The kids are constantly playing games I think I know, but follow some sort of complicated rules that elude me. They play a game that looks like dodgeball but there are people running around in a square like its baseball and then there’s a way you get marked as ‘out’ but I don’t understand. Even games of tag seem more involved.
Did you ever play Chinese jump rope? I don’t know why it’s called that, but that’s its name, at least in the US. If you don’t know what I’m talking about it’s a thin elastic rope that’s connected. Two people, who are facing each other, have the rope wrapped around their legs/or ankles standing and then someone is in the middle jumping. There’s a series of moves to do with your feet and stepping on the elastic, its kind of a combination of hopscotch and jump rope. And if you really want to step back into your memory, there are various rhymes that go along with each movement. I don’t remember any of these.
My sister, and I and one of our friends, once tried to play the same game except we didn’t have the elastic stretchy rope, and we used an actual rope. When it was behind our knees, and whoever jumped on it, the two standing on the ends, doubled over in pain from the rope burn. We did get an actual Chinese jump rope but I think we broke it, or it got stretched out, if not both. And the other thing about this game is that you need at least three people, it’s not a game you can really play by yourself, or make a younger brother stand in and play.
The girls at the orphanage have taken the game of Chinese jump rope and modified it so they can play with two people, or if someone wants to play alone they can. They’ve taken plastic bags and ripped into thin pieces and tied together to make a Chinese jump rope. If there are only two people to play they break the ‘rope’ and tie it around something that can stand in for another person. But the game and moves are totally different, from what I grew up with. It’s almost like a dance to be honest. They teach me and I eventually get the sequence right but there’s nothing like testing my coordination, playing a game I haven’t played or thought about in 30 years.
The only game, that I recognize is soccer or football. Depending on what you call this game, I’m writing both names just for you.
Most afternoons, there is a massive Lego party on the porch of Christina and Victor’s home, where there’s some pretty impressive building going on. It makes me wonder if someone has studied what kids build with Legos and what that looks like in comparison to different countries.
I lead six of the girls in making banana bread. One of them had too much flour, and one the pan was too big for the batter. They both tasted fine, and were consumed within a day.
Friday’s are movie nights at the orphanage, and all the kids come to Victor and Christina’s to watch a movie projected on the wall. I made these for the movie, and they turn out pretty good. We watched Jurassic Park in english, the kids like it, and have seen it multiple times. If you know of, or have any, Portuguese movies, appropriate for kids, I’m sure they would appreciate them.