Tuesday, June 28, 2016

4th grade pool party

This is Mike...
We have been busy, the last week or so, running around, fixing my computer, school functions and getting ready for visitors. Now that the dust has settled I can finally get caught up on the blog. The weather has improved a lot making our time more enjoyable but the flies are now out in force. According to the locals, we should expect June and July to have more flies than usual. It is funny how the things that Granada cannot control, like flies and heat, are the things that most negatively effect us.
   A few days ago, we went out to Sierra's 4th grade teacher's house for a pool party for her students. As it turns out Sierra's teacher, Ms. Maielle, is moving back to New York after 4 years in Granada. She needs to take care of her ailing father, so leaving will be more emotional for her than otherwise would have been. As a young confident woman, Ms. Maielle traveled to amazing and remote parts of the world, like Mozambique among other spots. I loved watching Sierra react to her teacher with such admiration. Sierra really took a liking to her teacher and as a parent I appreciate the positive role modeling Ms. Maielle had on my daughter.
   As for the party, it felt like a country club environment and the kids went crazy playing in the water. Something that is still weird for us North Americans to see, are servants, for a lack of a better word. In Nicaragua most people, with means, employ maids to clean homes, tend gardens, and help care for the kids. We have maids back in the states as well but the major different here is how bosses treat their help. The relationship here is very clear cut, there is a master and there is a servant with no grey area. Of course, silly me, not realizing anything too quickly and speaking to everyone all the time, I had inadvertently crossed the line. I treated one of the mom's maid like a party-goer and true to my hospitality when I offer food and the person says no, I offer more food until they say yes, just like my mom would have done. I knew she was hungry, that was apparent, what I didn't know was, she was "the help" and my hospitality unknowingly crossed local etiquette. If I, or my children, never ever recognize "the help" we will all be the better for it. 
   Nobody was upset that I fed the maid, it just highlighted the innocent differences between cultures. Experiencing the innocent differences between cultures is one of the reasons why we want to expose our kids to the world. My kids see "the help" in our home too, but they also see daddy making breakfast for everyone including our maid. My kids see the poor, stray dogs, the yucky things on the streets without filters. They see the world through their own eyes and make their own  opinions of how the world works. Whether we stay or go, seeing the imperfect, has motivated my daughters in ways yet to be revealed.

Ms. Maielle playing with the kids in the pool.

Convention of moms discussing "momly" things while I was enjoying beer off to the side.

Ms. Maielle swimming with the kiddos.

Silly face time in the pool.

Playing in the water is the same worldwide

Ms. Maielle and class jumping into the water.


  1. Beach birthday parties are really fun! You can do so much with them. I celebrated my son’s tenth birthday party in one of the most fun venue New York has and everyone had a really great time. We had lots of snacks and the day was spent having fun!