She was staring with no shame right into my eyes. When I looked away she would squawk demanding my attention, insist that I stare back. Unblinking, she took in all she could, always winning the contest. Funny how social norms take away the wonder of looking into a stranger’s eyes trying for a peek into the soul. But there she was resting in her father’s arms looking over his shoulder, too young to know or care about such things as social norms. For a moment she let me forget all that, and I took in all I could of her soul, her spirit, which seemed so pure and honest. Beyond her and her father was the Mediterranean Sea with its blue green color and soft scent of salt, so different from the Atlantic. There is a narrow beach cut short by a bulkhead that supports a concrete pavilion that runs the length of the sea. On the weekdays it is light with pedestrians, but on the weekends it’s a river of flesh, some walking, others on bikes, roller blades, skateboards and scooters. Plenty to see and find something to laugh over. Almost like a circus, really.

scotland-and-spain-115When the child and father left, I took my leave as well. I went down to the beach and took off my boots and socks and walked along the breaking surf. Mmm, that water and wet sand felt so good. The sound of the crashing surf and distant laughter up on the pavilion. I still had the taste of olives in my mouth, fitting for the walk. When I got to the street for my hostel I walked up onto the pavilion and sat for a bit taking in what I could of the circus. The sound of Spanish and Catalan taking over the noise of the sea. At first I enjoyed watching the dogs running here and there trying not to miss a thing, sight or smell. The male dogs smelled where another had peed, growling then pissing back. Take that. Then the kids, most using wheels of some kind. The small ones sat and pushed with their legs.

Where I sat there was a winding concrete turn that went down to the beach. A boy of about four saw his opportunity for adventure and aimed his scooter down the hill. His father caught him just before he got up any speed for a taste of true freedom. He was not happy at all about it and wailed away. He kept trying to turn back and make the fun run, but his old man would have none of it. There was a girl of about ten on roller blades giving a go at the hill. She held onto the wall that went around the curve, learning with care. At times she would stop and stare over the wall at a girl of her age who was a true wonder on her roller blades. The girl peered over that wall with envy at those smooth moves. All the families happy to be together. It’s always interesting for me to see the cultural norm of touch. How much more touching than there is in the States. Brother and sister, sister and sister with arms round each other. So many couples holding hands then stopping and openly kissing. When you are greeted here it is with the cheek to cheek and smacking of the lips. Ahh, the differences, they make life.

scotland and spain 103.jpgI made my way back to the hostel. When I walked in I could hear the sound of sizzling from the kitchen, so in I went. The girls were in there speaking Irish. When I entered they talked to me in clear English, but when they talked with each other there was no understanding it.

“You cooking for the group?”

“No, just the two of us.”

“You’re kidding me. That is a lot of food.”

“Hey, we need the protein. We’ve been dancing all day.”

dscn1194There was a group of students staying there that were mostly from the UK but some were from Spain and Germany. They were students of dance and theater attending the UNI. They had been there since September, and it was always interesting for me to hear what they were up to. For some it was their first time away from home. Since September they had gone from that distant group of people from different places and cultures to a close-knit family. So supportive of each other. I made salsa and shared that with the group as more came into the kitchen. Such random conversations, love it.

Some mornings I liked to sit outside this one café enjoying some coffee and Spanish tortilla. There were these ladies who sat at the tables close to the street holding court. Everyone seemed to greet them when they walked by. One man walking by said, “Hola Bonitas,” then blew them kisses. Other men came, one at a time, and sat with them for a bit, exchanging some laughs before heading on their way. What a hoot. There was a park across the street and some old boys were resting their life weary bones in the sun. I wondered what they were thinking about. Looking back on their lives? Or looking forward to the time they have left? For me my time in Spain had come to an end. Be home soon.

Thailand | Water Wars and Culture

I saw her winding up with a bucket that was half her size. There was no way she would reach me. How wrong I was. The water hit me square in the face with such force it knocked my hat off. She had this tornado move where she spun around a few times before letting the water go. I could only laugh as I looked back from my perch in the moving Tuk Tuk and saw her waving in victory at having blessed a farang, foreigner, for SongKran, the Thai New Year. This special event is about paying respect to the elders and having water wars to wash off a year’s worth of stink and bring good luck for the New Year ahead. I was just coming into the small city of Nan, which was off the Penguin trial. I had yet to see any foreigners on my way to The Amazing Guest House. I was happy for this. The city was at war.

