Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - Catching Up With the Family

When we woke up the next morning, Sisa had already left for school. She had just started kindergarten a few weeks before. Yupanqui and Tayanta were playing outside. We had a nice breakfast with the family (scrambled eggs, fried plantains, rice, bread, juice, and coffee) and then played with the kids.

They still had the ride-on car that had been Sisa's. Yupanqui rode on it and Tayanta pushed it from behind. It was a great way for her to practice walking.

Tayanta gently touches our faces as a way to "see" us. Although she isn't walking on her own, when she wants to get someplace fast, she crawls at fast speed. She is very mobile. Maybe crawling is more comfortable because her eyes are closer to the ground and she can see obstacles more clearly. Yupanqui calls her "Mi nena", or "my baby". The family has picked this up as a nickname for her, and they call her "mi nena" almost as much as they call her Tayanta. When we started calling her "mi nena," they got a really big kick out of it.

Sisa showed up and greeted us with big hugs and kisses. It turned out that she had left school and walked home all by herself, just to see us. She was wearing her traditional Otavalan clothes and a green sweater vest. Kids in the village wear modern casual clothes when they are very young, but once they start school they wear traditional clothing. We walked her back to school with Antonio and Yupanqui.

When we arrived, the kids were all on the playground. We figure that Sisa must have escaped during recess. Sisa played with her friends on the swings and some of the schoolchildren approached us and asked our names. We recognized Sisa's friend Natalie and said hello to her. Children were called inside by a bell that sounded eerily like an air raid siren.

Sisa went into her classroom and sat at a table with one of her 10 classmates. She asked him to move so that Yupanqui could sit with her. The teacher passed out some papers for coloring. Yupanqui would be starting nursery school in a month. There was only about half an hour left in the (half) school day, so we left him there with Sisa to get used to the idea of school.

We went back to the house and helped to shuck some beans in preparation for lunch. We were introduced to the large black female pig whom the family had recently bought for consumption at the baptism. She was tied to a stake in the front garden, and spent the day eating or wallowing in the dry dirt.

The fire shed that had previously been located where our house now stood had been relocated to the opposite side of the courtyard. Rosa was cooking chicha (a fermented corn drink) in a huge pot on the fire.

At 4:30, we headed into Cotacachi (took a car to Quiroga and then a cab the rest of the way) to meet with a deacon at the church for pre-sacrament counseling. The church where Sisa's baptism had been performed (St. Francis) was not doing baptisms this upcoming weekend. So we would be going to Iglesia de la Matriz, the church where we had attended an outdoor Palm Sunday Mass in 2012, and in front of which Craig had danced for Inti Raymi in 2011.

We went into a room around the corner from the main church. The deacon spoke in Spanish with the attendees, some of whom were there for baptisms, some for weddings, some for First Communion, and some for Confirmation. Antonio passed in our paperwork. The kids were all really well behaved. Sisa fell asleep on Craig's lap. After the meeting we stopped into a store to buy some decorations for the baptism party. We then took the bus back to Morochos.

For dinner, we had soup, hamburg patties, peas, rice, cucumber and onion salad, and fresh juice.
Our casita

Our casita



Achi Mama and Sisa

Achi Mama and Sisa

Sisa and Yupanqui

Sisa and Yupanqui

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