Jamie held a somewhat defeated look on her face returning from the batey on Friday. The project, one for which she and another volunteer were so excited, was to have the kids make their own sandwiches. A single slice of white bread, cut in half. Smear some butter. Smear some jam. Put them together. Tactile learning, yes?
“It nearly became a riot,” Jamie says, no laughter in her eyes.
Jamie would have to tell you the full story – the breakdown in order, an unauthorized adult insinuating herself into the sandwich preparation process and ultimately circumventing the system of control – but the point is, it was another heartbreaking example of that cliché we all think of when we think of helping “the poor.” You can’t give them nice things; they become animals.
We left our bedroom looking incredible. I mean seriously, I want to stay at our place as a guest. It wasn’t littered with toys and books. The bed skirt finally arrived, which hid the ugly box spring and stuff stored underneath. The freshly washed bedding was perfectly made. It was so hard not to climb in and refuse to leave.
Alas, it was not for us. Our Finnish subleasers arrived on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., after nearly 24 hours of travel. They looked utterly disheveled and exhausted, though adorable 10 month-old Veikko mustered a smile for the crazy American lady pinching his cheeks.
In two weeks we depart our apartment. In three weeks, we will be in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The first few days, we will spend sight-seeing a city we skipped last year. After that, the fun ends. Well, not really.
It started in January. Hating the cold and disappointed about my lack of overseas teaching experience, I presented an idea to Jake. What if we subleased our apartment for awhile and headed someplace less cold, less English-speaking. I wanted to teach, which was what I was supposed to be doing in Spain. I wanted to further my Spanish skills. At the time, I was set on Costa Rica — one more notch on our Central America list and I know someone there teaching.