Even though I´m a very enthusiastic person, I´m also realistic. I knew there weren´t going to be tons of kids coming in on the first day. Chances are it´ll take a semester or two to fill up the space with all the kids I´d like to see.
Five children I knew would be there didn´t show – problems with transportation can mess things up. Buy Teo was there, which is a biggie since he dislikes new things – especially stuff that involves other people. So obviously, he went into selective mutism which is weird for others but totally fine.
And then there were Karla and Rafael, friends because their mothers are both cleaning ladies. Due to the Oaxacan teacher strike, there has been no classes since May, so Karla and Rafael are being terribly bored at home and their mothers don´t have the means to offer them a more fulfilling life. Of course I had to accept them. I want to see them have fun every day! So we made a deal, the mothers and I: they will be the Explora cleaning ladies (because I can´t afford to pay for it right now – which means I´d have to do it and I seriously don´t need more on my plate right now) and Karla and Rafael can come every day.
Also, Rafael´s mum is not only illiterate. She belongs to the tiniest minority group in Mexico: the afro-Mexicans. She and her son so belongs in this project and I´m so happy to have found a balanced way of receiving them.
Thanks to some mail coaching from Bear, I felt very much at ease with facilitating the meeting that I´d call “the Intention meeting” (set the day and scrum in one). Since it´s all new for everyone, I knew they´d most likely feel a little lost to begin with, but that changed very quickly.
Suddenly I was playing a simplified version of Taboo with Teo (it was the first time for both of us but he´s so good at this game, it´s almost scary), and Karla and Rafael dove into Monopoly – a game they´d never played before.
Three hours flew by, and suddenly it was time for reflection and gratitude. And that´s where Rafael dropped the bomb: he thinks we should grow corn. Holy cow! The first child initiated long-term project is born!
Tomorrow we´ll set up a plan of how to make it happen. I know nothing about growing corn, but one thing I do know is: I´ll learn.