025Everywhere you looked people where throwing water and wetting each other. Some stood in front of their homes or businesses, others huddled in the back of trucks loaded with fifty gallon drums full of water. They resupplied their buckets and made battle with other trucks or the folks on the street. The little tornado girl was my first blessing, but there were many more by the time I reached the guest house. I was happily soaked, feeling cool and quite blessed. I walked into The Amazing, which was a lovely homemade building of tropical hardwood, and was warmly greeted by Noong, the owner. She made me feel right at home and was graciousness for the whole four days I was there.

109I was extremely tired from my travels by bus from Laos. Three bus rides over three days, the first being a 13-hour ride through the night for which I had to hold on the entire time to keep from being thrown out of my seat. The roads are rough in northern Laos. I slept hard, finding a new day and a nice garden to enjoy breakfast in. There was only one other couple there—Rita from London and Aaron from Australia. Both were living in Laos for the last year, he in forestry and she in public health. We talked for three hours through that long breakfast. I enjoyed their company for my entire visit in Nan. Rita had lived in Tanzania for four years, one of those on the island of Zanzabar, both places I had been to years ago. We had so much to talk and laugh about. Some really great conversations. We spent the afternoon down by the river where many locals were celebrating SongKran by eating and tubing. It was like we were celebrities, being the only Farangs there. Some of the teenagers wanted their pictures taken with us. We sat by the river and ate local food and drank some beers. So refreshing.

When we went back to the guest house, Noong was waiting to take us to Temple. There we were so welcomed by everybody. It was such a pleasure to be there. The service was brief with the monks doing some chanting. We then went to another building where chairs were put into a big circle for all the elders over seventy-five to sit. We went around the circle pouring water over each of the elders and giving them blessings for the new year. One particular woman was completely soaked. She had such a wonderful smile. I figured her to be one of the favorites. Such a beautiful ceremony.

After dark the three of us walked into town, it did not take long to find some fun. Ahead of us we could see many homes throwing water. “Ready to walk down the gauntlet,” Aaron said with laughter. Yes, please. Every house soaked us with water, then gave us a shot of Thai whiskey. Feeling very blessed, we moved on. We stayed at one house for over two hours, throwing water at the passing trucks, drinking and dancing in the streets. I was wearing sneakers and one of the Thai men had some fun by pointing at everyone else’s feet that had flip-flops and saying, “Thailand, Thailand,” then at my sneakers, “No Thailand.” We laughed and drank more whiskey on that one, dancing into the night.

From there I traveled to Bangkok, feeling good and lucky for the New Year ahead and just a day away from flying to Seattle. It has been many things, this first journey of mine to South East Asia. What I have to say in closing is the best thing we can give another person is a smile from the heart.

Colombia | What a Day

It was one of those mornings when you can just feel something is up. It’s in the air. Clear, still and hot for that early.

I was heading for the bridge, still on the dirt road, when a stallion went charging past me with bulging eyes of fury. Something had spooked him and he was running with all that fury towards the bridge. Not good, a wild horse on the bridge with too many fast moving buses. One teen on a motor bike spotted the commotion, alerted another motor bike going the other way, and then it was like all hands on deck as more motor bikes appeared to divert the wild horse from the bridge. I ran up to the guardrail and spread my arms right as he went charging by making that panicked whinnying noise horses make. It took some time—that crazy stallion was stubborn and determined for the bridge. It made several attempts only to be diverted by the boys on the motes. Finally they got him running with all that spooked fury down a rural dirt road and all went on their way.

From what I can tell, all animals here seem to run free. There are fences, but those are more to mark property lines then to keep any animals in. It’s very random. You never know what combination of animals you will see wondering down the road. Last Saturday night there were three horses standing in one lane of the road just before the bridge. There was a lot of traffic and everyone just drove around them. Hey, it was Saturday night and those horses just wanted to be part of the action. What a crack up. Rabbits running around chasing the chickens. But all with a rhythm that seems to work, that spooked horse not being the norm. What really gets me is when a horse and a couple of cows are just wandering down the road on their merry way and they check you out on the way by. Not lacking for entertainment around here. Love that kind of stuff.

