Sunday, December 07, 2008

End of a school semester

Right now, in Winnipeg, according to environment Canada, it's -13 C., and in Victoria British Columbia it's 9 C.  Here I am in Chihuahua, Chihuahua Mexico and it is 22 C.

In the morning, when it's 3 C. the people of  Chihuahua say, "Esta es el frio."  Translatiion, "This is cold."  I say to the people of Chihuahua, " No tu se el frio."  Which means,  "You don't know cold."

Well, enough about the weather.  All you unlucky Canadians can eat your heart out as I bask in the warm sun.  It seldom rains here in the desert, and it most certainly never experiences arctic cold.

Does climate effect the way we live our lives?  I think  it does.  Canada is clean and industrious.  Mexico is full of passion and . . . well how can I put this  . . ?  Paradox.  The houses are beautiful.  Even the poorest of people live in artistically painted houses, some with beautiful doors and creatively crafted wrought iron fences and gates, but there is a lack of care when it comes to maintenance.  

The people of Chihuahua have built some beautiful parks, but the parks are not maintained.  

The streets are full of garbage, yet the garbage collectors pick-up the trash three times a week.

I haven't figured this out yet, but I have a hypothesis, and my Mexican students think I'm onto something.  

I believe that the heart and soul of Mexico is that of an artist, and like all artists the creation is what counts.  The maintenance is boring, and hence not paid attention to.  Beautiful parks, monuments and cathedrals are built everywhere, then left to fate.  Such a shame to these eyes of my mother's German Canadian heritage.  I tend to see what is left undone, the need to organize, clean, upkeep and maintain.

And yet, I appreciate the beauty that once was, that surrounds me and beckons, as long as I ignore the dead mice and dog shit.

Oh well, it's not my country.  I'm just a stranger passing through. 

I've finished my first semester teaching here in Chihuahua, and I received what was the nicest compliment I could have been given.  Two of my students arrived on their last day of class with their mother.  They had a gift for me.  It appeared to be a Christmas gift, but their mother said it wasn't just a Christmas gift.  The gift was for the care and attention I had given her children. "I trust you with my children," she said.

That was the nicest thing she could have said.  Here in Mexico family is everything.  And for a devoted mother whose most important job is the care and nurturing of her children to tell me she  trusts the English language education  of her children to me was very special.

I have left a little piece of my heart with each of my students, both the children and the adults.  

They move on, and so do I.

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