How Many Times Can I Mention My Dad in One Post?

Well, I was just thinking today about my father, who is undoubtedly the most amazing man in the history of everything, serving as the inspiration for every single amazing thing I do in my life (which is a lot of stuff), and I thought, Hey, maybe I should do a blog post about him!

Oh, and, you know, other, less important stuff like photographs of my teachers and the
orphanage home for children that I work at.

So, I've done a couple of posts about the orphanage home for children I work at, but so far I've been too afraid of the nuns to take pictures. But, since I know my dad would like to see pictures of the kids and stuff, so I bit the bullet and asked for permission. Which they gave. No biggie.

This is Erika! Now, all the kids at the orphanage home for children (I'm trying to change that word in my mind, but it's hard) love me, but some of them try to pretend like they don't in order to get my attention. Erika's not one of those. She also gets really upset easily, and is a favorite target of Sor. Linda (I figured out her name. 'Sor.' is a title, which I don't know what it stands for yet, and her name is Linda. [not kidding] I didn't get a picture of her.) She's pictured here next to a map of Ecuador, which still includes land ceded to Peru in a war back in the 1990s. She's also wearing red, which is not green, which is my dad's favorite color.

The brown-skinned girl in the back is Dominik, the girl not looking at the camera, Nicole, and the girl getting the bunny ears, some weird girl not in my study group whose name I don't know who follows me around because I give her candy. Dominik is hilarious. When she found out I was taking pictures, she tried to get into every one. And nearly succeeded. Also liked to try and put her finger on the lens. Kind of annoying. Nicole is the other girl like Erika who follows me around and grabs my arm and tries to get me to sit next to her even when she's not doing homework. I tell you, this volunteering business is a dangerous game. I'm reminded of that time when my dad worked in Mexico at a clinic with just women. That little girl is too young to be in the room where I am. The other American guy, Robert, works with their group.

The girl on the left is Anahí, and the one in the middle is María. You already met Dominik. Anahí is really energetic, always bouncing around. María is a 20-year-old German girl who lives at the orphanage full-time, volunteering and giving English lessons and stuff. She's taller that most people here, like my dad would be if he lived in Ecuador.

The girl on the right is Silvia, who managed to get her eyes closed in every picture I took of her, and the girl on the left is *gasp* Dominik! Silvia's a really nice girl, the only fully black one in my study group. I'm not sure whether Dominik is mulatto or (more likely) mestizo, but the black people here are really, really dark. Silvia is the hardest working and (coincidentally) the smartest girl in my study group. She's in the same grade as Erika (who's also really smart but doesn't want to put any effort in) and Amelia (who wasn't there that day, so I don't have a picture of her), but does her work about two or three times as fast as them. You know who's also a hard worker? My dad.

This is Anahí, holding up Friday's snack of Bread and Yogurt. That brownish blur is Dominik, trying to jump into the camera. Took me about 4 shots to actually get this much.

This is Silvia's little sister. She's like that other little girl above in two ways: One, I don't know her name. Two, she only talks to me to ask for candy.

This is a little kid whose name I don't know (noticing a pattern here?). Although this is a girl's home for children, some of the girls have brother who come to visit and hang out. Just little kids, though. Haven't seen any older guys.

Sometimes the kids try to trip me up by asking if I know their names. Luckily, they just started a few weeks ago, right after I had finally learned each of their names.

So, Thursday night, I headed out to the Earthly Terminal (that's what it's called) for my teachers' show!

This is my Drawing teacher, one Sr. López. He's a nice guy, really soft-spoken. He had some interesting stuff, as you can see here in this really dark picture. There's another painting that I didn't upload where the main figure is a naked black woman. She's got the curly hair and everything. I didn't ask him about it. Probably should have. Maybe he's married to a black woman, like my dad.

