This week begins with the introduction of two new characters to the plot. Things started when I was in the church cafeteria chowing down on rice, chunks of meat and washing it down with coke. A lady and her sister came by and asked me what I was eating. It must have looked good because she decided to order the same. After I had done my meal and was just leaving, the sisters started up a conversation with me. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a series of life changing and eye opening events that afternoon.
As I began conversing with the sisters, there were several things that set them apart from any other person I have ever dealt with here. They spoke fluent English and were educated and cultured. Their mannerisms were quite European. And if that wasn't enough to set them apart, the sisters were identical twins. Their accents to me sounded a little French and they explained to me that they do have some connections to french ancestry but the accent that I was hearing was that of one you would find of people who are upper middle class with education. Both women live in the higher end parts of the city. One lives in Retiro while the other lives in Palermo.
It would take volumes of books to write about all the things that we talked about that afternoon. But what caught my attention most is these women's involvement in social work in the city. They are involved in many things like shelters and transit homes for kids as well as working against human trafficking. The sisters are using their education as a means of finding ways to make a difference in the city.
They were headed off to a parador (that's spanish for "shelter") to do some work with kids that afternoon and they invited me along. I was feeling like this is another adventure God had hidden up his sleeve so I couldn't resist the opportunity. Before I knew it, I was in their car driving deeper into the outskirts of the city towards what you and I would term a transit house. It is a youth centre with some kids who have been removed from their parents home due to circumstances. And what is happening right now is that they are awaiting the judges decision to what will happen to these kids. In the meantime, the kids live here until the court decides on a verdict.
The twins decided that they would like to introduce me and have me participate in a little english class that they do for the kids at the shelter. But there would be one catch, I could let on that I knew spanish or the kids would speak to me in their own native tongue. So when I went in, they introduced me and said that I didn't really know spanish, forcing the kids to speak english to me. It was really hard at times not letting spanish fly or that I understood what was being said. But it worked and the kids looked at me with wide-eyed curiousity and began trying to speak english phrases.
To make things even more interesting, after we were done with the kids and were cleaning up, one of the sisters gave me a free tango lesson. She actually dances tango and teaches tango as well. She spent a few minutes working with me on my embrace, my ochos and practicing the basic. As well she has invited me to a practica about 10 blocks away from my apartment. How bizarre my life feels like sometimes dancing tango in the middle of a transit house with a woman who has an identical twin. I feel like Alice in Wonderland who has just gone down the rabbit hole and is now at the part where I have met Twiddle Dee & Twiddle Dum. I sure do hope that a "mad tea party" is just around the corner...
Spare Rooms BA