February 02, 2010
I get the sense the staff here is worried that we are bored. We are not bored. We are, most likely, the boringest guests they've ever had. They keep reminding about about the hiking and snorkeling and fishing and kayaking and tubing over waterfalls, and we smile blissfully from our chair/chaise/hammock/other-place-where-we-have-planted-our-sedentary-butts and assure them that WE ARE FINE. WE ARE HAVING THE TIME OF OUR LIVES. RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE. WITH THE SITTING.
(We did massages. In our room. Practically rolled off the bed onto the table and back again. It was delicious.)
Every morning we wake up with the boys, cuddle for a bit before throwing open the windows and doors to survey the view and remember OH YEAH, we're in heaven, still. We pour ourselves some strong coffee our night watchman makes before he heads home. (I actually feel safer here than at any tourist-y peddler-targeted resort, but because we're so out in the middle of relative nowhere there are guard dogs and round-the-clock staff on the properties.) (And by "guard dogs" I mean a couple docile lumps of snuffully wuffully who's-a-good-boy-who-wants-a-scritchin' furbags.) The nanny makes the boys' breakfast (bananas and cereal for Noah; eggs, fruit and French toast for Ezra) while we head down to eat ours a bit closer to the water. (We've had just about everything you can imagine, from typical American grub to "real" Jamaican breakfasts like ackee and saltfish and callaloo omelets, all of which we've Hoovered up while being all, "OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD.")
After we eat, the tough decisions start: What do we do first? Beach or pool?
IT'S VERY STRESSFUL.
Yesterday, though, we did finally leave the villa property. We visited the local preschool, the Bluefields Basic School.
The Jamaican government offers zero early childhood education, so it is up to communities and businesses and private donors to set up these tiny little places for three-, four- and five-year-olds to attend.
(The family who owns the Bluefields Bay Villas -- who, for full disclosure again, comped our stay here; we paid for airfare and staff gratuities [and those massages, heh] -- sponsor the three-year-old classroom. Other organizations and business support the other rooms. They pay for the teachers, supplies, food for the children and tuition for families who need help paying.)
He sat in on a lesson about proteins and shared some peanuts. Here, they are discussing sardines.
Then he made himself right at home among the four-year-olds. "IT'S TIME TO WASH YOUR HANDS," a little girl is bossily instructing him off-camera.
The five-year-olds were working in their composition books, carefully writing out the months of the year. Then we showed up and the pose-off started.
After we got back in the car, I told Noah we'd go to the beach. "Okay," he shrugged. He waved goodbye to the ramshackle buildings and sighed. "I love that school. Can we go back tomorrow?"