These are some of my new students in Tlacochahuaya. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I (and my fellow teachers) will catch a bus and take a taxi from the highway crossing to the municipal building which has a covered outdoor patio, a few long tables, and enough chairs. And, from 4-6, we will practice English words until they lose sense and then make sense again. Mauricio, Emanuel, Jose, Melina, Cristal, Maria, Guadalupe, and almost silent Frida call me teacher because Heather is a ridiculous name to have here.
So far, I can tell that Jose is a good student. Cristal and Mauricio spent the better part of the time writing love letters. Maria is a tattletale. And, Melina makes a statement, such as: The other teacher we had said this or that. Or, people in town swim in this fountain, provided they are wearing bathing suits. Then, she asks two of her peers to confirm that this is true. Right Guadalupe? Right Emanuel?
On the swimming in the fountain one, I decided to see what she’d say if I said that I didn’t believe it. Would she get more witnesses? Nope. She said: I live in this town. I know.
I wasn’t surprised when Mauricio tore off his socks and tennies and began wildly splashing all of us; this is the same town where an older group of students would break from class to climb on the church.