Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blisters, Backpacks, and Baby Traps

Our daily treks around town are an adventure in themselves. Walking everywhere presents special challenges every day...

Our walk from home to school is usually a 20 minute walk at a pretty brisk pace. Hallelujah that Sarah is a morning person and happily faces her daily walk!!! I can't imagine what our mornings would be like if she hated the walk... So anyway, we don our backpacks each morning (weighing in at about 15-20 lbs a piece) and start our day. We are sure to speak to every neighborhood dog as we pass - Sarah has them all named... "Skipper" is the dog with the hurt leg, "Stinky Dog" has obvious reasons for his name, "Baby" is the rat terrier next door, "Happy Dog with Crazy Teeth", etc. We walk with determination, keeping a brisk pace in order to get to school before the bell. I can't believe that at this point in our lives we are worried about being tardy to our Phonics Class!!!

The sidewalks are slick - VERY SLICK! Due to the constant rain, nothing ever dries out and algae grows extremely well. Billy has named this "Green Ice" due to the fact that he frequently, yet unintentionally, does an olympic figure skating performance for us while walking on the sidewalk. He hasn't fallen YET. We're waiting for the fateful day...

The sidewalks are in terrible condition. They have lots of cracks and places where they are uneven, if there is a sidewalk at all. The roads are not much better. If the cracks and bumps aren't enough, there are "Baby Traps" everywhere... places where manholes, utility holes, storm drains etc. are totally uncovered and open to the world. An adult could easily break an ankle or a leg if you weren't careful and fell in. A child would completely disappear!!! Someone told us the other day about a man that fell into a hole and broke both legs! Luckily, we haven't made this mistake yet. Sarah trips often on the broken sidewalks, though. Yesterday she arrived at school with scraped up hands and legs from a spill she took on the way.

Today, I walked so much (lots of grocery shopping and things that we had to do downtown) that I have a giant blister on the BOTTOM of my foot. How on earth do you get a blister under your foot?! Somehow I have managed... Miles fought blisters on his heels for the first week or two. Guess this is another example of just how "soft" Americans are! We aren't used to all of this walking and staying on our feet!

Little victories... While we were downtown today, I had to ask directions to several different places (of course, they were all on opposite ends of the downtown area!). I was so excited to be able to ask for directions in Spanish and understand everything that was said to me and find the places!!! And when I asked for directions today, the other person didn't laugh at my poor pronunciation or terrible grammar and vocabulary. Woo Hoo!!! Four weeks ago, we came downtown and couldn't find anything, couldn't ask where anything was, and had no idea what we were doing. We paid big bucks for a taxi because we didn't know how to take the bus or how to get home... WOW! We have really come a long way in one month! That is very exciting! Billy was able to pay the water bill today, in Spanish, and buy fish at the pescaderia. We ARE getting somewhere! Thank Heaven for small victories!

1 comment:

randi said...

Que bueno! Felicitaciones! :o) Comprendes ? ;)

I miss you all !!