Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)
TITLE: Monte Sión
By Phee Paradise
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It’s silly to sing that kid’s song, but I can’t help it. I’m going home for the summer. Going home.
I’ve been dreaming about tomorrow since September; the plane leaving L.A., getting closer every hour; the mountains and volcanoes with Guatemala City spread out between them; Mother and Daddy and Janet waiting at the airport. We’ll drive out to Amatitlán, through the town square with the Catholic church and giant ceiba tree, across the bridge and along the winding road beside the lake. I’ll see the front of our house, if I look closely, just before we get to the entrance to Monte Sión. Then through the corn fields and we’ll be home. I’ll kick off my shoes in the entry and feel the warm tile on my bare feet. I’ll go into my room and lay down on my bed, my own pillow at last. I’ll look through the picture window at the castle across the lake. On the way to the kitchen I’ll stop at the piano to play a scale, then I’ll help the maid shuck the corn Daddy just picked. We’ll eat corn on the cob with hamburgers and we’ll have warm gingerbread for dessert. For breakfast, Mother will put slices of pineapple or papaya on our plates. Then I’ll go see Don Chema’s wife and eat tortillas hot off the grill.
It’s not that I don’t like American food, or Aunt Doris and Uncle Bill who have been wonderful to me. They’ve made me part of the family and Kathy has treated me like a sister. After school we go out to the pool together to lie in the sun and read until we’re hot enough to roll over into the water and swim till our finger tips are wrinkled. But the pool at Monte Sión has a waterfall and big rocks to sit on to soak up the sun. I can’t wait to dive into the green water and show Don Chema how I’ve improved.
I’m going to pretend I’m little again and climb the mango tree where we used to play house. I’m going to stand on the porch and look across the lake and when I see the rain coming I’ll run down to the clothes line and help Mother bring them in before they get wet. I’m going to walk in the front yard and eat jocotes right off the trees. I’m going to play Monopoly and Clue with Janet. I’m going to ask Mother and Daddy to tell me everything about everyone I haven’t seen for a year.
When the camps start, Janet and I will run the store. We’ll talk to everyone in Spanish while we sell ice cream and candy and they’ll think we’re charming. When there’s no camp, we’ll play ping pong in the Lodge. I’ll take walks to all my favorite places: past the kapok trees where I saw a tarantula, through the fogata with the rows of seats around the campfire, up the hill behind the boys’ cabins where I can see the whole lake, then I’ll find the secret spot that no one knows but me.
I’ll visit friends I’ve known since we were babies. We’ll laugh at private jokes and reminisce about roller skating and playing hide’n’seek at boarding school. We’ll sing songs like “Un Elefante” and “Con Cristo en su Barco.” We’ll talk about who liked whom and who’s still in Guatemala. We’ll pity everyone who isn’t a missionary kid and pretend we’re not stuck up.
I’m packing all my dresses since I can’t wear shorts. The dresses are too short because that’s how everyone wears them in the States. When I wear them I don’t look different, and no one knows I’m an MK if I don’t talk about Guatemala. But no one at home thinks I’m weird. A bunch of teens on a mission trip from the States will come, but I’ll be the one who knows the country. I’ll tell them what they can eat and what they shouldn’t say and what to wear when we climb Pacaya. I’ll be their interpreter and they’ll think I’m great.
After they go home it will be just us again and everything will be perfect. I’m going home.
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