Open Day at Maya's School



A pleasant visit to Maya's school


            Maya invited me to her school on Open Day, when visitors were welcome. She wanted me to get to know her school friends and to see displays of craft and projects, and taste foods and other things. It was really different from school in America. There were so many things to see and taste that halfway through the day I began to feel dizzy. This soon passed however. Maya's friends were great and there was a concert at the end of the day. I couldn’t follow some of the drama pieces as I still wasn't familiar with the Jamaican patwa. But the music was great and Maya brought down the house with a sentimental song I didn't know. That girl could sing! She had to give an encore. Something named My Boy Lollipop which had the whole school dancing along with her. Awesome!

            And just when I thought my very interesting visit to Maya's school was over, before we could leave, some girls approached me with a strange request. They had seen double dutch rope jumping on television and wanted to learn how to do it. Now, I haven’t jumped rope since the fourth grade, but I guess one never really forgets.

            They had planned to ask me when Maya told them on Friday that I would be coming, so they had come prepared with ropes, but some of the ropes were too light and too short. Eventually we found two which could be used.            

            It turned out to be a lot of fun teaching them to coordinate turning both ropes and jumping in rhythm.  They wanted to start doing some of the fancy footwork they had seen on tv but it was obvious that they would have to learn just to control the ropes and do basic steps without stepping on the ropes. We sang some of the skipping songs they knew –

            Cinderella , Cinderella, dressed in yella.

            Went downtown to meet her fella

            How many kisses did she get?

            One, two etc. until out.

             Feeling as if I was back in the fourth grade, I taught them  –

            Mary and Kenneth sitting in a tree
            First comes love
            Then comes marriage
            Then comes (the incoming skipper’s name) in a baby carriage

            We were on the playing field with about twenty girls taking turns learning to turn the ropes and the steps. There were also some boys watching us. Once a teacher came out to check why we were still there, and making a noise. I thought we would be told to go home, but he just looked on for a while then left.

            One hour and much laughter and sweat later, Olivia said it was time to go home.  All in all I was pleased with how the day had gone. We would have to take a taxi or a bus to get home and I didn’t mind. This would be another part of the day's adventure. Two boys from Maya's class followed us to the main road.

            “It’s because of you,” Maya teased in a whisper. “Them like you off!”

            I looked at her in alarm. This was strange territory for me. One of the boys, Adrian, spoke with an accent I couldn’t recognize. It wasn’t the Jamaican accent I was getting used to hearing. He was saying things like: “Ah lak da way y’all can skeep.”

            After they left, Maya told me that he speaking ‘twang’. He was trying to impress me by speaking with what he thought was an American accent. He was totally lame. Definitely NOT a cute boy. We had a good laugh. Boys can be so silly when they are trying to impress girls.

            Finally, we took a route taxi came that was going our way. Route taxis take up as many passengers as they can hold wherever they are hailed. That was a crazy experience.  The driver darted in and out and around other vehicles, stopping abruptly to let off and take on other passengers. Four of us were crammed in the back seat. My heart was in my mouth, but Olivia was quite composed. Actually, I suspected that she was busy planning our next adventure. I wondered what was in store for me. Something crazy, I was sure.

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