Thursday, January 8, 2009
Boat-Schooling at its Best
Some of the benefits and challenges of our journey have been boat-schooling. Fortunately, Tim is a certified teacher and his rational and analytical left brain complements my more social right brained oriented way of thinking. So together we’re hoping to give Maya and Kai a well-balanced education. I teach more of the English and history classes and Tim is in charge of the science and math. Our curriculum mixes formal and informal courses, allowing for a lot of spontaneity. There’s waves of enthusiasm and it’s taken us many months to get into a rhythm of some sorts.
This week we’ve had some productive boat-schooling including a dissection of a fish eye with our kids and our new friends on board Bravado. Don’t worry we didn’t kill the fish just for the experiment. We caught a three foot Dorado off of Chacala and ate most of it for about a week. Maya had joked with Tim who, lucky for me, does all of the filleting (the converting of the fish from animal with thoughts into food) about giving the eye to Hein who loves to look at things under the microscope. Well, Tim saved the eye and that gave him the opportunity to teach the kids about the eye. Most fascinating for me was looking through the fish lens which looked like a golden ball and seeing things magnified and upside-down.
But one of the best aspects of boat-schooling is being able to let Maya and Kai run with their ideas. Maya just finished writing her first play which is based on J.K. Rowlings' story of Harry Potter. She showed the play to Jet, who also loves theatre and one afternoon while Jet’s mom, Judith, and I were taking them on a field trip to a coffee plantation just south of San Blas, the two girls would barely get out of the car because they were so enthralled with Maya’s script. Maya had finally found someone who could help her make her script come alive. Since that day almost two weeks ago, the two have been busy re-writing sections of the play, recruiting actors (the brothers of the bunch) and thinking primarily about how to produce the play.
When we arrived at the marina in La Cruz last Friday, Maya and Jet saw the outdoor amphitheatre and their minds raced into full throttle. They asked Rafael, the manager, if they could hold the performance at the amphitheater and he agreed to provide lights and microphones. He also wanted to lure more people to come via a BBQ potluck. When they asked Lupe, our dock neighbor on board the Catamaran called Moon and the Stars, whether she had any extra brooms, Lupe wanted to know more about the play and asked if she could invite the 13 orphans from her orphanage.
The girls recruited a musician, Bobbie Jo from the boat Hipnautical, to help with the music. And they’ve been practicing for four to five hours everyday this week. I have not been allowed to watch any of it, but have been amazed to witness how this kid-run and kid-initiated activity has produced such devotion, creativity and cleverness, especially with the props and costumes. Even Kai and the boys on Bravado are buzzing with excitement. The performance is tomorrow at 5:30 and I wish you all could come.
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