Those are some words I never thought I'd hear. And how odd to have them spoken by my 12-year-old son, Bo, in a circumstance so totally unmerited. This social experiment I'm undertaking--distancing my boys from the frenetic merry-go-round of Stateside childhood, and bestowing upon them the chance to be free range and independent--seems to have been lost on my kids. Where did I go wrong?
|Bo writhing in pain the street|
So our friend, Tom, whose house shares a common wall with these neighbors, gets his extension ladder and lowers it into the garden. He climbs down, puts Redding over his back (fortunately he's underweight and slightly malnourished--a by-product of loving salads), and lugs him up the ladder fireman-style.
|Lantern on wall at left, Redd falls down|
into the garden (lantern has now been fixed
and by some weird twist of fate we lived in this
house later for 5 weeks
Someone stitches him up, somewhat amateurishly; he still has a decent scar on the back of his thigh where the point of the black metal lantern punctured his leg. Or maybe the scar is there because he took out his own stitches at home. I did take him back to the hospital once, I swear. But when it's not an actual emergency it's quite tricky trying to find someone to help you. And maybe it was a Sunday. Things were quiet. There wasn't an identifiable nurse for love or money. I figured I could just do it myself. But when we got home Reddy got out some tweezers and some scissors and got busy.
But I digress. So what happened last night? We were waiting in the doctor's office to get yellow fever vaccinations for our upcoming trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia. If Zambia didn't require proof of immunization to get into the country I would never bother. Are we really going to get yellow fever in three days? I'll drink bottled water, try not to come into contact with bleeding sores of infected locals. (In truth, I have no idea how you get yellow fever or what it is.) We're skipping malaria pills: too many possible side effects, like hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, weird things going on in your head and body. Everyone can wear long sleeves and DEET.
|Santiago, Ricardo's son, holding the heart of a freshly|
slaughtered pig. His aunt raises hogs on their family farm.
|A close up of that heart. Santiago has no qualms about |
watching the butchering. Sam bought a whole
pig for them and apparently he didn't either.
Sam's got his motorcycle at the clinic too. He brought Redding and Mason from circus class, while Bo and I walked from home. There's another story, worth a full entry: the Mexican trapeze-tela-hoops-and-other-dangerous-aerial-props class held twice a week in a sweltering, tin warehouse one accesses by walking up several flights of stairs and across the roof top of a derelict hotel off the libremiento. Over-protective my ass. You should see the tricks these kids perform way high up in the air with no nets, no harnesses, just a pile of musty gym mats below them. They'll be in The Nutcracker in December. I'll take photos.
|The guys, Sam, Redd and Bo, riding off to the Victoria Robbins School on an unusually cloudy day. This is the street|
in front of our house.