Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dee bee why doe

So far no repercussions of Thursday’s scene in San Antonio between Tom and the mechanic. Tom picked up Selwyn and his family in town on Friday morning to take them to Spanish Lookout, and Selwyn had heard that Tom was in town Thursday night, but didn’t know what happened – although he had a pretty good idea since he knew what was going on with the truck. The only new news is that Tom’s Leatherman is also missing, and Tom is pretty sure it was in the truck console. The days of leaving everything in the cars with the cars unlocked and the keys in the ignition are over; we’re not in Canadice any more.

While Tom went to Spanish Lookout, I stayed home with the dogs since we thought someone should stay on the property, and because if we both go to Spanish Lookout for the day, we usually take the dogs. With Selwyn’s family in the truck, there just wasn’t room for me and the three dogs. It was really quite pleasant to just stay home by myself for the day, doing a lot of little jobs that just haven’t been done lately since the two of us are always trying to get the big stuff done. Tom’s trip to Spanish Lookout was successful, and he returned with boards and roofing so he can finish the porch and the bathrooms on the first cabin, and put a roof on what will be the tool shed. He wasn’t able to get siding boards, so he’ll be off to San Ignacio Saturday morning to get those.

The truck pulled into the driveway around 6:00 pm after the day in Spanish Lookout. It was FULL. Besides all the roofing, boards, and other hardware and supplies in the bed, the cab was carrying Tom, Selwyn, Hilda (Selwyn’s wife), Gilroy (Selwyn’s brother), Erva (Hilda’s sister), Junior, Eli, Christalee (Selwyn’s three kids), and a rabbit given to the kids by Hilda’s family. While the men unloaded the truck, Hilda and her sister and I talked and I realized that life here for the locals is very different from what we’re used to in suburban America. Hilda’s family lives outside of Spanish Lookout, probably not more than 15 or 20 miles from here, and it had been a year since Hilda had seen them. Her family had never met Christalee, and Hilda’s sister had a baby that not only had Hilda never met, but she hadn’t even known her sister was pregnant. Hilda and Selwyn have a cell phone but Hilda’s family doesn’t, and none of them have cars, so they just don’t have a way to stay in contact with each other.

While the women talked, we also tried to keep Junior and Eli amused so they’d stay out of the way of the men unloading the truck. I was very impressed with myself, because I’m starting to understand Junior and Eli. They’re four and three years old, respectively, and at home they generally speak Creole since Selwyn’s primary language is English, Hilda grew up speaking Spanish, and they’re both fluent in those two languages, plus Creole. Tom and I find that while we’d have no idea how to say something in Creole, we generally understand it when adults are speaking. However, three and four year olds speak Creole with the same finesse that three and four year old English speakers speak English, which means that adults who aren’t their parents or who don’t spend a lot of time around them might understand some of what they say – or they might not. The first few times we spent time with Selwyn’s whole family, either Selwyn or Hilda would translate for the kids when they spoke to Tom or me. Suddenly last night, I found myself understanding them, and Hilda and I laughed because Junior said to me “Dee bee why doe no lissen,” and as Hilda started to tell me what he said, I just responded with “No, that dog doesn’t listen to anybody” and Hilda realized I’d understood Junior who was telling me that Mel – the big white dog – doesn’t listen. I guess that was a sentence that was easy to understand because it’s so true!

No comments: