I have to confess that this project is a lot harder than I imagined. One really needs Spanish-at least some-I have nearly zero at the moment. It’s colder than predicted and I do not have sufficient warm clothing. I hate being cold! The little hotel has almost emptied out. People don’t like the construction noise that begins early in the morning. So, itś a bit lonely here. They moved the venue for the intensive week so I have a one hour plus a few minutes walk to and from each day (instead of just a few blocks), dodging the all too prevalent dog messes and endless gaps in broken sidewalks, trying to avoid breathing in too many exhaust fumes and general smog and avoiding as best I can walking behind smokers who are everywhere. Not really a pretty walk, to be truthful. Life here seems for many-maybe most-quite hard. Each day I pass twice under a concrete structure that holds another highway above. Under it live several people. One day a woman was speaking loudly and passionately to the world, but I have no idea what she was saying. She stood there under the bridge, her belongings bundled nearby which included a mattress folded into a cart. Life somehow did a job on her. Not far from her was a man cooking his meal on an open fire. I passed several street types as I walked, just sitting by the side of the road. Yesterday as I made my walk back from the bank, another looooong walk, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself until I looked up to see a man coming towards me on crutches. He had only one foot and was just maybe 30 some years old. Last night I had dinner out with Mirabai and her partner Javier. Sheś a teacher I met in Hawaii when I last visited Amy. She invited me to come along for a going away for one of her students who turned out to be from CA. Another of her students was there as well, Jimmy, also from CA. Jimmy is my age or so and has been here a couple of months doing street ministry, trying to feed and clothe people. He said the need has just mushroomed. I hope to learn more of this as we go along.
Today was my first day of intensivo with Luciana and her assistants. She has one assistant for each student, each a good dancer. These are all men and women in mid 20’s to mid 30’s. Most are pretty nice, but some seem bored. It was five hours of class today and pretty challenging. I have danced mostly closed embrace and this is all open—quite different. I seem to have developed some bad habits as I keep getting the same corrections. Imagine that! Head up! Shoulders down! etc, etc. I danced in jazz sneakers as per our teacher’s instructions, so delightfully, my feet don’t hurt at all. It’s just the rest of me that hurts! Tomorrow Iĺl try this all over again! I’m sure it will get easier . . . . . .