Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the summer time...

Boo Creepy Foot Doctors, Hooray Blog!

Greetings, greetings, lovely friends.

I come to you live from Punta Gorda on a sunny and bloody hot Wednesday. Luckily I’ve been doing as much physical labor as I could today to keep cool.

1. School’s out for summer!!!!
Last week we had three and a half days of classes, which were mostly a waste of everyone’s time. No final exams, since they had all finished, so not much motivation to show up. Teachers sent students to the library with boxes of their books. The library is apparently the spot to store books for the summer. Kind of lame, as now all my tables have been commandeered by boxes, but I’ll survive.

Is that a Lawyer Milloy jersey I see? Yes it is.

On Thursday afternoon we had our Standard six (8th grade) graduation. It was very nice and the students were quite well behaved. For the first time, I watched the valedictorian speech delivered via video. Why, you may ask? Well, the girl who won is now living in the US with the rest of her family after they moved a few weeks ago. No fun to miss your own graduation.


Walking up two by two to the stage.

2. On Saturday, one of the teachers at my school had a party out in one of the villages. While the ride was quite long, the destination was worth it. Lots of tasty Mayan food, games of pool with small children, and nice Guatemalan drinks (the border is only about 8 miles from the village).


Village church.

Cooking up some rice.

3. I moved my bedroom. Exciting, I know. Now it looks like this:

New bedroom!

4. More painting was done by Lee and I:

The work of Lee.

The work of me.

5. The word of the day on Tuesday was “catawampus”: askew or awry.
6. I finally finished the book I have been writing. It’s about 200 pages, mostly of subpar writing and plot, but we’ll see how it looks after editing.

That’s about it, but I’ll leave you with a short story.

Friday. The first day of summer vacation. I woke up with great plans and aspirations of all I could do now that school was out. In the morning there was a boring teacher’s meeting, but it had wonderful food at the close, so that was fine, it’s vacation. At home I kicked back and opened a book, allowing the sea breeze to cool the sweat upon my brow. Early afternoon rolled around and I’d accomplished a few dozen pages and a nap. Good work. The time had now come for some popcorn. Right as I filled up a bowl of that wonderfully light and immensely enjoyable food, the children arrived.
With very little to do in this town at most times of the year, the summer is particularly boring for children. To keep themselves occupied, kids often show up without notice at our house, expecting some form of entertainment. This can include playing darts, coloring, finding random things in the closet you’ve never seen before, or sitting and staring at you while you’re talking on the phone. Most of the time, these are fine. But, today was the first day of summer! I’m out of school! I can’t be spending time with the children I just became free of!
I watched them walk in with suspicious eyes and moved my popcorn to between me and the couch. Then I proceeded to look very focused on my book and largely ignore any questions posed to me. This worked until I found a finger nudging gently against my head. “What do you want?!” I exclaim, knocking the approaching annoyance away from my skull. “Nothing,” came the reply. “Nothing huh, well, lucky for you, I saw an awesome pile of nothing right outside.” A quizzical look followed, then the three tramped outside to find this nothing. A quest had begun. I was left with my popcorn and the summer.
From outside I could hear them start to shout. Soon I picked out the words, “see the crab there!” “Look, a blue back!” “Two crabs!” Then the sound of bare feet running over the wood began again and I looked up to find eyes pleading for a bucket. Yes! Of course! A bucket is right here. Catch crabs and be merry.
Sitting back down, with a now cool bowl of popcorn, the book had ceased to work. Words and letters jumbled and danced and eluded being read. I picked up the bowl and ventured outside to check on the crab catching, just to make sure it was up standards, you know. Standing on the veranda I found the mission was going poorly. No crabs had been captured. For a moment I fought it. Comfy couch and book, or a fruitless search for nothing. I picked the latter.
For the next hour, (or was it three?) I crept around our yard, bucket in hand, children in tow, hoping to come across an unsuspecting crustacean. We looked under bridges, poked dead crabs in the drain, and laughed at Baxter being a dog. Yes, we did catch one crab, but that wasn’t the point. It was summer. Sure, summer means relaxation. It means catching up on long forgotten projects and seeing old friends. But it also means that search for nothing that has for so long captured our imagination. Tramping through the woods looking for something weird. Fishing at a pond. Sitting around a fire. What do we accomplish in these endeavors? What do we have to show? A fish. Maybe. What the summer means to me is not what we have produced, but the memories we keep with us long after the trees turn and greens fade away. So go out and find that nothing, and if you don’t find it, I’m sure you’ll discover something on the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment