Friday afternoon we had a TGIF to say goodbye to the local teachers and assistants. Shown above from left to right are Ana, Lisa, Gustavo, Ann, Bill, Mendez, and Lili. We enjoyed a couple of beverages and reminisced about our time together at EA. The older gentleman next to me is an interesting case. Here in Venezuela it helps to have a “gestor.” A gestor may be a unique job title to Venezuela. This is a person that facilitates processes due to his/her connections. It always helps to know people and with the high levels of corruption and inefficiency here, in order to get things done in a timely manner, a business needs help. Mendez (his code name) has assisted us greatly throughout the years. To my right is the longest serving teacher in the history of the school, Ms. Ann DaCamara. She has been at EA for 17 years and is the Pre-Kindergarten teacher. She is from Georgetown, Guyana and is an excellent teacher and good friend. The school should name the Early Childhood Center after her due to her dedication to the school. The bookends are Ann and Lili, two assistants in the Early Childhood. Nadia thanks them for their help. The gentleman in the dark glasses is Gustavo. He is our head of maintenance and security. He is indispensable for the myriad of mechanical problems we have at the school. He is my right hand man and I thank him for his honesty and efforts to make the school better.
We are having a great weekend. Friday night we made a last run to Arturos, the Kentucky Fried Chicken of Venezuela. The boys had their final “chamo pack” (chamo is a Venezuelan term for friend). We ran into the Micale family, who with their four children have as crazy of a life as us.
Yesterday was an almost perfect day. We awoke early as usual and I took the kids to the Parque Ballenas for a bike ride around the track. It also let Nadia sleep in as Ocean was up every hour. We made it 1 kilometer around! We asked the nanny and maid to come in the morning so Nadia and I could pack. Instead of trying to sell our possessions we are not taking to our next post, we donated all of our stuff to our nanny’s family. Our home is almost empty and the bags are packed. During the day, we watched Ana Ivanisovic (a Serb) win the French Open and the opening game of the Euro Cup between the Czech Republic and Switzerland. I went swimming with the boys twice in the pool and in the late afternoon/early evening, we played soccer and baseball while Nadia ran her 6 km. She is running to get back into her pre-pregnancy shape. She has already lost over 15 kilos (33 pounds) and will lose another 5 kilos (11 pounds) before she is satisfied. Pregnancy is tough on a woman’s body.
Ocean our daughter is getting cuter by the minute. She is 8+ months and is scooting around the floor. She is eating solid foods and is just adorable. She cries like a girl and is a bit more sensitive and calmer than the boys were as babies. It is a nice change.
We’ll try to finish packing today and I want to go up to our favorite spot in Anaco, the mesa for a family photograph at sunset for the heading of the blog. We have spent many hours of hiking through the canyonlands areas up there. I re-charged my batteries every few weeks with day visit there and will miss the beautiful views and quiet.