On Tuesday morning, I got up resolved to make the best of my one hour in the Special Ed program. I waited for the bus in the central jardin of Cofradia. Most villages here are built around one or several of these ¨´gardens,´´ which are more like plazas where you´ll find a gazebo and park benches as well as street vendors when it´s sunny. Fifteen minutes after the bus was due to come, I began to worry. In my experience so far, transportation had been one of the few things that didn´t seem to adhere to ¨´Mexican time.´´ After eighteen minutes, I decided to walk across the street to ask in one of the convenient stores. Just as I walked past the cases of limes to the front counter, I heard the bus barrel by behind me. I hope none of the villagers saw me running after it.
It was 9:08 A.M. and I was alone for the fifth consecutive day in a town with no fellow english speakers (or for that matter, friends of any sort), restaurants, or things to do beyond standing on the side of the cobbled streets with a hibiscus flavored popsicle, waiting for the occasional cowboy to come trotting by on horseback. Guilt was as much a plague as boredom; I´m well aware that the CPGC isn´t paying for me to lie in bed in the hacienda struggling through my spanish preposition flashcard set and eating mangoes.
I realized with some chagrin that I was going to have to be proactive. I walked until I found a school, ignored the ¨´no trespassing´sign, and approached some women standing in the schoolyard. Hi, I said. I´m a volunteer with project amigo and my job got canceled this week (i know, I know) and I was hoping I could do something - anything - to help here. I really like kids.¨´
She ushered me so quickly into the room nearby that I was certain I´d committed some kind of serious faux pas. I prepared my excuse about not having understood the no trespassing sign. But it turned out she was taking me to see the director of the preschool, who suggested I return in the morning to work with two boys who could use some extra tutoring. She explained that preschool only lasts for three hours, but that the nearby elementary school is in session all day. I washed some dishes for them before leaving, and met Jorge and Luis, my tutorees. You know you´ve been bored when washing dishes feels good.