Monday, December 12, 2005

Illiterate children

The past couple days, well, it FEELS like a week, but has only been a few days, I’m sure, the kids have been positively trailer-bound. The skies are grey and cloudy, the air is cool and they might be hibernating. For a couple days, I dragged them out to the dunes to the south of town and we spent many many hours playing in the dunes and the beach, watching the sunset and drawing in the sand temporarily vacated by tide. Yesterday the boys played a game of Monopoly that lasted until bedtime. I was going a bit stir-crazy after doing Yoga inside as it was too cold outside and by late afternoon was itching for some time OUT. I spent some time sitting on the beach, talking with others here in the camp getting progressively more drunk. It was quite enjoyable, watching the moon peek through high clouds, pangas come in from shrimp boats and the long horizon changing from blue to pink to black as the sun continued it’s journey to the other side of the world.

The other campers were certain that we’ve been keeping the kids inside, “schooling them”. When I explained that we do no formal schooling, George immediately responded, “so you’re just going to let them grow up illiterate????” at which someone else said, “Hell, they can all read; all except the 3 year old.” George thought for a nanosecond and said, “yeah, those kids have a better vocabulary than I do!” “How do they get their history and social studies?” Personally, I think the kids have a better understanding of Mayan history than many US kids and they have learned a LOT about Mexican history just from being on the road. We had started to dabble in First Nations history while in New Mexico and Colorado and Utah but too soon we left for Mexico once again. Everyone was astounded that the kids learned to read On Their Own, without anyone making them do it. If I were able to pursue the conversation, they would probably be flabbergasted that they LIKE to do fractional math, they frequently figure out different ways to convert dollars to pesos, beg me to give them math worksheets and spelling tests and read books on electricity just for the fun of it. I really worry that we don’t do enough but after typing this out, I feel marginally better.

Maus has been released and the kids were so happy to see him zipping here and there in newfound freedom. I just hope he is a Mexican maus and not a Yuma maus and we haven’t single-handedly introduced a blight on the Baja desert. Jamie is feeling better “down there” and we are hopeful that this is simply an infection. I’m going to have another PSA done before we leave here, but I need to do some research to see if taking abx while the PSA is being done would affect the results. We’ve decided to stay at Kiki’s to take advantage of Jesse’s wonderful electrical knowledge while we try to figure out why the van is not charging the trailer batteries (no current on pin 9). We’ll probably leave here Dec 19th and head for the Bay Area.

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