Well, here it was being Saturday again and the hostel was expecting over twenty Colombians coming to use the downstairs apartments. Sounded like fun to me. I had been staying away from the party and focusing on my health by taking advantage of cheap and plentiful fruits and vegetables. The restaurants there were not very good, just a lot of rice, chicken or beef and not much imagination in the way of spices. I had been cooking a lot in the hostel kitchen. But I could feel the mood for a good party coming on. About two that very afternoon a bus pulled up in front of the hostel and Nick went out to greet them.

“It’s all women,” he hollered.

I went out on the balcony to check it out and sure enough, packed right full with women of all ages streaming out of that bus waving and hollering. They’d already been into the Agauirdiente. That is by far the drink of Colombians. It tastes like Sambuca and kerosene. I took a couple of sips weeks before and swore off drinking. Wow, muy peligroso.

“Well, boys we are in for a night of it.”

They all went off for a boat ride on the lake and came back later just dancing off that bus. After a healthy barbeque they cranked up the music and started dancing. Greg, another one of the owners, came up and told me they needed male dancers and to get down there. No brainer on that one; I headed right on down. When I walked in there half of the ladies were wearing crazy wigs.

Oh, yay, they were ready for me. I jumped on into the madness, took a lady by her hand and started right in on dancing. They all hollered with joy. There were two other Colombian men trying to keep the ladies dancing—they welcomed my help. Things progressed along, with some women pouring me shots of Agauirdiente—hey, when in Rome—so much for swearing off the stuff.

At one point in the night the ladies had me in the middle of a circle all clapping and me giving the moves. Then they had me dance with each in turn in the circle. I was hard out of breath after that and had to take a seat. One of the men asked me if a had a wife. “No wife, no girlfriend,” I replied. Well, the ladies erupted on that one, pointing to the one who seemed the most lively of the bunch saying she was solo. Well, I just played up the role chasing her around the room like I was a bull with my head down and all. She ran into the bathroom and they all fell about the place in laughter.

Not long after my princess came out with her hair all fixed up coming up to me batting her eyelashes. All was well but she had on fake buck teeth. I told her how beautiful she looked and irresistible and started the chase again, this time picking her up and putting her on my shoulder and making for the door. Well, that just brought the house down. We were all in tears of laughter. Not a dry eye in the place. The night went on with more foolishness. At some point I was wearing the lampshade. The dam burst that night. I had lived a night with no pretenses, willing to take the risk to be foolish and alive, all giving to the moment.

Bolivia | The Garden

We were sitting around in the garden chopping vegetables and potatoes for the daily lunch. It had been slow at school that week, just how it goes. The kids come only when they wanted to, it was totally voluntary. So that day it was just some of us volunteers, a couple of the bigger boys, two little girls and Ester and Janeti, the cooks. Janeti is the most important person at the school: a big woman with a bigger heart who cooks great meals for little money. She talks non-stop and looks after the bigger boys, tries to keep them on the straight and narrow. Her relationship with Luis is a great example. He is twenty-five and has come up through the school system. He came to the school as a troubled youth years ago, a street fighter. Now he works here doing maintenance and helping in the kitchen. I have seen some funny moments with Janeti chasing him around the garden with a big frying pan. I’ve never seen her connect, but she regularly gets him in the back of the head with her hand.  Luis can be good and bad. He looks after the kids, they look up to him, he is always smacking them around. It is just the way here. Even the grownups show their affection by smacking each other. I still get a kick out of it.

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Lena was sitting in my lap cutting peppers. I was cutting garlic. She was complaining about the garlic. I was going on about how I love it. She said I was crazy. Yes was always my reply. Jan Luis showed up and started giving me shit saying here I was helping my girlfriend, again, Don Janeti. They all laughed. We finished up with the chopping and I went into the shop and got out some tools to fix some of the wooden benches. As usual the chicos showed up and took over the job, taking the tools out of my hands and fixing the bench. More chicos showed off giving advice. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. I just let it go and fixed what went wrong later.

Roberto was one of the commandeers, he was on the hike. It is something to see these kids at school, but it’s something else to get a glimpse of their lives on the outside. I was still shaken from the day of the hike when I was walking with Roberto and Ever in the streets of Sucre and ran into his mother and his brother Andros on the street. They were sitting on the sidewalk selling candy. Andros was curled up next to her like a stray dog. What shook me was her appearance; this woman of thirty-four looked older than sixty with a long scar under her left eye from an auto accident in which she lost two of her eight kids. Her clothes were ragged and she looked haggard. Her kids always look so well dressed. It really shook me, and I can’t really say why. I was told they live just out of town in a one-room house with no electricity or running water. They had to walk ten minutes to a dirty river to bathe. This is how it has been, always the layers of understanding revealing another reality.