This is my 2-D Composition teacher, la Sra. María Elena. She's one of the two teachers I have who teaches art the way I think it should be done, focusing on conveying information about techniques and different thought processes rather than making a painting you can sell in Otavalo for $50. She's also the only teacher who has shown an awareness of the existence of abstract art, though she does like Jackson Pollock, which is a strike against her. I like this painting the best out of all of them, though I think I may be alone. When I showed Diego (who didn't go to the show, but went with me to the terminal on Saturday for another reason), he said, "You like this?" I asked Sra. Elena about the painting, and she said that it's figurative of the idealism of femininity. She told me she's reading now a book about how all the leaders of the ancient past were women, and then men used their sexual powers and tricks and stuff like that to gain control (not exaggerating here). She's pretty feminist, which is a bit refreshing in a place where my old history of art teacher once spent twenty minutes explaining that the woman's place was in the kitchen. You know who else supports women's rights? My dad.

This is my sculpture teacher's painting. His name is Carlos Torres. I didn't realize that he painted, but apparently, he does! And, he also paints naked women, unsurprisingly. Nice guy. Like my dad.

This is my painting teacher, Rivadellera or something like that. I think I've complained enough about my painting teacher in other posts that I don't need to do it here. But the painting's nice, if a bit typical of the paintings with the subject matter and exaggerated hands (Jesse and Silvia know what I'm talking about. Hey, you know who my brother's father is? My dad.).

Other prestigious figures who showed up include:

My Social Studies teacher, the second from the left.

My school's principal, the guy in the center there.

My Literature teacher.

The school Inspector, the guy in the middle.

This man, who I think was a retired teacher, who can only be correctly described as Eyebrow Man. I didn't notice why my Weirdar was going off until I took a closer look.


MaiTe, Mishel, Valeria and I were the only people who went to the show from our class. It was shameful. Speaking of shameful, I just learned the word for shameful! Vergonzoso! I was tired of saying "It's a shame."

That's, from the right, Mishel, MaiTé, Valeria and some girl I don't know.

Then some cowboys started dancing, and the thing was over.

So, last post was pretty big on comments! I had 6 comments on that post, the most I've ever had on a single post. The previous record was five, held by Food, FTJ: 8-28-08, and The Things People Say. I'm not sure what the big draw was, since there were no cooked pets, pictures of other AFS kids, or hilarious lolcats (the Soylent Milk one I thought was so-so). Let's get down to business, then.

Thanks for commenting, Dad. I had forgotten how important you are in shaping my life, so I mentioned you twelve times in this post. I'll get the other eight soon. Thanks for commenting, Tom. I like my dad too. Hey Anonymous! Why don't you go write a poem and not attribute it to yourself? Or, like, go give valuable information to the police without giving away your own identity! Or, maybe not be a moron! That's a thought. (Disclosure: If you're actually someone I know who just didn't put a name, I'm only kidding. If you're not, I mean every word.) Thanks for commenting, Jesse. Yeah, I think "home for children" is the best way to describe it. There's no school there. María told me yesterday that some of the kids were beaten by their parents, so it could be that too. To throw another wrinkle into defining it, though, one of the girls, Joanna, just stays there until 6 or so to do homework, then goes home with her mother. And it's not that my blog is popular enough to pick up trolls, it's that it's AWESOME enough. Also, it may not be a troll. Trolls usually have annoying usernames like "coolman87324" or "xXsexygrlXx213", and speak without proper grammar. Thanks for commenting, Mom. You got the wrong kind of troll there. You're thinking of this kind of troll. Jesse meant this kind. Thanks for commenting, Ben. I come back to the US on June 18th, and will be going (relatively) north either in July, if I go to Maryland for the summer, or in August, for college.

Speaking of college, Harvard just got back to me, saying I was accepted, and giving me $51,200/$52,700 in financial aid! They also said specifically that my parents (this means you, Dad) don't have to pay anything! So that's good.

Well, that's all for now.



that black girl artist said...

Hello Jacob:

This is your father. This blog entry was a good start. However, you could be a little more specific on how I inspire you. And more important don't lose your focus in future entries...

Seriously, I love you and am very proud of all that you are doing. Your photos were amazing!!!

yer dad

Ben said...

Harvard waitlisted me, meh. Congratulations, although of course it doesn't matter as you're going to MIT.

Maryland is north of you, but I meant "north," as in New England or New York, exclusive. I'll be in MA all july. I guess I probably won't see you until sometime during the school year... I imagine we'll both be too busy to travel outside of our respective cities until at least October. Ah well.

Ben said...

how come you failed to mention there was an election in ecuador?