splash and strike

Today we had a school trip to  Guateque – a waterpark 2 hours away in a rattling chicken bus which did not slow down at the speed bumps. 4 kids vomited on the way, fortunately out the windows.  I overcame my fear of heights and went on all the slides, encouraged by 5 year olds bombing in front of me, fearless.

The health and safety was about a tenth of what it would be in the UK – just one guard occasionally blowing a whistle when more than 4 kids lunged head first together down the steepest water chute.

For lunch we had a piece of fried chicken, a sachet of tomato ketchup, 2 pasty tortillas, a packet of crisps and an artificial orange juice.

All the teachers were dotted around the edges of the pools, occasionally looking up to see that the 50 kids aged 3-15 were OK. And they were fine. Seeing that I didn’t have to be on hyper-guard, I took the opportunity to finish ‘Like water for chocolate’ which I had read in the past but now made more sense being in a culture close to Mexico.

And this bit is a good bit:

‘each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul.’

As we were leaving the park, I stopped at the monkey cage where 2 black monkeys swung. One came towards me and we got eye contact. He reached out his long hairy arm and black fingers through the bars for my hand and we stood there for a while, holding hands. I felt a little match strike inside me.


4 thoughts on “splash and strike

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  1. What a fantastic metaphor. But would it not be “Like chocolate for water”. How about some pictures from the water park? Larry xo

  2. What great things you are up to Julia! This is wonderful wonderful news. I have just looked at the poem you wrote, Spain versus Portugal, almost exactly a year ago. Har far you have travelled! In every sense of the word.
    You sound like you are living a rare and wonderful dream… best of luck with everything. This blog is good enough to eat – food for the soul!! ;-)))

    1. Natasha it is so superb for me to receive such positive comments from you. It made my day and inspired me to paint a big picture on an old sack 🙂 Thank you. Really. I hope your life is happy and full xx

      1. I felt so silly not checking my spelling, though! Julia, it is lovely finding your blog and feeling all the colour in your writing. It’s a book, a film and a song, all rolled into one. Just keep living it and enjoying life! That is the secret!! Huge hugs from Portugal ;-)))

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