Corina and MariannaFriday, March 8th, we began our northbound trek. We again stopped at Maruata. We pulled into town at about 3:00 p.m. Village kids, recognizing our rig waved and ran along side as we drove through the town. Senor Juantino Chavez, seemed genuinely glad to see us return.

Before we left Zihuatanejo, we bought Senora Reynalda Chavez, a large reusable plastic bowl and filled it with fresh fruit and vegetables plus a jar of good quality instant coffee.

The kids watched us – and tried to help us set up camp – before asking for chocolito. We had handed out handfuls of Costco’s Hershey bars previously.

“No tengo.” We really did want to bring chocolate to the kids but what little chocolate we found in Zihuatanejo’s only supermarket was ridiculously overpriced so we bought Oreo cookies and large bag of cheap suckers instead.

The village kids called my attention to the fact that they were playing with the ball Stan and Marion had donated. Our beautiful new soccer ball was nowhere insight. Nor were any of the toys, puzzles, jewelry kit, Barbie paper dolls, coloring books and crayons we’d given the kids just ten days before.

Stan Reynalda and Juantino and Marion’s ball, slightly flat when we gave it to the kids, obviously had been filled but damaged. It now sported a large taped over bulge on one side.

Reynalda told me she had eight kids and twelve grandchildren. Their household now consists of Reynalda, her husband Juantino, three daughters: Rosa, and youngest daughter Nellie, about 15 and middle daughter whose name I didn’t learn and Rosa’s two children, Marianna, age 9 and Corina, age 4. Only Nellie and Marianna go to school. (I incorrectly listed the kids ages previously because they still don’t know their ages.) Grandma corrected me.

All of the boys and that adorable little two year old girl, whom they call Salia, (pronounced Sa-lee-a) are “primos” (cousins). The boys did tell us their names and ages but I couldn’t retain them at all.

We were glad that we had not previously given out all of our gifts. We still had two kiddie tents. The kids watched us put them together. We told them una para ninas (one for girls) y una para ninos (and one for boys). The kids clearly “got that” but configured their tents to allow visitation and shared play.
Marianna and Corina with their two year old cousin Salia.
The adults seamed a bit bewildered but clearly enjoyed seeing their kid’s enjoyment.

The kids were up at dawn setting up their tents and having a good time long before we were ready to pack up and leave, whereas, when we had pulled out of Maruata two weeks ago, none of the kids were around when we left.

Before we left, Ray brought out his laptop to show the Chavez family how we are trying to learn Spanish using Rosetta Stone. They seemed very interested and asked quite a few questions.

The kids had been admiring GiGi and AnGi thru the camper’s back door. Normally, because of the girl’s high dollar value and desirability, we usually try to downplay their existence. The Chavez family has a kitty so we assumed they liked cats. Before we left we brought GiGi and AnGi over to meet the family. Reynalda and her daughters petted and enjoyed them. Muy Bonita (very pretty). Angora? Si. (yes) Caro (expensive)? Si. (yes)

We told them that we will return next year. Clearly, they don’t know what to make of their gringo “family” but they like us.

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