The past couple of days have been nothing more than our normal everyday wanderings around town. The beach, the marina, the Dairy Queen. Pretty tame. We were disappointed to find that the marina area continues its decline. A couple more restaurants have been shuttered, grass is growing three feet tall all over the place, and now the grocery store is gone too. Really, having that grocery store right there at the marina was the only thing making life on the boat at that end of town bearable. Hanging out on the boat in the marina area looks pretty unappealing these days. I can’t imagine what condo owners and developers are thinking. Ouch.
Ouest wrapped up her sixth week of school today. She continues to do amazingly well—better than Ali and I ever expected. And she is learning a ton though it is hard for us to always know just what she is learning. Remember, nobody at school speaks English, so conversations between her teacher and I are extremely simple—in fact we sometimes just exchange notes. For example, Ouest was having some trouble in computer class. She couldn’t really explain what was happening that was upsetting her, but it seemed that she felt that nobody was helping her. So I typed up a message in Google Translate and handed it over to the teacher the next day. She isn’t actually the one who teaches the computer class, so she passed it along. And Ouest came home happy about computer class after that. I can ask the teacher if everything is going okay or if there are any problems, but anything in depth requires Google.
So anyway, Ouest is having fun, the kids are all extremely nice, and she’s got her best friend Fatima to goof around with. Her teacher is great and Ouest loves her—she thinks she’s pretty, and nice. We can’t really get a lot of information out of Ouest. Kids seem to have a short-term memory problem.
“What did you guys do in school today?”
“Nothing, you must have done something.”
“I don’t remember.”
“Did you paint? Color? Sing songs? Play a game?”
“I painted a picture. And we sang a song. And we played a game too.”
“How did the song go?”
“Laaa la… me not remember.”
“Was it a fun game? What was it?”
“We all held hands in a circle and then fall down.”
“That’s it? That was the whole game?”
“Me think so.”
That is our conversation pretty much every day. But then at some random point in the day Ouest will blurt out a new Spanish word and catch us off guard.
Ali: “Ouest, did you eat your lunch today.”
Ouest: “Desayuno.” Breakfast.
Ouest: “Desayuno. That’s what me teacher calls it.”
Lunch is actually at 9:20, so I do suppose it should rightly be called desayuno. In this case I was most impressed by how well Ouest pronounced the word. It was perfect. And desayuno is not a word that simply rolls off the tongue. It’s the little things like that that make me happy she’s in school.
This is our friend, the one-winged pelican, who I am convinced has phantom limb syndrome. He is forever preening his missing wing.