About 6:30 this morning the chachalacas (a relative to wild turkeys, but so much more graceful, prettier and smaller) cranked up their starter motor-like calls to their mates and friends and that was our alarm clock today. I heard the orioles song rising above the wrens, cardinals, and casiques. To me these orioles are birds that must have originated in China, as that is the language I hear when they sing their beautiful, plaintive songs, thinking to myself, “How did they get here?” I peaked out the window to see the pygmy owl peeping in the tree by my window, and wondered why he or she wasn’t heading for bed yet. It’s seemingly has been peeping day and night for weeks, as we are in the throes of mating season. Nests are being built like condos on Waikiki Beach. One is even being built on our patio. I pull on my swimming suit, as the cool morning air is the only time I don’t have to struggle to put the suit on in the 70% humidity that magically comes on by noon here. It is already about 85 degrees. I wander out to the living room, and check the ocean. Waves today are minimal, and the pelicans are diving for breakfast already. Wonderful, full-on dives. Lots of pelicans.
After looking to the mountains and a slight spy search on neighbors to see who else is up, I do take a few minutes to catch the news from the US. After I have made sure that all is still mostly intact with the world I head down for breakfast by the pool. And as the yellow-headed woodpeckers are trying to get to that delicious ruby read sweetness inside the prickly cactus fruit, I have the cup of coffee. We discuss what’s on the agenda for today, and as it turns out, today is the day we teach English to wait staff, chefs, and singers. Twice a week we go into La Crucecita to the Krazy Kraut Cafe for classes. Thanks be to our target students, class doesn’t start until 4:00 PM. Plenty of time for my 40 laps and exercises in the pool so I can get my ass out of the wheelchair permanently and with confidence.
English class is two+ hours of raucous learning. These students remind me of my jr. high teaching days, although they are all “adults”, albeit young adults. They pick on each other, call each of other endearing names (burro), answer questions someone else is to answer, a bit of pouting, a promise to study vocabulary, the usual. A lot of laughing though. Lots of laughing. By the time the class ends it is nearly 7 PM, and does anyone want to go have a beer or margarita! Hell ya! Off we go to a local place (today Krystal Rose). Air conditioned just right. Great margaritas. And two of the staff are in our class, Michael the singer, and Vivi, a waitress. Michael starts up playing his keyboard, we practice our English/Spanish, and meet and great friends and friends of friends, as they come and go, during this “cocktail” hour(s). As the clock closes in on 9:30, we have got to go, we have to cook the chicken we pulled out of freezer, TODAY, or else. Back at the house, as the huge, bright red, full moon rises over Tangolunda Bay, Larry is frying the chicken, I am feeding Centa who has been wondering where they hell we have been since 8 PM (her usual “dinner” time). I take the nagging, and reassure her she is still the duena of the house, we are so sorry to be so late.
Heading down to the kitchen, I look at the stars and think to myself these aren’t the same constellations it took me 30 years to identify in the Bay Area, and take educated guesses as I look out over the bay and try to figure out if that is Mars over there or Venus. We settle down to juicy fried chicken (fastest method) and fruit, a glass of wine, and watch the bats swoop into our patio, helping us rid the world of the dreaded mosquitos. Centa wanders down, rubs against the legs (what?). Can it be 11:30 already? Larry shuts down the kitchen, as I head back upstairs to ready for bed. As we settle down, finally, in bed, we hear the music from one of the hotels across the bay from us, a ballad tonight, and Centa crawls in between us (where else) and we are done for the day.
The best thing about our days, is that everyone of them is so different from another, that we are still taken by surprise at the beauty of the country, the warmth and kindness of the people, the rhythms of life that keep us moving; the newness of living in a culture we are only just beginning to get a glimmer of, and have not regretted one day.
Tomorrow always comes too quickly, especially when we still want to linger in today. Yet tomorrow is as much as a gift as today, how lucky we are!