Written Monday, July 8
Today’s lunch: a perfectly ripe mango, a bowl of fresh pineapple, and pretzels dipped in peanut butter and then studded with chocolate chips. Coffee, too.
Jovita asked for money again. This time she wanted ten days worth of advance pay because her highschool son can’t pay his tuition fees. I said no. She left crying. I felt like crap off and on for the next few days, but then she showed up this morning and acted perfectly fine.
She did, however, have another request: could you please write me a letter of recommendation? I gladly, happily, joyfully wrote one heck of a beautiful letter because I’m all over helping people get better work. She says she’s going to continue with us, but who knows.
Really, who knows, because after Jovita left, another woman named Clara showed up at the door to see if I needed house help. Clara is married to Domingo, the head worker here at the ranch, and she has been working at another house on this property. Clara informed me that she heard Jovita say that today is her last day working for the gringa.
What makes everything all the more confusing is that this woman, Clara, used to be working for another home on this same ranch and then she quit, or got fired or something, and now Jovita is working there (or so say my children and the rest of the world), so are they just swapping places or what?
Do you find this as confusing as I do?
Really, I don’t hardly care about having house help at this point because tomorrow we leave for two weeks of buses, beaches, retreats, and vacations. We go to El Salvador and then Nicaragua and at the end of everything, we rent a truck (independence!) and zip up into the Nicaraguan mountains where we will spend a few days visiting the community where we lived for three years and had our first baby.
We are so excited to get out, explore, visit, and play. What we’re not so excited about is the bus rides, especially the 18-hour return trip. I’m trusting the bus company will play lots of R-rated movies for my children’s viewing pleasure. That’ll help pass the time.
Newsflash: getting visas renewed is a cross between falling off the Cliffs of Insanity and Groundhog Day. We have them now, though, so hallelujah.
I’m reading The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. In the book, there is a horrific famine (redundancy alert!), and now I’m craving corn, the grain they so desperately wanted and needed but couldn’t get. I guess I’m in the right place to crave corn...
Also, the book has raised my standards for teenage awesomeness. I’m tempted to tell my son that he can’t get an iPod, a car, or a girlfriend until he does something amazing like build a windmill.
My older daughter turned twelve on Friday.
New: earrings, huipil, and one pound of bubble gum.
Well, that’s when we celebrated it, anyway. We’ll be at the beach on her real birthday (poor kid), and I didn’t much want to lug her gifts and giant piñata across Central America. Plus, the ice cream cake with double-fake whipped cream (powdered milk with a powdered whipped cream mix) wouldn’t have fared very well.
I’m not taking my computer on the trip.
Headband crown courtesy of my younger daughter.
The thought of not blogging for two-and-a-half weeks makes me semi-panicked. I love to write! It’s how I think! It’s how I process! It’s how I stay mentally (albeit, questionably) stable! I have a couple posts squirreled away—I’ll publish them if/when I get to an internet café.
The camera’s coming, though. Expect some epically long blog posts upon our return.