I had to eat lunch in a rush. I was supposed to be at the cemetery to help the kids build their wooden ladders. I arrived by cab with my box of tools—it costs fifty cents to go anywhere in the city. A twelve-year-old boy met me and took me by the hand through the cemetery and down some stairs to a shaded spot under big cedar trees. There was a pile of at least twenty-five wooden ladders. Holy shit, where to begin? I took out four hammers and a kilo of nails and began the work. More kids showed up and the circus began. We took ladders apart, salvaged the good parts and rebuilt ladders. The hard part was pulling the nails from the stubborn hardwood. I would be helping some kids when there would be the hand tapping my back wanting help elsewhere. The kids who did not have hammers were using big sticks to take ladders apart. I just kept moving, going where I thought I could help the most. One girl of eight with one of those high tone little girl voices took it upon herself to direct me. Quite the little bossy boots, that one. Two of the hammers broke from pulling nails, and one of the bigger boys made a handle out of a tree branch. The little one made me fix the other one by whittling down one of the broken handles and refitting. These kids were not deterred by any setback. Get ‘er done. When we ran out of nails they took the bent ones and straightened them for reuse. It was really something to watch. These kids were workers. After four hours of this I was exhausted, and only three ladders were left to fix with two girls and a boy remaining. The guards blew the whistle to clear the cemetery for closing. The kids worked on ignoring the guards until the job was done.

Bolivia | Tidbits

The kids call him Chu Chus which in Quechea means “Tits”. Why is beyond us all. The fertile brains of the youth and their inside jokes. It was his twenty-fifth birthday. He stood before his cake and all the kids stood on chairs and tables with great smiles, happy to be involved in the celebration of the birth of this man who had come into their lives and given them comfort. From France but speaking fluent Spanish, he had been with the school for four months with two to go. He coaches the chicos in soccer, helps with the swimming and tutors them with their homework. He’s patient and gentle, and they love him for this. I was outside leaning into one of the open windows with Natalo and Juan Carlos leaning over me, taking it all in. After he blew out the candles they all started clapping and chanting cabesa en postre. He put his face close to the cake and Pablo pushed the back of his head so his face went into the top of the cake. A tradition here in Bolivia. Photos were taken of his face covered in cake with lots of laughs. Then of course thin slices were cut so all could enjoy.

I was standing on the corner of a busy street getting ready to cross when a small hand entered mine. I looked down into the open eyes of Rolando, a four-year-old boy who visits he school daily with his mother for lunch. That simple act completely disarmed me. That social barrier we carry in public was dissolved in seconds with trust this little boy placed in me to bring him across the street. His mother trailed behind us as we crossed. On the other side we all stood facing each other with Rolando still holding my hand. In the other he carried a box of candy, which he was trying to sell by the piece to people in the street. I asked the Senora where they were going, and she pointed in the opposite direction I was heading. I freed my hand from his warm clutch and placed my other on the top of his head and said, “I will see you later.” He looked up into my eyes, making it hard to walk away.

I call him Tiger, because often he comes into the shop after lunch and is a force to reckon with. Whatever we are doing he wants to do. If we are nailing, he grabs the hammer out of the hands of the bigger boys and starts hammering. They try to discipline him in Quechea, but it rarely works. His persistence is something else. I have learned to give him a small hammer and nails and some scrap wood and let him have at it. That boy has some skills. If he bends a nail by a miss hit, he pulls it out, straightens it with the hammer and sends it home. The chicos from the dorm get a big kick out of him. They love to rough him up, wrestling and kick boxing with him. How they laugh enjoying his fierceness in rough play.

When I was sitting on the bench in the shop he asked if he could sit on my lap. Normally they don’t ask, they just make their way there. I wrapped my arms around him and held him tight, knowing that’s what he needed. He melted into me with no resistance. It was an overwhelming experience. At the same time, I felt both empowered by the complete trust and sad for the knowledge of why. Fifty percent of the population in Sucre is below the age of eighteen. The street in the morning and evenings before and after school is a river of Yutes. They come to Sucre from the countryside for the schools. There is no work to speak of here, so their fathers are far off in places like Santa Cruz working the sugar cane fields or in Argentina picking grapes and in some cases in Spain working illegally and sending money home. Or the father has run off starting a new family with another woman. The kids are with their mothers or aunts or grandmothers, and some are alone living in shacks out by the airport. The kids’ need for male comfort is overwhelming at times. All the men at Nanta give what they can but it is very sad. The needs are endless. I could go on about the negatives of the adult world here but I won’t. If there is anything I have learned from these kids it is that regardless of the hardships before you, you greet each day with a smile and look to the sun.

