I suppose it’s time for a conglomeration of funny moments that have happened recently. So here we go!
I’ll start with a funny story about Mack since he hasn’t made the blog lately. We bought our Christmas tree last week and decorated it with all kinds of odds and ends ornaments leftover from decorating the mission downstairs. One of the ornaments we found were little teddy bears and reindeers that are about 5 inches tall. Mack thinks every ornament on the tree is a toy planted there for him, but he is especially fond of the bears and reindeer. A few days ago, Pabel and Mauricio were working on the roof inside the apartment. I was working on my computer at the time but the distraction was too much, so I went downstairs and left Mack out with them. The next day, Pabel comes to tell us a little secret about the tree. He walks in the door and says that Mack got one of the “muñecas” (dolls) off the tree. Andrew points to one of them hanging up and Pabel says “No, not that one.” Andrew points to another one and Pabel says “No, not that one either” and then points inside the tree. Instead of telling us about the destroyed ornament the day before, Pabel and Mauricio stuffed it inside the tree. Andrew pulled out a teddy bear with his insides coming out and his leg detached. I just think its hilarious that they probably panicked when Mack grabbed it off the tree and took off running around the apartment with it, then hid it inside the tree so we wouldn’t know. Pabel must have had a guilty conscious or something. So now we leave it there so we can all remember it and laugh every time we see it.
It never ceases to amaze me at just how many people here don’t realize that Andrew and I are husband and wife. Mostly children don’t know this which is somewhat understandable. It’s not like we made some big announcement upon our arrival to let them know. But about a month ago, after being here for 3+ months already, Oscar asked me if Andrew and I were brother and sister. Oscar is probably 15 years old and I absolutely adore him. He’s an intelligent kid so I was quite surprised when he didn’t realize that we were married. At least he knows now!
Speaking of Oscar, he is always asking me to practice English which I am happy to do. He is so eager to learn it. The thing about countries outside of the US (or other English speaking countries) is that kids pick up English from a variety of places. American music and movies are the most popular in the world and so rest of the world wants to be a part of it all. So aside from formal training in the classroom, there are random words and phrases that get picked up all over the place. Just about a week ago, Oscar came up to me and said “what up my nigga?” My jaw dropped and my face must have reflected the sense of shock I was experiencing. Oscar took that to mean that he said it wrong. He then corrects himself to “oh wait, is it what up my negro?” No, no, no. NO MAS.
I think most people who have been here know Allison, our 5 year old princessa who loves to be the center of attention. Last week, we hosted a huge meeting here at mission for what’s called the Business Alliance of San Ramon. The group is compromised mostly of American expats who want to make this community a better place. I was coordinating the events for the day and planned for the preschool class to come in and sing a few songs. Laura told them the day before that they were going to be singing in a concert so they were quite excited. As Allison walks around the corner towards the church, she exclaims “Que monton de Gringos!” which translates to “What a mountain (ton) of Gringos!” She never ceases to make me smile. Allison went on to sing a solo of the days of the week and steal the show.
Marco and Stefren are two of my favorites in the preschool class, which is for ages 3-6. They are both 6 years old and absolute characters, for different reasons. Marco is sharp for his age and very well behaved. Stefren is not the brightest crayon in the box and likes to be the class clown. Opposites really do attract. One day while on the playground, they asked if they could play with the boxing headgear. At first I said no, but then I said what the heck, why not. Little boys are technically safer with protective headgear than without… right? So Marco gets his headgear on very quickly while Stefren is still working on his. With no warning whatsoever, Marco head butts Stefren who doesn’t even have his gear on straight and cannot see what’s coming. Stefren goes flying back, arms flailing, into the door he was standing near and almost falls down the steps. Now had he actually fallen, it wouldn’t have been funny. But I about died laughing, tears were streaming down my face because I was laughing so hard.. Luckily, some of the guys on the basketball court saw it too so we were able to enjoy this moment together.
Yohan. I think I could probably stop there for those of us who know Yohan. This kid is a trip, the same one who head butted me once when I got too close to his face in a staring contest two weeks ago. Recently, all of the kids have been making mud pies with dirt and water on the playground. They run to the water fountain, get a mouth full of water, come back to the play area, spit it out on the dirt and start mixing it with their hands. It’s quite disgusting, but perhaps a little innovative. So a few weeks back, Yohan would run get his water and as he was running back towards the play area, a few of the teenage guys would scream at him as he passed to scare him. He must have thought it was so funny because every time, he would spew his water everywhere. Finally, Yohan gets his water and sneaks around the entire perimeter of the playground thinking he’s outsmarted the teenagers and right then, one of them jumps out at him. Again, he spews the water all over the place. Poor little guy didn’t get to make too many mud pies that day.
Speaking of Yohan, he was playing tag just the other day and as soon as he became “it”, he started pelvic thrusting around the playground to tag the next person. Only Yohan.
One day a while back, I was playing ping pong with Kenneth. I am not great a ping pong, but I was playing a 7 year old so I was feeling pretty good about myself. For some reason, I thought I would be so cool and totally slam the serve to him. The poor little guy never saw it coming. All of a sudden, wham! Right to the forehead. He just stood there stunned for a few moments. Now if I tried that shot a million times, I wouldn’t have been able to make it… but of course not trying, I nail the kid. He handled it so well and actually still wanted to play with me.
And lastly, I will leave you with this gem. I was on the playground with kids on the swings earlier today and Andrew is calling my name from afar. As he approaches, he is looking around the area as if he has lost something. When he gets close he asks “have you seen those 3 little kids I am supposed to be watching?” My first thought was that he is the interim director of recreation, a.k.a the playground guy, and all of these kids are the ones he’s supposed to be watching. Nonetheless, as he described to me what was happening and who the kids were, I realized they were in a classroom doing crafts with someone responsible supervising them. What a priceless question that was.
I admit, some of these are truly just funny to the people who witnessed them. But as I said when I started on this blogging adventure, this is Andrew and I recording our life here to look back on year’s from now and laugh, cry, and then laugh some more as we remember this experience!