The kids are having some tough times with the move, as we expected. They don't have any friends. They can't communicate with local kids (or anyone else, for that matter). They don't have the schedule they're used to. And the country is just not up to their standards of cleanliness and decorum, it seems.
We seem to have raised at least one environmental snob. Piper has commented extensively on all the smell when walking on the sidewalk or riding in a cab in traffic. Tonight, walking home from downtown:
Piper: "Boy, these people need some training lessons."
Mom: "On what?"
Piper: "Litterbug training!...and car training, too!"
Mom: "You mean like how-to-drive car training?"
Piper: "Well, yeah, that too -- but mostly on how-to-get-rid-of-all-that-smoke-training."
At home Di made popcorn and announced she would put in a movie for the patient and her brother, which elicited this comment: "Mom, you just happied me out of this Spanish-speaking country!"
But we could have been anywhere in the world for our desire and excitement to not drive a car for two years. That is, of course, the adult we. El Centro of Cuenca, the historic Spanish colonial area, is about one mile by one and half miles, so to drive here is sheer lunacy (why so many people do is another post entirely). We walk. And we walk. Again, the adult we, as children are frequently found to be drug behind parents when they don't get a shoulder ride. "Enough of all this walking business," was Piper's comment before dropping her shoulders and proceeding along with both the gate and enthusiasm of Snuffleupagus.
But while Piper, 6, has had crying fits and performances worthy of Isadora Duncan (no relation) about missing her best friend Sophie, Duncan's just 4, so he more or less roles with the punches. He's not at an age, it seems, where he imagines an alternate universe, even the one he spent his entire life to-date living in. Life just is what it is. He has, however, been carrying around a little stuffed raccoon that his friend gave him before leaving. Today he said, "I'm glad Luca gave me this raccoon so it always reminds me of him."