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21 February 2017


It was uncharacteristically quiet on the schoolyard for recess time, less than a handful of kids running around, but I never presume to understand what is normal. I walked over to the corner classroom as usual, and the teacher greeted me.
"Not many students today," she tells me in Spanish. "Maybe because of the rain?"

"Not many students" was an understatement. Four students. Only four students in the entire school on this wet Monday morning. I drove 2 hours to spend just over an hour with four students?
Completely worth it!

As you might imagine, those four students really wanted to be at school. They didn't stay home. And so, in our one-room escuelita with a first, third, fourth and fifth grader, we learned the names of furniture and played pictionary and did a word search and practiced English pronunciation over and over and over. They each gave me a hug when I left and told me, "see you next week." I cheerfully tiptoed through the mud to get back to my car.

Once home, I sat at the table with my peeps and let them school me at Dutch Blitz. Those cut-throats!  They don't even give grace to the newbie who has to go to the bathroom and forgets to count her cards and report her points first. Psheesh. Girls bounce on the trampoline until all but their feet leave my viewfinder window. Chickens scurry at my feet in the afternoon sun.

In the evening I get to take my favorite not-quite-11-year-old-girl to tumbling class. I have to pull up my chair close to the viewing window so I can follow the action. I knew that the girls on the other side were talking about me, too close to the pane. That's ok. I'm past the age of being concerned about what the girls on the other side of the window are saying. I just focus on my gymnast, going through her paces, exclaiming a mostly silent "YES!" when she sticks the landing.

These are the days of back and forth, of small and ordinary things, of seeking after that difficult practice of being all there.

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