Bolivia | The Union Meeting

I wanted to kick back that Sunday, but I had to get going. I headed over to the cemetery for the union meeting of the children who clean the tombs. People here believe that if the bodies of the dead are above ground the soul is closer to God, and if you hire children and the handicapped to clean the tombs, even better connection to God. Thus they have, for those with the money, rock tombs with glass door openings that hold flowers and remembrances in front of the blocked off coffins. Eight doors high, it looks like a beautiful colored wall. I was going to the meeting to meet the children and pick some days to come and help them rebuild their wooden ladders that are essential in the job of cleaning the wall of graves.

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But first I had to stop by the Café  to support the Fajita Fundraiser dinner for the school. Linda from the Netherlands runs the cafe. She brings in the money that runs the center. The profits from the cafe and donations carry the brunt of it. Linda has been here seven years. Her dedication to the children is amazing.

I walked into the back bar that divided the kitchen. Lina and Roberto, kids from the school, were sitting at the bar cutting up a pineapple for the fruit salad. Natalo was there, as was Lina’s sister, Patrice. The kids were there to help wait on the tables and help in the kitchen. Hey, “All fish under.” I helped by harassing the kids then sat down with them to sample the fajita dinner before the crowds were to arrive. Got to love that Mexican food. I sat across from Roberto and Lina, and their affections towards one another prompted me to ask if they were brother and sister. Lina moved close to Roberto and said, “Yes.” He said, “No.” She said, “Yes,” again. He said, “No,” even louder. Well, Lina gave him a dead leg so hard I felt the vibrations through the floor. Roberto winced in pain then gave a smile my way that said, “See the way she loves me.” Some people started coming in and Lina went over to take their orders. She lounged across the table and looked up at them with those shiny timeless eyes, slowly writing down their order. Not the actions of your everyday waitress.

I had to get going to the meeting. I walked across town, then entered the open streets lined with tiendas selling food and fruit drinks that dead end to the majestic gates of the cemetery. I stood knocking on the locked gate looking at the beautiful cedar trees that lined the walkways of the cemetery. The door to a small church opened and a chico peered out and then came to see what I was about. When I said I was the carpenter he opened the gate and led me into the church.

I was not prepared for so many kids; about sixty of them all peered my way, about eight to twelve years old, girls just outnumbering the boys. Pablo, the president of the union, was up front and announced, “Ahhh, the carpenter is here,” and all the kids gave me an applause. Pablo, about seventeen and his vice president, sixteen, tried to keep order up front. Their helpers of the same age were wandering the rows maintaining discipline by smacking the kids on the head that were smacking the kids next to them. It was quite something to watch in action. Pablo called me to the front and I gave a small talk on why I was there and that I was ready to set up some days to come work with them. After my little talk, one of the boys close to the front was causing so much trouble the keepers of the peace got a hold on him and put him in one of the corners of the church facing the wall. He was not there more than a minute before he made his merry way to the front table, placing himself between the President and V.P. He laid across that table with his arms out before him, surveying his peers and liking the view. Some of the kids up front were pointing at him and looking at Pablo for action, but he ignored it, all too consumed with controlling the circus.

When the question of days was put out, all seemed to speak at once. Pablo tried to hear it all but soon his face turned to confusion raising his hand for control as the crowd got louder. Well, the boy in between the keepers of the meeting started pounding on the table yelling, “Silencio!” It took all I had to keep from busting a gut right there. Well, some silence did come, sort of, and days were picked. Other business was taken up with me still standing up front. One of the kids was sound asleep and the chico of discipline went over to him, took his index finger and thumb, and opened up one of the eyes of the sleeping boy. He peered inside and shook his head—it was hopeless to try to wake him. Well, the madness went on until the end, with the kids rushing and screaming for the door. Those close to me shook my hand or smacked my back on the way by. Without a doubt it was an experience of a lifetime.

