Waiting for the bus in Tlacochahuaya, I saw three former students: Lisette who is off to college and another littler Lisette with her younger brother Josue from my classes two autumns ago. I received a hug and a kiss from each of them as well as reports on some of the others who also haven’t been in English class. I told Josue that he is getting tall (and I quietly wondered what happened to his Spiderman backpack and if he is still the smartest in his class); I told little Lisette that I like how she’s wearing her hair now, so long and with waves. Lisette, who had just returned from a full day of college classes in the city, was wearing her paramedic uniform and explained how complicated it is to diagnose sick or hurt people in an emergency environment.
I watched other children pass, and I listened to a lady with a megaphone welcoming people to a meeting at seven; I overheard a taxi driver and a bicyclist talking futbol, and I watched six barking dogs chase a truck carrying five men, two standing in the back, riding in the cool air.
Finally, I was left to wait with the dogs, to offer a friendly “Buenas tardes” to infrequent passers-by, to pretend that I fit in.