There are many reasons for the Newbom family to move to the beach. The short list includes
1) We want to be close to the brewery so that we can both be involved in getting it open
2) The house in the city is way too big and too expensive. Believe it or not, the beach house costs about 35% what the San Salvador house costs, and has land for things like chickens, or a garden. Other costs there are lower as well.
3) Andy refuses to study Spanish, but forced to live where nobody speaks English, and where Spanish teachers bang on the door looking for work…I have hopes.
4) Its the freakin beach, and since we are on a fixed income, I want to have lived at the beach at some point in my life before the poverty that results from rash decisions fully sets in. Or before the millions appear from the brewery!
The reasons not to move are convincing too…
1) The temperature is much cooler up in the city. The coast is freakin steamy.
2) The security at the little beach house leaves much to be desired.
3) If we get attached to that location, there are major hurdles to leap in keeping Emme´s education rolling.
4) Rats, Ants, Mosquitos, Giant Beetles (though I love the lizards)
But the REAL reason I am terrified of the move is shown in the pictures below.
Every afternoon this roving band of 10 kids terrorizes the residencial, arguing, misusing the landscape, telling on each other, and not telling on each other. Five of them are girls of the same size, who fight over who will lead the train of five bicycles around while shouting directions at the boys, who are already strangely obedient. The vigilantes dont know what to do…protect the cars, yell at the kids when they rip up the plants, or just give up, knowing the storm normally passes at dinner time
Emme got off to rough start adjusting to life here, learning the language and some of the culture. As a mother I would prefer to stay in this very same residencial long term, now that she has her confidence back, and has a solid group of friends to play and fight with.
Tomorrow as I head back to the beach to change the rat traps, its not the lack of an air conditioner, washing machine or TV that stresses me out. It´s Emmes social survival. Regardless of the dangerous elements of the area, I’m not as worried about criminals as other forms of insecurity.
For me, the move shows signs of being pleasant. I’ve always been pretty flexible about the “stuff” part of my standard of living. I just hope Emme can forgive us for moving her again, and move on into what will probably be a very different social environment with yet another set of rules to learn.
The huge positive message of this post is that Emme is truly part of the children´s network at the residencial. She is fully accepted, there are no visible barriers to her social participation here, and the wonderful situation we are leaving is a great example of how much can be accomplished with an open face and patience. Yes you CAN move your English speaking child to Latin America and expect him or her to weave completely in, given the right blend of education, and acceptance, and a little bit of time to make mistakes and get over them.
Next week we are off to the beach for good. May the Bici gang play on and on. Im my mind I have trouble imagining not coming back to this place. Some times we leave good things behind.