Four Snapshots

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Setting: Class at Los Nogales. Girls are taking a quick water break at the corner of the cancha. We are setting up cones for a Frisbee defense drill.

 We explain the drill to two leaders for the week. After a few tries and some demonstrations, they see the goals and how it is supposed to work. They ask us clarifying questions to be sure they understand, and then call the other girls. Everyone quietly listens while the leaders explain the new drill to them. We watch proudly from the side, this great demonstration of leadership and respect from fellow teammates.



Setting: Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Concrete court. Relay races. Sun shining. Intense focus.

Round 1: Dribble the soccer ball through the cones. Dribble back through the cones to the start and pass the ball to the next person. If someone touches a cone they need to stop and do two pushups.

Round 2: Cones a bit closer together. Same drill. If someone touches a cone their whole team needs to stop and do two pushups.

Round 3: Cones are almost impossibly close together. Same drill. If someone touches a cone, everyone, including the Profes, must drop and do five pushups.

Many pushups were done. Probably over 50, if we are being honest. And everyone did them all together, even if verbal prodding was needed, at times.

We had a great discussion about how your actions can impact other people around you. This might be on a sports team, in your family, at work, in the classroom, or in life, in general. We are all part of the same team, as people who co-inhabit these spaces, so when one person does something negative, it has a ripple effect into the world around them. We decide we have to hold each other accountable for our actions and, together, to create more positive, collaborative spaces.



Saturday morning. Piscina Wanchaq, a public pool. Children splashing, echoing voices. Lifeguards on patrol.

 Our Mantay girls were timid at first, partly because of the initial cold of the water, partly because of the children splashing around, and partly because deep water can be intimidating. But, after a few minutes, some hand-holding, piggy backs, and swimming demonstrations, all the girls were off the wall and in the middle two Profes! They kept asking Alika to talk photos of all the fun. The morning was filled with more smiles than I have ever seen from them, lots of laughing, jumping up and down, trying to figure out which stroke was best for swimming, and how to float on their backs without sinking.


Waving to Alika while sporting our super fashionable swim caps!


Setting: My bed, 4 a.m. Dark room, warm under three blankets.

 I wake up coughing. The kitten (named Tobi or Lumpy, depending on who you ask) has, again, tried to sleep on my face. Personal space is a foreign concept to her. But she is quite adorable, so it’s tolerable.


Lumpy settles for a cozy spot on my chest