of work waiting for him back in San Isidro so he took off and Lindsey and I stayed to keep the kids out of the room as Tom worked and to help him with Spanish if he needed it. We were playing and talking with the kids outside when the rain started. Unable to enter the clubhouse - because of saws and drills and other potential agents of gruesome injury - we huddled together under the extended roof of the little shack.
We encouraged the kids to run home, afraid that their Moms might get worried or mad that they had stayed out in the down pour, but none left. A few of the older boys insisted on playing in the rain, climbing up on the back of my car and throwing their skinny little arms out wide to collect raindrops. But, none of them went home and none of their Moms came looking for them. So we sat on the little porch and talked. It was really cool. We usually have such a big group to manage, and activities to get through, so this was the first time I have had an extended period of time to just hang out with any of them. They love to practice the 11 or so English words that they all know, "Halow, Ow ar djew? My naym ees ______. Wat ees djour naym?" And they love to teach us things about where they live. Yesterday, we learned that you can eat the little green clovers that grow in clumpy piles in the mud. Yes, they eat weeds *shudder*. And the weeds taste like lemons. For real. They also taught me a few jokes, mostly word play, which I pretended to understand and helped the kids to pull them on Tom. "Hey Tom, say 'moto'.", which he would he would do, then the kids would chime in with the rest of the joke (something to do with eating boogers in the bathtub.....I think) and they would howl with laughter. Actually we would all laugh, me and the kids and Tom -who was such a good sport about everything.
Then we talked about what it's like to fly in a plane, and whether or not all gringos are millionaires, and Lindsey and I spoke to them in fast paced English every once in a while which they found fascinating. And we took a lot of pictures. They love the camera from both sides, eager to be photographed and even more eager to play photographer. While we did all of this we munched on lip-puckering lemony clover leaves and tried to stay dry. But mostly, we talked about the US. The boys asked about the military (which Costa Rica doesn't have) and the girls asked what the houses are like, and what kind of food we eat, and then we all had a little chat about Steve whom they call "El gigante barbado" (the bearded giant, hahaha). I told them that he only speaks Chinese which they believed a little too easily. And we chatted about my boys, all of whom have come out to the precario with me at one time or another. They are intrigued by gringo life, and by the differences and similarities in our cultures and they have so many questions. Sometimes these chats help to clear up some common (or not-so-common) misconceptions:
"Hey teacher. Do all of the people in the states look like you?"
~"What do you mean?"
"Do they have white skin and blonde hair and eyes like yours?"
~"No, not at all. There is every type of person you can imagine in the states. People with every color of eye and hair and skin -both light and dark."
*looking at each other with expressions of complete shock and disbelief* "REALLY?!?! There are NORMAL people in the states???"
~"Um....yeah. There are normal people there..... not like me...." *heavy sigh*
You can view the pics of our day here: