It was a cool July evening. Those two words don't normally go together when we're talking about Arkansas weather, but it had just rained and it was approaching dusk. Of course, the mosquitoes were out in swarms to make up for the lack of muggy weather.
I had picked up my three teachers (Wendy, Haydee, and Brenda) from their dorm. Wendy (whose parents liked the name, so she has a non-Spanish first name) was running late from her shower, so I was chatting with Haydee (pronounced Ay-day, in true Spanish fashion) and Brenda about their weekend trip to Eureka Springs and Talequah. The program they are participating in keeps them busy, shuttling them around Arkansas to various sites, getting them to social events with Americans, not to mention all of their classes, so they are having fun, but feeling a bit tired.
We went to play mini-golf, where my ankles were immediately attacked by mosquitoes--I didn't realize until we played our 18 holes that they had repellent at the club house. Darn. I'm not a very good player, but I did get two hole-in-ones, including the 18th, so I got a free pass! The teachers punctuated playing with taking photos: group photos, pictures of them in front of the animal statues (gorillas, giraffes, elephants). They love taking pictures--just like I did when I went to Mexico. I forget they are also tourists.
I love listening to them talk and talking with them. They are supposed to speak in English--Brenda scolded one person for talking in Spanish because she thought I didn't speak it--but they switch constantly between English and Spanish, often blending the two languages. If I were more fluent in Spanish, I suppose I could do it too. But it is certainly interesting to listen to and try to understand what they're saying.
We had ice cream at our local Shake's (formerly Shakey's), and then I took them home. It has been a fun experience getting to know them--Wendy has made me promise to come visit her sometime, which I plan to do. Vacation in Mexico...of course! She is from Yucatan, so it should be a good trip. They talked to me about becoming a teacher (I'm planning to teach on the college level), and they also talk to me about their culture and language. I think I'll definitely volunteer to be a buddy next year too.