In San Juan today, I tried to come early, but the express just wasn’t cooperating! Not one single person was there, so I took the local. This one takes longer, but the risk of waiting for the express just wasn’t worth it this morning. It feels a little strange to be back in this community. Instead of waking in the wonderful home that I once occupied, I take the lancha from Pana once again. I take a deep breath when I exit the lancha and let the positive energy of this wonderful little town wash over me.
I walk up the hill to arrive at Carlo’s house. It’s a little before 8:30 and I know that I’ll be late if I don’t walk quickly. I’m going to be later, I realize, when I pass by Gloria’s restaurant. Gloria is one of the women in Chema’s video – she paints and owns a restaurant. She was cleaning her restaurant and just happened to look up at the very same moment that I was walking by. Our eyes met and there was no way I could not stop “Donna, I missed you very much”. She gave me a hug and I told her I was late. “You have time for a juice” she said. I could hardly say no. She was very excited that she has her juice maker now and her restaurant is looking more and more like a cafe each day. Yet the customers are not coming. There really aren’t any right now as it is the rainy season. And now, including Gloria’s there are four cafes on this hill up to town. How or why the people decide what business to start is still an enigma to me. I can’t imagine how these families survive every day. A lot of money comes out of the pocket of the individual families to create these spaces but not enough comes back in to truly make it.
I enjoy my carrot juice with her and we talk a little about the paintings that were sold, her husband, and her children. I also talk to her about my favorite juice bar in San Pedro has very interesting combinations of vegetables and ginger. She asks how much they charge there and we talk about the different prices depending on the ingredients and the size and of course the tienda. I quickly finish the conversation and tell her that I will see her on the way out. We hug and she smiles as we say goodbye.
I make it Carlos’ and enter the house. The first things that I see are cinder blocks piled up in two stacks. I see his mom first, she is talking to another woman and then I see Carlos coming down from the hill above. I ask him about these and he tells me that he and his brother are building a house up the road. Wow! Lots of work and lots of blocks.
Carlos and I talk a little bit and catch up. Aside from last week’s group workshop, we haven’t had a chance to talk. In particular, I wanted to hear about how things were going in San Juan. Carlos said, I don’t know, my students don’t come.
Ahhhh a similar challenge I faced in San Juan. It is something that Carlos and the other leaders haven’t learned yet. That is, they can’t just expect the kids to come they have to be the motivator. You have to inspire them, I tell him. He just smiles. But I am serious, the time that I spend sitting on the floor with the kids in the first group, talking to parents, chasing down kids in their homes to get them to come was more than anyone would expect. It’s one of the things to discuss at the upcoming leadership workshop. Another thing to discuss is the informes. I ask Carlos if he’s done his and he says no, I don’t have the time. Ah yes, my favorite saying! 🙂 None of us seem to have time for things that we don’t like to do or that perhaps we don’t fully understand. I want to address this with all of them at the same time. So right now, all I say is that it is part of the job and when a job has requirements then they have to be done or we might lose that job. He agrees.
While we are talking the two of the three kids left trickle in. Casper and Fisher walk through the door and greet us. The time is a bit wasted in the beginning because Carlos has all the videos on one hard drive. We spend a good deal of time copying files from harddrive to computer and hard drive to hard drive. This, I tell Carlos, is one of the reasons that you need to do the informe. It helps you to be organized for the students so that we make good use of every minute that we are together. Again, he agrees.
As we are doing the transfers, Franklin shows up as well. I thought that he was editing at home so I didn’t expect to see him. The files are still copying so we watch two trailers that Franklin is working on – for his own personal videos. I continue to be impressed with him and his talent.
I ask him to come teach the other some of his tricks as well as the basic functions of Premier. He’s excited about this – we make a plan to meet on Wednesday to talk about what and how he might teach.
The rest of the morning is dedicated to editing (Fisher and Franklin) and translating (Casper). I’m also impressed with Fisher’s interests and abilities. Yep, we are down to just guys in San Juan. Just like the first group, there seems to be a surge of interest in the boys and a hesitation/resistance to do this work in the girls. We’ll have to work on that and change that perception – and investigate why here that interest just isn’t there.