|Julianne and Elizabeth|
At 7 a.m. Ingrid arrives, our house helper, who makes this chaos a little less chaotic. With Greetings of “Buenos dias,” a few instructions and an update on the activities of the day, Brent heads up the small hill, leading from the house, with Christopher and Elizabeth in tow, backpacks on, and their “chicken mask” school projects in hand.
Christopher and Elizabeth wave to Hospitalito, knowing that Mommy is somewhere inside and will be at school to pick them up at the end of the day. No time to walk today, as Brent is on OB call and needs to be at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. for morning report. They catch a tuc tuc.
The tuc tuc ride is like some racing car video game as the driver swerves around pot holes, dogs, and puddles that resemble mini lakes this time of year. Christopher and Elizabeth squeal with joy as the tuc tuc is forced into one of these “mini lakes” by an oncoming "chicken bus" headed for the capital. After climbing the hill to the parochial school, Colegio Catolica Padre Apla’s, the kids and Brent have arrived, a little wet and all sleepiness cleared from their heads.
The kids enter their class room with a “Buenos dias, Maestra” and a “Buenos dias, Compañeros” and with a “Buenos dias, Cristobal” and “Buenos dias, Elizabeth” from their teacher and classmates, the children proceed to sit down at their desks. The walls are lined with the alphabet, numbers, and words written in a mix of Spanish, Tz'utujil and English. Brent is reminded of Christopher’s protest during study time at home for their last exams, “It’s not fair we have to study three languages!” Brent leaves the kids with a kiss on their heads and a quick checkout with their teacher, Juanita.