Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Long Rainy Days

Life right now: pretty normal, just everyday life. Ver yo sa', as they say here, or 'for us there is no news.' At least, no bad news. We are doing a few things...

We are teaching “Holiday Classes” to some of the children here on campus. Most are children of other teachers, but some are visiting from the city or the village, staying with Aunty or Uncle until school starts. Our focus is on the three “R's”: Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. There are about ten or twelve students that come regularly, M-W-F from 9 AM until noon. It's like our own little one-room schoolhouse! There are plenty of challenges, but we're happy to be doing something during the long holiday. Our first year we had just arrived, and were taking language lessons and getting our sea legs. The second year, Logan was pregnant with Gabe and our housekeeper was on maternity leave, so we had plenty to do. We're also doing school work with our own children. The mixture of ages and abilities keeps us on our toes.
There hasn't been Sunday Mass on campus for several weeks, so we have taken to going to the cathedral, either for the second Mass (9 AM) or the French Mass (11:00 AM).

A knitting craze has swept up our family! Logan and I are both busy on new projects and/or projects that got suspended for a few months. Helena and James are both learning to knit carefully, avoiding and correcting mistakes. When the little kids nap, we'll all sit in the living room and knit and listen to a book on tape. It is relaxing, fun, and productive!

Mangoes are very cheap in the market right now, but I know that one day I will go there and they will all be gone. They come suddenly in May, and leave just as suddenly right about now.

We are right smack in the middle of the rainy season. It is the time of year when it rains... and rains... and rains. Most afternoons, we'll get rain for a few hours. If you're going out, you have to do it in the morning, or else you just get wet. Sometimes it just rains all day and night. The roads and paths are muddy and slippery, the market is a mess. Our kids are enjoying mucking about wearing their second-hand rain boots. Sometimes our clothes on the line just never get dry.

The natural rhythm of the seasons dictates our daily doings. We don't go out as much, because it is raining. When there is work to be done in the garden, we do it. There aren't too many outdoor events this time of year. The long rainy days are good days to sit inside and get work done, or not, and that's what people do.

All this rain means the ground is leached of nutrients, so we have to add more and more to our garden. The zucchini and other cucurbits are finished, we didn't get nearly as much as we had hoped out of them. They were struck by some sort of moldy fungus-y thing. I guess the variety we planted just wasn't suited to the climate. The melons didn't do well at all. We've been harvesting carrots and green beans and peas and green onions as the kitchen needs them. The garbanzo beans are just about ready for harvest. Our regular beans are harvested and half are threshed and ready to be eaten. Our kale and chard have done well, and we're happy for the greens. We're getting ready to plant another round of legumes in August, to take advantage of the rains until things dry up during what we think of as the Fall.