Yesterday morning I had breakfast per usual, except in lieu of the four pieces of bread my host mom has been feeding me, I got a delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich instead. Because I love pear the most, I eat the guava first, then the cantaloupe, then the pineapple or banana, and finally save the pear for last. Because the family gets up rather early, she makes everyone’s fruit then, and sprinkles lemon juice on mine so that it doesn’t brown by the time I come down to eat, which varies depending on my day’s activities.
I went to the Plaza and wrote for an hour before working with the abuelitos, which has become routine (I’ve almost filled my notebook of 70 pages, though half of that is also detritus from Spanish lessons, to-do lists, and Model UN email lists). With the abuelitos today we painted the water bottles with colored paint.
I forgot to charge my camera last night so it died after two pictures. Lo siento!
This is Arsenia. She can see very, very little and, in order to paint her bottle, I had to guide her hand and paintbrush with mine. We painted a tree, a butterfly, a sun, and a bird.
This is the library in Ibague. Wherever I travel, I always try to find the library.
After that we had waffles (I said I’d be back) and went to dancing class. Next week is my last week before I head home, and after I head home I’m off to Wisconsin to see my sister and to visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison to inquire about their dual law and International Public Administration Masters’ degree.
I also finished a short memoir called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. By former French editor of Elle Magazine, Jean Dominique Bauby, this was a very short read (maybe an hour and a half) and very good. Bauby, who suffered a stroke in his early forties, suffered from “locked-in syndrome” and could only communicate by turning his head by 90 degrees and blinking one eye. To write the book, Bauby dictated to Claude, a women who re-organized the French alphabet in order of use of frequency in the language. She would then recite the alphabet slowly, and Bauby would blink at the desired letter. This would continue until a word was complete, then a sentence, and then a chapter. After a summer and hours of dictation and blinking, the book was complete.
I think this is one of those cases where the story behind the book is more intriguing than the book itself, but it wasn’t a bad read, nor a boring one. I’d recommend, and give it a 7/10. It’s an interesting peek into the mind of a man who can only communicate with himself, but a man who is quite intelligent and well-versed with the world, its art, its literature, and its culture.
“…when blessed silence returns, I can listen to the butterflies that flutter inside my head. To hear them, one must be calm and pay close attention, for their wingbeats are barely audible. Loud breathing is enough to drown them out. This is astonishing: my hearing does not improve, yet I hear them better and better. I must have butterfly hearing.”
(I’m also going to start a tradition of, when I review a book, posting my favorite quote from the book.).
Until tonight or tomorrow!