I’ve been sitting here in the airport of the City of Culiacán for the last hour and a half. I finished performing for the students of Instituto Senda. It is an odd feeling sitting in this tiny airport listening to the Blues being played over the loudspeakers and hearing everyone speak Spanish.
I really must relate my experience at Senda because it was extra ordinary. This the school held an assembly of all of the students, parents, administrators and staff. Apparently they do this every Monday. The children have been raising money for causes such as Cancer, feeding the hungry and other things. There was a young child there who was on stage saying thank you to the entire school for the support and resources he received to treat a hearing defect.
I was taken onto a stage of an outdoor amphitheater and introduced to the school. It grew silent when I took the microphone. I began addressing the audience in Spanish and you should have seen the smiles explode all across the audience. It felt so good! Parents were nodding their heads in agreement with me and students were cheering. One of the administrators approached me after the address and hugged me and said, “We weren’t expecting you to be able to speak Spanish.” Another small triumph for decisions made in my youth.
I performed for three separate sessions, which went really well. I also visited a several classrooms. My classroom visits ranged in age from children 4 and 5 years of age to those much older, a few rooms of 14 and 15 year olds. My host, Edgar Sandoval was the most magnanimous host I’ve ever had. You can tell he really cares about his students. He treated me with such deference and respect that it made me want to not leave Senda. If I could’ve stayed a few more days then I would have. The school has a fantastic and enthusiastic population of learners.
Last night when I arrived in Culiacán I was a bit wary of how my visit my go, I mean, well… when you arrive at your hotel room and there are women dancing professionally on tables immediately next door to your room… well you get my drift.
Edgar drove me around a little in the city and then was kind enough to drop me off at the airport.
Culiacán has a reputation for being the drug capital of Mexico but I didn’t encounter anything sinister during my brief stay.
John Lee Hooker just started playing his guitar and singing on over the speakers here in the airport. I’m sorry, I’ve got to go. It is sacrilegious to do anything when the Blues Man is pouring out his soul. I’m going to kick back and take in some of Hooker’s wisdom.
I’ll be writing again once I get back to Mexico City. I’ve got another school early tomorrow morning.
I did say I could use a nap didn’t I?