Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mr. Don, When Can We Swim?

                                              Hilda, Gracie, Leydi (and the fingers of Hasey)
Leydi has been asking that question every time she sees Don; she wants to go swimming! Rick and Luz Maria took the girls swimming for the first time while they were here early this month. Leydi was initially very fearful of the water, but Rick said she began to get more comfortable with it by the end of that afternoon. And then she was desperate to go again!

We told Leydi that we would also take Hilda, Gracie and Hasey. They were all so excited. We just had to find a suitable pool. Don and I checked with the manager of the pool at the former Oasis Bar and Grill and he gave his approval. Business has been very slow there and he was excited at the prospect of having customers. The day we stopped in for lunch, we were the only customers.

                                                                       Little Hasey.

We agreed to pick the girls up at Son Rise church at 2:00 and they were ready and waiting for us. We loaded them up in the car and went by to pick up David Cowan. The minute we started driving towards the Oasis, Hasey began crying. I asked the other girls to find out what was troubling her, but she wouldn't say. A short drive later, we pulled into the Oasis and everyone got out. Hasey, who was still crying, immediately took off toward the road. I hollared "Stop, Hasey! No! No!" as I ran after her. She did not want to come back with me and wouldn't answer me either. I called the other girls over and they began asking her what was wrong. Finally, her big sister Gracie pulled her into her arms and just held her. She talked to her softly for a couple of minutes and all of a sudden, the tears stopped and she was fine. I was perplexed, but glad that she recovered. Gracie just shrugged when I asked what that was all about.

Once we got into the pool, Hasey was all smiles. Ear to ear.

Of the four girls, only Hilda can swim, so we had to keep a very close eye on the other three. The pool is quite large with a swim-up bar complete with underwater stools. We were the only customers again, and the girls loved splashing over to those stools and then back to the wide steps entering the pool. Leydi was the most timid, and actually, if the water had been a little warmer, she might have been a bit braver, but she spent a great deal of time shivering, teeth chattering. We've had a number of cloudy, rainy days, so the water was a little on the cool side. It was a warm, but not hot, day with alternating clouds and sun. I told her she could keep warm by moving, kept encouraging her and finally got her to hold onto the side of the pool and kick her legs. None of the girls are afraid of putting their heads under water. They would let go of the side and glide towards me, as long as I wasn't too far away.

The one who amazed me was little Hasey. I asked her if she wanted to learn to float and she nodded. At first she was holding onto me for dear life but after awhile, she was just laying across my arms. I'll bet she'll float on her own the next time we go!

And Hilda! A fish!! She was jumping from the sides, doing cannonballs, swimming under water, on her back, ever which way and did NOT want to go home.

The girls worked up quite an appetite. Don had told them he would buy them something to eat AFTER they swam. Leydi was starving from the time we arrived and was having a difficult time waiting. Hilda swam so much that she probably burned up a couple thousand calories and was also starving. So, we finally had to pause and order. They all wanted hamburgers and fries! And 'cokes'. Actually, they all wanted more than one hamburger! Rafael discovered that the kitchen only had 3 hamburger buns (the bread man had not shown up). Finally, two of the girls changed their orders to chicken fingers and fries. Then they could hardly wait for the food to come out. I began to think that these girls had not had any lunch before they came. The two who had ordered the burgers ate some and then wrapped the remainder to take home (they were huge burgers). They ate every french fry, though. And some chips and salsa. And two  'cokes' each. A very good day.

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