“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?”
I’ve been teaching at CBS for over a year and a half now. During this time I’ve experienced my fair share of school related outings and activities. There’s the Torch Parade, Kid’s Day, the Olympics, Christmas programs, Valentine’s programs, etc. The list goes on and on! There are tons of celebrations and activities throughout the year, but my favorite by far is the trip to Wonderland.
The main reason I like this trip so much is because I get to hang out with the kids without being their teacher. All students must be accompanied by a parent, so my only job is to play with the crazy little water monsters all day! Honduras can get really, really hot and swimming pools aren’t very common, so a trip to the water park is pretty special. Many of the kids didn’t know how to swim, so there was a heavy reliance on the colorful flotadores (floats).
I spent most of my time in the shallow end playing with my first graders. It was so much fun to play with them outside of the school setting! We played bumper cars with the floats, had splashing wars, and enjoyed some super yummy shaved ice. Since we were there for about 6 hours, I brought a book along to read in my down time. Ha. Haha. I’m so silly sometimes. Down time? Really? I have no idea what I was thinking and ended up getting a whopping 10 pages read. Every time I would settle down in my chair and start reading, one of the little monsters would come up and soak me with a dripping wet hug! I would chase them into the water, play until I was tired, then go back to my chair. Repeat approximately 26x.
The park is well equipped with a lazy river, wave pool, several slides, and two ‘little kid’ pools. Since the park was so empty and is so big, everybody was pretty spread out. The older kids focused their attention on the slides while the younger ones enjoyed the smaller pools. When I wasn’t in the water, I spent most of my time seeking refuge under one of the super cool little huts because unlike the Hondurans who turn a beautiful brown when in the sun, I turn red. Very red. As the day went on this became a source of entertainment for students and parents alike. I received several laughs from the kids and many pitying looks from the parents.
“Oh, that’s going to hurt tomorrow!” Yep. 3 days later and it still hurts.
“Miss Krysten! Your color is PINK!!” Pink. I’m pink. At least it’s better than red?
“Miss Krysten!!! You….are….RED!!!!” Well dang.
“Miss Krysten. Why are you so red? I’m not red. Do you like being red?”
Err….well….how exactly do you explain pigmentation to an 8 year old? Thankfully one of the older kids responded before I could. “Miss Krysten is red because she’s a gringa!” We all had a pretty good laugh at that because of how true it is.
At school on Monday I was still pretty red and pink. Meanwhile my kids walked into class with the most beautiful, perfect, sun kissed skin you’ve ever seen. As I returned home that afternoon and applied yet another layer of lotion to my puffy red skin, I couldn’t help being more than a little bit jealous of my little water monsters.
-Kysten (First Grade Teacher)