November, season without rain, has been really interesting on a couple of fronts, we've experimented with reading sessions out in the plaza now the rain has abated with a much larger group of kids. There's something great about sitting under a tamarind tree, reading a selection of stories, while passing kids who wouldn't otherwise come into the library stop to listen. Activities in the library included the kids teaching us how to make kites for Todos Santos(All Saints and the Day of the Dead when everyone heads to the cemetery to fly kites) and writing postcards to various grandmothers after reading ´Querida Abuela... tu Susi´a book written in card format. And we made a board game, some plasticine porcupines, storybooks about witches... .No
We've also gone on three excursions to celebrate the end of the year and reward our faithful friends. The first was a visit to the fresh water pools in Santa Caterina, about a ten minute walk from the main square, which some of the kids had never been to before. The girls had a tough time getting permission from their parents, but the two that managed swam just as hard as the ten or so boys and went home with wet t-shirts under their sweaters (and apparently avoided detection). The second trip was to Antigua to visit Cooperacion Espanola's exhibition of photos of detainee immigrants trying to cross the border to the States: a bit close to the bone for many of our kids. El Sitio was closed but opened especially for us, the blotchy arty nudes caused a stir amongst the older kids. But the highlight was definitely the playground and even the eighteen year old who'd come with her sister couldn't resist - there's no playground in San Antonio. And finally we spent our last day at the zoo, thanks to Rosita, an epic journey in a minibus full of roadsick kids, who were predictably thrilled by Mocosita, the same elephant Kyle saw as a kid, giraffes, sleepy lions
and fornicating llamas.
Also new is our film afternoon - for the last three Wednesdays the kids have paid one quetzal to see 'El Rey Leon', 'El Camino de los Pinguinos' and 'Jorge, el Curioso'. The last was definitely the most popular and more than twenty kids crammed into our little room and giggled all the way through it. Kyle and I have shut the doors to take a road trip across Guatemala for a month. We'll do a few outdoor sessions in December but won't officially open till January eighth.
Thanks this month are due especially to Maria Ines Bunge, the ower of Teach Store, who sent us a box full of books, games, small toys and resources.... delivered by Ana Callejas and family. And to Penny of Miracles in Action who have bought us a big TV and little DVD player, so that when we reopen we won't have to cram around the laptop to watch movies. Also to Fernando for continuing to volunteer regularly... and as always to Pio Callejas who is steadily moving us towards becoming a legal foundation.