E and Me

As the door to the teacher’s lounge silently creeps open, I spot two tiny hands reaching around the edge of the door, quickly followed by a mischievously grinning face. As this little pixie spots me her grin grows wider and she charges towards me, practically knocking me out of my chair as she hugs me. E, the six-year-old daughter of a scholarship student in the CCBN’s daily computer class, has taken to accompanying her mom to the CCBN in the afternoons and visiting all her “amigas” aka gringa volunteer friends. Never mind my not-very-forceful comments that she really shouldn’t be back here, E just keeps chattering away about whatever first comes to mind. She often tells us about her two-year-old nephew’s antics, or the various pets she’s had over the years, or moments when she was surprised or scared. It is a nonstop monologue, incoherently jumping from one topic to another, and it can be annoying and endearing at the same time. But, as with most children here, if you start asking some basic questions about their home lives, you quickly realize that not all is as rosy as their smiles. For example, asking E about who helps her at home and who she talks to, she is quick to respond “No one.” Not in school, she’s often home alone, left to the devices of her own imagination for entertainment. There are days she comes in without having been bathed, wearing the same clothes as the day before, and days she casually mentions they didn’t have any food in their house for lunch. She is fiercely affectionate, and her hugs make me feel much better when I’m having a bad day. Today we spent half an hour playing around with the camera on my computer, making funny faces and exploring different effects. E was eager to learn how to point-and-click on her own, and her giggles of delight cracked me up.


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