Two weeks till school starts and not a word of English sitting under my Poinciana Tree. 100° feels like 82 under the swaying Royal Poinciana, we have shade DYK *
Babysitting! Hardly, instructing non-English-speaking kids. I do not speak their language despite my being multilingual, not quite polyglot. My quirky neighborhood is diverse. I can relate as I also was 11, same age as the fraternal twins when I arrived. Eyes look back vacantly at me with zero understanding. The week before two nine-year-olds that I also did not understand, except for their giggles as we made shell necklaces.
The 11 year olds are a challenge one does knot know her .ABCs. I did know mine in German, English tripped me up. Does it matter? They are heading to middle school we need basic daily words. I’m not giving up, each day, we used a dictionary* a lot of kids books with page after page of repetitive phrases.
Four days before SHADE took on a real meaning, we sat under a tree or umbrella and the word is also in the “Giving Tree”. Finally in West Palm Beach waiting for the trolley in the scorching heat with sign language we avoid the homeless sleeping in the shade. I spot a clump of trees and I point, run and yell SHADE and we .get out of the direct noonday sun. This was a moment of enlightenment. We smiled at one another we know “SHADE.”
Even while waiting on the train learning does not stop we have a timetable, we repeat “ it’s not my fault “ from a children’s book. On the trolly our driver Vivianne offers each one of us a cold bottle of Water, we are grateful! ( if your reading this let the PB county transit people know). And in the Mandel Library our destination, we got weekend food courtesy from “Loi’s kids”.
We spent a full day in the Kids room four of us among 50 younger kids. Heard drumming lessons through the walls, and This August they are offering Chess for the kids. What a novel idea.
Every moment counts even the art lessons. EYES NOSE EAR yes I can teach these as I was an instructor at the Bass Museum on South Beach and had non-English-speaking kids there as well. This day (below) the rain drove us indoors, we did a still life.
Walking through our alley I was explaining the 10 foot pick UP as we headed to the 5th Street bikeway aka “Royal Poinciana Way” and not a single Poinciana. We have the seeds we looked UP no wires, open sky. We DIG with TOOLs and planted seeds. We picked UP trash.
Then on to la Playa no one has a bathing suit, it will have to do!
EDITORS note: a ** big THANK YOU to our Mayor Betty Resch in hospital, ordered the kids Visual Dictionaries.
* Royal Poincianas when allowed to do their thing are meant to sweep the ground encompassing all who seek shelter and SHADE under the branches that speak of love