But the good news is that everything is better. I really love my time in Catilluc. I’m either more able to handle the situation or the gossip has died down. Either way, I am the happiest I’ve been since I came to Catilluc. I feel like I’m starting to develop some great friendships. At the top of the list is my next-door neighbor, Rosa. She’s been such an asset and advocate for me. I have been spending more and more time with her family, so much so that I call her mom, “Mama Casilda.” And now that I’m starting to speak proficiently and making connections in the community, I have begun to figure out who is part of Rosa’s/my extended family, and we jokingly refer to each other as aunt or niece or whatever. It makes me feel like I’m starting to become part of the community.
Of course, I’m moving and so preparations are under way to move into my friend Marly’s house. I’m excited and nervous about the move. I am excited to leave my current situation, as I really have no idea what is going on with my host parents. They seem to be having problems, but it’s not like they would talk to me about it. In fact, the other day when Maximo returned home he went into his room and cried. I only know this because his four year old soon was in the common room and he whispered it to me. And both of my parents are gone. I haven’t seen my host mom since before Christmas. And Maximo tends to be a little passive-aggressive, and in a culture where that is already fairly prevalent, this is a hard thing to handle. I feel like my next family will be much more direct with me about how I’m doing. Yet, I don’t have any furniture and they don’t have a door or glass on their window. So, I’m still waiting until I can move in.
I’ve been opening the CAID everyday, but I do feel like there is other work I would like to do. I feel like I would much rather work with teenagers than the pre-teens and children that tend to show up at the CAID all the time. I’m not sure how to get more teens to come without isolating the youngsters, but I know I’m much happier working with the older group. Plus, I feel like a lot of the work is on hold until school starts again in March. But I have a number of ideas in which to work in the secondary school.
Here’s an update of pictures as well. Take care.
Dancing with the Prof. Antenor at the primary school promotion.
My siblings from training lighting up firecrackers at midnight on Navidad.