We arrived in Yorito 15 days ago. It is beautiful and green. Even the people here are uncommonly gorgeous. There are hilly green mountains in all directions. Dirt roads, roosters, motorcycles, skinny dogs and horses, beans, baleadas, and pepsi. These things are everywhere and there is little else.
After several plane and bus rides, we drove 6 hours squished in the back seat of Ernesto’s truck. “Neto” loves to sing. He made us all sing with him and alone, throwing his fist backwards at us for a microphone. He really let loose to “Let’s Get Physical” and “Red Red Wine” and belted it out to Christian Rock, thumping his chest and pointing up at the sky etc. He had an endless supply of rompecabezas (riddles) and trabalenguas (tongue twisters) jokes, sayings–crude and otherwise.
The day after we arrived in Yorito was the town’s 122nd anniversary. Every year, the town band starts playing at 3am and it plays for most of the night. Sarah warned us, but it was terrifying still. It was spooky music—upbeat and eerie like something out of a scary part of Dumbo. That afternoon, everyone in Yorito was at the soccer field watching a game. Within a few minutes, Asia had at least 15 kids playing pattycake, and Shalini was jumping rope competitively. We were also included in 3 legged, sack and egg on a spoon races.
We have had one week of teaching English and computers for beginners. This year, we are traveling to surrounding communities to teach—Pueblo Viejo, Higuerro Quemado, and Victoria. The communities are higher up in the mountains—each with more fantastic views and less access to resources. On Thursdays, we get a little taste of a home stay, spending the night with families in Victoria, so that we can teach on both Thursday and Friday. The drives are as scenic and bumpy as they get—really, really bumpy and really, really beautiful. Also new—we have a beginner’s English class full of police officers who store their guns and handcuffs at the back of the room when class begins. The outline for class did not change—they, too, were made to yell the alphabet and vowel sounds to practice pronunciation and were taught “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” to learn the parts of the body.
Dinner is a highlight that cannot go unwritten about. Every night, we get baleadas and fresh juice from Doña Francisca. We love Doña Francisca. She is like the town mother and her corner is a night hub. We sit on plastic stools while she makes tortillas over a rudimentary grill. This ritual is essential to our experience here. On Wednesday we will have a baleada eating competition; loser buys. Everyone thinks that Mary will win—including Akhil and Sarah who are competing against her.
Sorry for the late post! We have been kept very busy and flop into bed tired each night. There is still so much to process and cover in this bloguito. Until next time… CARIÑOS! Mary
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