After leaving the primary school on Tuesday I walked the 40minutes back to the village with about 20 students. They circled around me, held my hands, saying my name and telling me stories of their community, families and anything that came to their mind. Getting an “in” with the children seems to be very beneficial; a couple of them wanted me to meet their mothers or grandmothers (there are many single/women-lead households). There was an adorable little second grader who held my hand the entire time only saying a few words. But to my right was a boisterous fifth grader who said “Julie” anytime my attention seemed to stray from her. She was interested in showing me around the village when we returned. She immediately took me to meet her mother, brothers and sisters. She then informed me we could take our walk at 3pm giving me time to eat and bathe. “I’ll be waiting for you by the school, we can go at 3:00, 2:30 or 3:00, and whenever you pass by we’ll go.” I met her at 3 with my two host brothers and her first statement was, “I was startin’ to worry” (So adorable.)-although this surprised me because everyone else I have met has been so lenient on time, hard to believe a fifth grader was giving me a hard time. We took our walk and she showed me areas of the village I didn’t know existed, she had the scoop on everyone and everything in town! We reached a steep hill of bright red dirt which we climbed and found we stood about 200 feet over the water. I could see the tiny houses of the village sporadically placed in the mountainside and the entire community line along the coast. My tour continued and stopped at a cricket field that is rarely used because it is not in very good shape; I was in shock, and excited, to see the first flat piece of land in the village. We walked further down the mountain to the bay where the waves crash against enormous rocks and there was a tiny waterfall leading to a stream draining into the Atlantic. It was breathtaking. I turned back to see the sun streaming through the leaves on the coconut trees*. We began our hike up the river and away from the ocean. My new friend took a swim at the base of the river where the water flowing down had formed a small pool. She used a broken bamboo stick as a flotation; similar to a noodle in the states. I intended on putting my feet in but immediately slid down the rock to completely dip my right leg in the water. We sat there for awhile and then walked for another 45minutes up the river where the three kids worked hard at catching crayfish. One of my “brothers” shoved them in his pocket when he caught it with intentions of cooking them when we returned home. We finally made our way home wet, dirty and tired.
*I have come to learn that coconut trees and palm trees are different; obviously one bears fruit while the other does not, they are similar in look but have a few of their own distinct features.
(I didn't have my camera but will return there and take lots of photos for you all to see!)