Now that we had a full-fledged door, we weren't sure whether Yoselin would sneak into our room in the early morning, as she had done on the previous visit. Last time we had only had a blanket hanging over the door, and she had always confidently swatted it aside to wish us good morning. We hoped that the new configuration wouldn't change her routine. Being woken up to her hugs and snuggling is always a lovely way to start the day. But we needn't have worried. At 6:07 am, she burst open the door, waking both of us up. She came over and hugged Craig and acted very sweet. She climbed into bed with us and sleepily laid with us. Paola soon joined her, and then Aracely. It was a regular party in our room.
We went to the dining room for breakfast and the older girls got ready for school. Paulina had made pancakes, which were delicious. I joked that they had to get Terry the dog in order to have another boy in the house besides Humberto. Humberto got an embarrassed grin and said that they hoped the next one would be a boy. He waited for a beat for it to sink in, but before we could even comment, he blurted out "Paulina is pregnant!" We were very excited. Last night she had been wearing a fleece jacket, and we had been unable to see her tummy. This morning it was more visible, and they happily announced that the baby was due in October.
Now that it was daylight, Humberto showed us around the property. Humberto's house has four rooms, and then across the courtyard he is building guest rooms which each have a private bathroom. Our room was the furthest along, and the one right next door was also in very good shape. Across the hallway were two other rooms, which were starting to take shape nicely as well. Humberto's brother Mario had been doing the construction for him. Eventually they may even build an upper floor.
At 7:15, Vanesa, Paola, and Yasmin left for school. A little while later, Humberto took Yoselin to school. She was in kindergarten at the "escuelita", while the three older girls went to the elementary school. We played with Aracely and took showers in our own bathroom. We also got to know Terry, who was quite a sweet, good-natured dog who put up with a lot in a house with 5 girls (at this particular moment he was modeling Aracely's hat from her baptism). Aracely played with her cousin Andrik, and always wanted to wear our "lentes" (sunglasses).
After doing some morning chores and getting Aracely ready for the day, Paulina announced that it was almost time to pick Yoselin up at school. It was almost 11 o'clock already! We walked up Rancho Grande and then took a left through some little residential alleyways. Some men were working trying to pull down a tree. We walked through a field past a gymnasium to the school. We were a few minutes early, so we sat on some bleachers in the shade. Aracely was a little bit cranky,and Paulina gave her a quetzal and let her buy a snack at a small bodega. That cheered her up a bit. Soon we noticed other parents going into the schoolyard. School must be letting out.
We walked into the school with Paulina, and Yoselin ran right over to give us big hugs. She asked if she could use the camera, which worked out very well because she was able to take photos of her friends, and she was the total center of attention. Her friends looked at her admiringly as she took photos of them. I got her to pose with them for a group photo, and she was very happy. Aracely was getting whiny, and Paulina bought her an ice cream (the ice cream man always hangs out in front of the school at the end of the school day - that's hardly fair to parents!)
With Aracely and Yoselin in tow, we walked to the market. This was always a fun experience for Craig and me. We always enjoy the sights and smells of the market, where our food is purchased fresh daily. We wandered through the stalls and Paulina bought watermelon, bananas, and broccoli from various produce vendors. Then we went to one of the butcher shops on the perimeter to buy beef. Yoselin took photos with the camera, a bunch of interesting, colorful, child's-eye-view photos of produce, meat, and vendors. Aracely was still whiny and wanted a slice of watermelon. She couldn't wait until we got home to break open the round melon that her mom had just purchased. So Paulina bought a slice for her and one for Yoselin.
We passed a telephone pole that had more wires connected to it than I had ever seen in my life. I couldn't help but take a photo. We walked home down Rancho Grande, a picturesque street without much motor traffic, which made it safer for walking with the kids. It was always fun to walk with them, because they would hold our hands and would insist on climbing onto every surface they found, which meant that sometimes they even hung from the grates over the windows on some buildings.
When we arrived at the house, Paulina sliced up the watermelon and served it to us while we sat outside. What a nice refreshing treat! Aracely had been using Craig's lentes and had accidentally broken them unbeknownst to us. She hid them under her shirt and brought them to Paulina to confess. It was so cute. We told her that it wasn't a problem (though Craig wished we had given them their gifts by now - there were pairs of sunglasses for each of them packed in our luggage!) Luckily, it was just one of the earpieces that had broken off. If necessary, he could still balance them on his nose making use of the one good earpiece.
Before we knew it it was 1:45 and the older girls were already home from school. We played in our room and the girls were getting absolutely crazy. They (and Terry) were jumping on the bed, squealing, giggling, etc. We took a walk to the store so that they could buy snacks. Paulina's brother Carlos brought over a wedding invitation; he was getting married tomorrow and we were all invited. This was quite a surprise, we we were glad that we had thought to bring some nicer clothes. We were very happy for Carlos, whom we had met at Aracely's baptism back in November of last year.
For lunch we had steak with salsa, rice, and broccoli with lime and salt. We had apple juice to drink. We noticed that Aracely is no longer a neat freak with napkins when she eats. After lunch, the girls did their homework at the dining table. Paola completed hers in no time. Yasmin is a very good reader and writer. Craig and I helped her and Yoselin with their homework, which mainly consisted of copying down words and numbers into their notebooks. Vanesa drew a nice picture of hipposfor school. She shaded it with pencils, taking her time and making sure to get all of the shading exactly right. She is extraodinarily patient and detail-oriented, and we were very proud of her work.
We all drew pictures with magic markers. Aracely fell asleep at the table, sitting up holding a watermelon rind in her little hands. It was precious. Paulina brought her to the bedroom and deposited her on the bed with her Dora the Explorer doll for a nap.
We had tea and bread while the girls drew pictures and played with the dog. Yasmin styled Craig's hair into ponytails, and then attempted to make him a toupee out of black string. It was so cute! Aracely woke up and we gave the girls their gifts. The girls were thrilled with their sunglasses. We gave them a deck of cards with Galapagos animals on them, which they used to play a form of rummy. With her new sunglasses on, Vanesa looked like a card shark. We had them go to get Rocio as well, as we had brought something for her also. We gave them some other small gifts, such as little 70's-inspired coin purses, beads, pens, notebooks, and stickers.
Paulina prepared fried bananas, black beans, and cream for dinner. It was delicious. Most of the girls had gone to bed (all except Vanesa and Aracely) by the time Humberto came home and we presented the final surprise. I had entered a photo of Aracely into our company's employee photo contest, and it won third prize in the "people" category. We had not told Humberto about this several months ago when it had happened, and had instead kept it as a surprise (as he does so often!) We brought them a copy of the company's employee magazine which had the photo in it. Humberto and Paulina were so happy and proud. Humberto commented that to have his daughter's picture in an American magazine was way beyond anything he could ever have imagined. We gave Aracely the $25 prize for being such a great model, and she happily played with the cash, while not comprehending the fact that her photo was in an actual publication. We tried to explain that it was just an employee magazine, and not a national publication or anything, but Humberto would have none of it. His baby was a star.
We went to bed shortly after 11 o'clock after a wonderful day reconnecting with the family.