Today was a day of excess and indulging. I arrived really early at this morning’s school and was greeted by food and a drink called “Avena” (Oatmeal milk drink). The drink is quite refreshing but difficult to explain the taste and texture. Had I realized what an adventure down “Food Avenue” it was going to be I might have not eaten so much so early in the morning.
My first performance caused a bit of a scandal in the school as I asked one of the teachers, Marta, to marry me (in the context of the story of course). The scandal began when Marta returned to her classroom and her students began asking her if she were really going to marry me. I love how she handled it! She let the children know that today was going to be her last day and that she and I would be leaving for Africa immediately after school.
All day long children were running up to me begging me not to take their teacher. I had one little girl of about 8 years old who refused to believe in our little exercise in enchantment. The little girl, and this was so cute, the little girl came to me and challenged me to kiss her teacher, Marta on the lips in front of the whole school it our marriage was real.
How does one escape such a predicament? I explained to the young girl that I had too much respect for Marta to be kissing on her in front of the whole school. I further explained that it would be “highly” inappropriate. I was trying to plant some seeds and food for thought for when she hits the teen years.
Later, with the older children (16-18 years) I was approached by a young woman who demanded to know why I had learned Spanish. Her question seemed to be more of a statement as to “why anyone who didn’t have to learn to speak Spanish would learn.”
I let her know that North America borders a Spanish Speaking country and that below that country are millions upon millions of people who speak the Spanish language and that it only made since to me that learning the language would be beneficial to me. She responded with, “I Love your answer!”
After my first performance, there was food bought in for me. After my third performance, it was lunch time. When I completed the day one of the teachers took me to a local eatery to try a few small traditional dishes. Once we finished there we went to a grocery store where I ate one of the most decadent mixtures ever concocted. It was called a “Salpicon” and it was a mixture of several fruits and ice at the bottom that caught the juices of the fruits. Each level of this drink/dish/slushy offered a new experience.
We made a list of all the things we ate today just to see what it would look like. Here’s the list: Avena, Chontaduro , Cholado, Champus, Aborrajado, Banuelo, Marranitas , Lulada, Pandebono…
The list is not complete because I was too ashamed to say what I ate during lunch. It was experimental. Let’s just say I won’t be eating it again.
The children and young adults of the school were so receptive and engaging that I almost forgot I was at a school. There is a farm on the campus! Yes a farm!
Ok, I know I’m rambling but I want to get some of this stuff out. Blogs don’t have to be perfect right?
Oh! Something I did not want to forget. This is an interesting side note about many schools here in Colombia. Many of the classrooms in the school only have 3 walls. Where there would be a fourth wall is open to nature. Imagine that! Year round your classroom is open to nature. I’ve asked before and I continue to get the same answer, which is, “It does not get cold here.” I was at one school when it began to rain. It was such a beautiful sight standing in 2nd grade classroom while it was raining and the children were just busy doing their work. It was just another typical day for them, rain pouring only a few feet away from their desks.
Oh! There was one incident during one of my performances, it was actually after, where I challenged a young woman (about 16 or 17) to Salsa with me. She did not hesitate! She got out of here chair from the audience, walked up to me and began following my lead. It was awesome!!!!!
I have found that most women here are willing to dance at the drop of a hat, literally. I’m sure there are some who will not but I have not crossed paths with them.
Well I should be giving more details about the performances and the food but I’m tired. I’m going to bed. I’ll let you all know how the weekend goes here in the beautiful, tropical Cali Colombia.