Happy Friday!

What a great day! I began it by waking up without an alarm- I love that. For some reason my body has adjusted to the school hours very nicely and I wake up at 7am whether I’ve slept for 3 hours (eek!) or 10. Today wasn’t any different- while I didn’t have to be at school until 9:30 I was up and ready to go at, you guessed it, 7am. Thankfully that was the case because I got to take my time eating breakfast and drinking tea, while unfortunately my host mom was running around like crazy because she had to go to the fields to work and she thought she had the day off, so needless to say she was rather unprepared. At just after 8 I had finished my breakfast and was drinking my second cup of delicious homemade tea (which I actually had a dream about last night??!!) and working on choosing some photos for an awesome project that I am thankful to be part of and can’t wait to share with you on Thursday… when all of a sudden I heard, “CATE!!” coming from outside. Like I’ve said before, it is rare to find a house in the village that has a doorbell. Instead there are doordogs, or if you’re like us and don’t have either, if someone needs the either stand at your gate and yell your name or they walk on in and start opening doors till they find out. When I heard my name I hopped out of bed to go see who it was because it sounded like my partner teacher, but she usually calls me so I was confused. It turns out it wasn’t her, but it was a 2nd grade neighbor girl and you know what she wanted? She wanted to walk to school with m e. I’ve heard of this happening to other volunteers (kids waiting for them at their gate to walk to school) but it’s never happened to me… until today. I think I’m going to start going to school for the first lesson just so I can have my walking buddy. It makes me think of when my mom used to walk my sister and me to school before we got old enough that she trust us (or she got busy enough to where she didn’t want to walk with us). It’s a pretty good feeling. Unfortunately I had to turn her down today because I was still in my pj’s and I still had some things to do at home…

But that wasn’t the only thing that was great in the morning. On the way to school I walked by the house of a little girl that I sometimes give English lessons to… or, rather, we do the “hokey pokey” about 10 times before I realize we’re not going to get any further than that and I go home (that was a bit of an exaggeration… we do actually do lessons until I give in and do the hokey pokey). She has apparently taught her little 2 year old sister to say, “hello” so now every time I walk by her I hear her little strong voice through all of the honking geese, clucking chickens, and the noise of the tractor say, “Hello!” as she raises up her hand. It’s pretty stinking adorable… and so is it when her sister tells her to come up to me and give me a kiss… she gives one of those big wet kisses on the check only after she rubs noses.

It doesn’t stop there!! I had the 2nd and 3rd lesson and then two free hours before the 6th (and final!) lesson, so I went to the shop behind the school to get a coffee and something sweet to munch on. It wasn’t that I was tired or hungry, but I like hanging out there and talking to people that come in and with the people that work there (it’s like being at Henry’s in Lawrence, just without the scene kids, delicious coffee, and college town ambiance… oh, and the bar upstairs. With a balcony. But it does have a bar included, a shop to buy the bare necessities which is really anything you could need on any given day, and a porch). Anyways- back to the story. There wasn’t anyone there at the moment, but a chair in front of the door indicating someone would shortly be back. And they were. With a child in hand. Whenever I see a child it is very hard to resist talking to them or tapping their nose or playing with them. What I’ve seemed to notice is that the child is either going to be shy and run and hide, which is fine, or they are going to play back, which is great. Well this little fetita (girl) was the latter… she wasn’t afraid of me in the slightest and was just a ball of happiness and energy. And very smart! We ended up playing with a balloon and I taught her how to rub it on her head an then stick it to the wall, and we played with a top (the spinning tops) and she quickly learned how to make it spin after watching me. But then I asked her how old she is and she said, “2”. Grandma quickly chimed in and corrected her saying that she was not 2, but 3. Then she’d ask the little girl how old she is again and tell her to say it correctly and she’d tell her grandma 3, and then the grandma would tell her to tell me how old she was and she’d smile and say, “2”. Some things are just engraved into the memories of kids and are hard to get out, I guess. But who really cares because she was adorable nonetheless and never once stopped smiling, even when two balloons popped in her hands.

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