Bolivia | The Family

In the fall, you can hear the crickets in the afternoon on sunny days. That slanted light just before twilight, so rich in the trees. The sun hides a welcome chill in the air. I dreamed of the sea, the sound of the surf, and wind playing in the dune grass back home. Air, sweet salt air is what I need. Being here has been like swimming in pudding with a clothespin over my nose. The high altitude and the pollution in the streets in Sucre has taken a toll on my health. Some days are better than others, but it’s a daily struggle for my old strength.

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A new family of kids came to Nanta, three girls and a small boy of five. They were shy at first, all huddled together, not sure of their steps around all the madness of the other children. The girls looked after their brother like their mother would. Dirty faces with grand smiles. Two of the girls sported big pocketbooks for backpacks, one black with fake alligator skin, the other white, both chock full of school supplies and stuff to survive in the streets with. That first day they sat with me at lunch looking at me with wide dark eyes, trying to feel me out. I was struck with the care Patricia took with her brother, moving the bowl of soup close to his place at the table then arranging his shirt so the spills would not dirty it. He sat staring at me while she coaxed him to eat. I asked her age, only six yet so responsible. She said she shines shoes near the central market place, probably only one of the three girls in all of Sucre to shine. That’s a boy’s world here. When I found out she had no shoeshine box I told her she could make one here. “Cuantos?” “Gratis,” the eyes wide and big on that one. “Cuando?” “Mana despues comida.”

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They followed me into the shop that next afternoon with anxious faces. I handed Patricia the pieces of wood and divided the glue and nails amongst the rest to bring out to the table in the garden. After she applied the glue to one of the pieces, I held them together and told her to nail. “Me?” “Yes you, nail!” Her was brother there with his chin resting on the table. The two sisters huddled close waiting the action. The first taps were soft and uncertain, but with each stroke she gained confidence until she sank her first nail. Big cheers from the family. Lou Lou, one of the Bolivian staff of eighteen, was at the sink watching in awe as this young girl invaded the boys’ territory with each swing of the hammer. Her brother and two sisters were there for total support through the whole project, inching closer and closer to me making contact with their small bodies. Their collective breath was so bad it could knock a bear over. Just one of the job hazards at Nanta. The next day her sister built a caja and that broke the dam for the other girls to want to build cajas and money boxes. It was a mad day for me, trying to grant their wishes and keep it all together. The boys watched with territorial suspicion. I was exhausted at the end of the day.

Bolivia | Father’s Day

It was Father’s Day here, and we were celebrating on a Saturday at the school. The kids put on a show for us in the music room. All of the fathers were invited but only one showed up. He sat there on that wooden bench looking shy but dapper with his hat with a pink feather in it. Beth had told the volunteer men many times throughout the week: be there, no falta. The kids had mentioned us all by name and looked to us as fathers. When we finally all gathered and sat down, three of the boys of about eight sang a song about what fathers meant to them. Well, that one brought the old lump to the throat. Then came some of the boys and girls creating a human pyramid, which was really funny knowing the cast of characters involved. Next were the dancing couples. The girls with their braided hair and nice skirts and blouses, que linda. The boys dressed in black pants and white shirts. The dance was a traditional one that I have seen before. They act out some of the male female relations with the boys trying to sneak a kiss on the girls’ cheeks and the girls pushing the boys away. They did a good job of it. For the last act, some of the boys from the dormitory came in dressed like women and started dancing with some of the volunteers, very funny. Then some of the kids presented each of the volunteer males with a Father’s Day card that they had made. Florin presented my card to me and gave me a hug and a kiss on each cheek. Some of the crowd went out in the garden to wait for lunch while a group of the chicos and Marylu played music. A base and snare drum accompanied with reed flutes of various sizes. A lot of the kids were sitting around listening, when in came Linda who grabbed me for a dance. I swung her around for a bit, then we grabbed some of the kids holding hands and dancing in a circle. I kept grabbing more of the girls dancing with them in the middle of the circle. They tried acting shy but they loved it. Leave it to Linda to get the party going. A lot of the kids and volunteers were up and dancing by now in circles and in couples, great fun. I was out of breath and went out in the garden. The one father was there sitting in the sun holding the card his daughter gave to him. He held it like a treasure. I could picture the wall in his kitchen at home with the one picture of his wedding the cross of Jesus and now that Father’s Day card.