Craig, Humberto, and I each had nightmares overnight. Ironically, none of the kids had bad dreams. No more scary movies before bedtime for us adults, I guess! We woke up at around 8 o’clock, but couldn’t hear any activity from the house, so we stayed in bed for a while.
When we heard people awake, we headed to the main house. Paulina made pancakes for breakfast, and we played with the kids. Humberto told us that he and Paulina had thought we might have been sick since we stayed in our room for a while this morning, and they wondered if buying street food last night had been a bad idea. We were happy to report that that was not the case. The girls chased one another around the house and collapsed into a pile on their parents' bed.
Today was another day where we had no set plans, and everyone just hung around the house in turns playing, resting, and doing chores. Paulina insisted on cleaning our room while we entertained the kids. Vanesa tried to build a Jenga tower out of dominoes. It didn't work very well. Yoselin noticed an egg in the chicken coop. She used a broom handle to reach it and coax it out. We thought for sure it would smash, but she did it delicately enough, and then brought the egg to Abuelita. Then Paulina gave Eddy a bath in the sink and we decided we should take our showers now.
The other neighborhood cousins came to play with the kids and they all sat quietly and played school, with Terri the dog at their feet. It was the most subdued we had seen the kids since we arrived.
Eddy and Paola were both wearing Converse-style high top sneakers today. “Chuckie T’s!” Craig said with approval. “No Chunky T’s,” Paola said, sounding offended.
A neighbor had passed away, and Humberto, Paulina, and Abuela went to pay their respects. We played Jenga with the kids while they were gone. When they returned, Humberto invited Juana and Abuela to stay for lunch. We had spaghetti and mushrooms in a cheese sauce sprinkled with parmesan cheese. It was delicious. We had orange Mirinda soda and Humberto had also brought us some Gatorade. It was nice to get to spend some more time with Juana and Abuelita. We presented them with family photos from last year's trip to the zoo, and they were quite pleased.
After lunch, Yoselin asked us to go for a walk. Yasmin decided to join us as well. Humberto and Aracely were sitting in their neighbor’s tuk-tuk out at the street. We chatted with them and were able to see the neighbor’s funeral procession as they carried the coffin towards the church. Rocio and Vanesa were in the office using Humberto’s computer, holding down the fort.
Paola decided she wanted to go for a walk with is as well, and she got money from Humberto so that they could buy snacks along the way. We let the kids decide the route. Paola took the old camera and took a lot of photos as we meandered along. After a slight disagreement about which direction to go, Paola successfully convinced the girls to go to Sarita for ice cream. We passed by their school, and Paola and I took pictures of the graffiti on the wall.
When we got to Sarita, Paola took her sisters' orders and bought their treats at the counter, which left no money for her to buy herself anything. We asked if she wanted some ice cream. She shrugged and indicated that there was no money left, so she was prepared to go without. It was a very selfless gesture. She really is a responsible girl, and we’ve been quite impressed with her maturity and maternal instinct. She acts tough, but has a very tender heart. We bought her an ice cream of her choice, and got dulce de leche cones (again!) for Craig and myself.
The girls were playing on the slide in the ice cream parlor, even though technically only Aracely was within the posted age bracket. Yasmin was getting a little out of control and we eventually had to make them sit down to finish their ice cream. We wondered if Yasmin’s behavior had anything to do with the fact that we would be leaving tomorrow. Each of the kids always handles it in their own way, but they know by now that we will always be back, even if it is less often than we would all like.
On the walk home, Yoselin asked for candy. Since this was pir last day with them, we decided to spoil them a little. We stopped at a store and let them pick out some treats. They chose a pack of M & M’s and a pack of Skittles to share. We then walked back home. We played in the hallway in front of the rooms. Yasmin was determined to play Jenga on the foam rubber pad, but soon the physics convinced her of its futility.
We gave them little spirograph things but the pens I had given them in their pocketbooks didn’t fit into the holes. But the girls went into the house to get pencils, and they worked much better. Paulina brought Eddy over and he played with us. He was wearing a cute little polo shirt, looking all preppy and handsome. He and Yasmin played with his little wheeled bugs on the tile floor.
Paola was drinking a partially frozen slush drink she had taken out of the freezer. She offered us a taste and laughingly assured us that it wasn't the bitter lemon and salt slush that we had sampled on our last visit. It turned out to be partially frozen Tiky pineapple soda, which was quite tasty and refreshing.
We went into the house and played Jenga at the dining room table. Paulina gave us each some chocolate covered frozen strawberries on a stick. Eddy nibbled off of mine as he sat on my lap. The family sure was enjoying their new refrigerator/freezer!
We gave the girls gifts we had brought from India: hand woven jingle bell bracelets we had bought from some young girls in Orchha, necklaces that Mukul had thoughtfully bought for them at Ram Deora Shrine, and a book of paper dolls featuring traditional Indian dress. Paola thoughtfully called Rocio and had her come over since we had gifts for her as well. Yasmin wanted to cut out the paper dolls right away, and even suggested photocopying them so that they could each have a set. Paola gave us chicklets and a white silk rose as a little present. When Rocio arrived she had a gift for us from herself, Juana, and Abuelita. It was a very cute little ceramic turtle with a bobbing head. That was so sweet of them!
We got some photos of Craig and myself with all of the kids. Aracely gave us a gift in a box, which turned out to be some Jenga pieces. She cracked herself up. The whole family has a really great sense of humor. We laughed and gave the pieces back. It's cute that the kids always want to give us some kind of surprise gift. We know that they really appreciate the things that we bring for them, and they want to reciprocate.
For supper we had a yummy vegetable soup in a chicken stock. Humberto would be spending the night at the deceased neighbor’s house. The family had gone to another village for the woman’s funeral, and they didn’t want the house to be burglarized while they were gone. Yasmin, Paola, and Rocio decided to keep him company. Soon after dinner We said goodnight to them as they headed next door for the evening. This segued into preliminary goodbyes to everyone, which is always bittersweet. Leaving is always difficult. We love the time we spend with the kids, and they always change quite a bit in between visits. It is amazing how much they have matured in the few short years we have known them.
We went to our room at 10:30. We did some packing and I wrote in the journal. We went to sleep at 11:30.