Friday, June 2, 2017

hammers and fanny packs.

it's difficult to feel pretty here.

well, it's hard for me to feel pretty in the states too, but here it's on a different level. 

i smell like a strange cocktail of heat, bug spray, sunscreen, and days old clothing. my hair is free in its natural state and for most that is a good thing but for me that just means frizz.  top all of it off with my nike sneakers and fanny pack and it takes all i can to not run and blend in with the wall. 

this is where i am supposed to say that this trip has taught me that i am fearfully and wonderfully made and that i am beautiful no matter what instagram says. 

nah fam. i have not learned that at all. 

there are wordly treasures that i can deal without such as: fancy cars, snapchat glasses, designer clothes, an extravagant wedding, extra guacamole. but damn y'all, i just want to feel pretty.

a week into my trip, the homesickness only comes when it is time to go to bed. that's when i long for the comforts of home the most. things like air conditioning, a spider-less bathroom, and water that won't kill you. last night i saw a scorpion chilling on the wall above my bed and we had to google how to kill it. the internet was not helpful in the least and the only advice it gave us was to either pack up and leave or burn the place down. we started googling facts about scorpions to learn more about our nemesis. things like if they were fast, if they can squirt their venom, can they survive without their tail. we decided to stab it with a broom and then hammer it once it was on the ground. after a few practice stabs we succeeded in destroying the thing. 

today i learned that mean girls is almost as universal as beyonc√©. i just assumed being mean wasn't possible here, the village is only three streets, there is only so much drama that can happen before everyone stops talking to each other. 

i was grading papers during recess when minely came in and sat at her desk. it isn't unusual for kids to skip recess because it's 104 degrees here on average so i didn't think anything of it until she burst into tears. she told me that throughout the day she and the other girls were joking with each other by hiding one another's things (a workbook on the slide, a pencil next to the boy she had a crush on, that kind of thing) and everyone was having fun until suddenly they weren't. minely hid yajiara's headband and the spirit of regina george descended upon the playground. the other three ganged up on minely all the while minely couldn't figure out why things had changed so quickly. 

i couldn't answer that because i am still not sure why it happens even in my own life. i have been blindsided by so many friends over the years. there are definitely friendships that i can point to and say, 'yeah, me and my huge mouth ruined that one' but there are others that have gone unsolved. we were friends one day and the next day we weren't. 

i brought the girls together and told them that playing around and joking is fun but once someone gets hurt it needs to stop. the headband was returned, apologies were exchanged, and they were all rushing out the door to enjoy the rest of recess. 

if only everything was that easy to solve.

during their nap time i caught yoely passing a notecard to jeremy. she smiled as she handed me the notecard, she thought she was slick because it was written in spanish. the note was in too much slang for me to figure out on my own, but my google translate app is super cool and helped me out. what i read shocked me. yoely was telling a boy all the reasons why he could never be her boyfriend. the list was mean and even racist. i was stunned. this girl is so cute and sweet, it broke my heart to know that she could say such things. 

as it turns out, the boy didn't even want to be her boyfriend, he liked yoely's friend  genesis. he wrote genesis a love letter and she was about to throw it away when yoely asked to read it. yoely offered to write a letter back to tell him to leave genesis alone. 

hearing that crushed me even more. yoely created drama that wasn't even hers to begin with. how many times have i done that over the years? you'd think i'd cook more considering how much i love stirring the pot. it's hard seeing your flaws in someone else. 

it was even worse when i and the principal had a conference with yoely and her mother. i think the mom was more upset that we wasted her time.  

and that wasn't even the end of my day! we played a game of kickball with the other grades during p.e today and the ball hit minely square in the face and knocked her over. this poor girl couldn't get a break today. the boys kept imitating her reaction throughout the game and i realized the embarrassment of being hit was more painful for her than actually being hit. i told her to laugh. i told her that she couldn't let them see her cry because that's what they wanted. if she laughed along with them it would stop being funny. you can't give your enemy content (like tears, a response, a screenshot of how you blocked them) because that's what they feed on. 

i don't know if that is what you're supposed to say to a ten year old but we both laughed and kept playing the game. 


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