sorry to keep you waiting, folks.
i know you've been checking my blog every day for the next chapter in this story.
let me just say that this next part made the Mexico Trip one of the best memories i have from highschool (not counting what happened afterwards).
The sun had just risen on the morning of the day we were allowed to spend "absorbing Mexican culture" with our host families, and my middle name may as well have been sponge. I was ready for this. We were going to highschool with the daughter of our host family for her homecoming. I could feel the excitement building as we rode down the streets of Mexico on our way to school, the radio blasting a popular Mariachi tune of the time. My heart was pounding right along with the distinctive tuba that was keeping rhythm with the bass line. I remember being awed at the size of the school when we pulled up to it. It was huge. There were students everywhere. It was chaos...definately not what we small, hicktown girls were used to. I loved it instantly. We got out of the car, and Gabi and her cousin started introducing us to their friends. Then it happened. We were surrounded by boys. Boys everywhere. Wanting a picture with us: "foto? foto?" Seriously? Me? You want a picture with me??? WHY? They must not have had many American girls visit that school. Or maybe they were just in awe of how freakishly white my skin was...hah! Either way, it was fun. Cameras were flashing everywhere, and we all had stupid grins plastered across our faces. When the photoshoot finally came to an end, someone handed us pictures of the girl they wanted to win homecoming queen, and we pinned them on our shirts. Then we were lost in a sea of bodies as everyone starting crowding around to watch the candidates make their entrances. It was insane...there were moments when i was convinced we were going to be trampled and killed amidst the chaos. Talk about an adrenaline rush. I don't think they have to adhere to the same fire codes in Mexico that we have to here. After everyone was finally in place, the party began, and what a party it was. We were outside in a courtyard, but there was a screen over the entire area to keep the sun from making it too hot. There was a live band, and there was dancing. Lots and lots of dancing. The girls danced with a long stem rose in their mouths. Guys continued to come up to us and ask us for pictures, and finally, i met one that spoke English. We started talking and hit it off pretty well. His name was Jesus (pronounced hay-sooz), but he didn't go by that name. He went by Chui(like Chewy from Star Wars), because that's so much better than the alternative. Haha! I go to Mexico and meet Jesus but he prefers to be called Chewy. Tell me that isn't funny. He asked me if i wanted to dance, and i got really nervous for a second. The only dancing i'd ever done was ballroom because that's all we were allowed to do at my school. Everything else was totally and completely "inappropriate." I had no clue how to salsa, or rhumba, or cha cha, or do anything remotely similiar to what these highschoolers were doing. But, i'm a quick learner, so i threw caution to the wind and said to myself, "you're never gonna have this opportunity again. Go for it!" I took his hand, and he led me to the dance floor. I'm sure i looked like a total and complete dork for the first few minutes. I had no clue how to dance like him, but he was patient, and i finally caught on. Then it was fun...i didn't want to stop. After chatting it up on the dance floor some more, i learned that he was going to college in Arizona. No wonder his English was so good. I noticed some of my friends had been scooped up by several lucky guys, and they too were learning a totally new world of dance. We were all having a blast. This was the highschool experience we would never have, and we wanted to make it last as long as we could possibly drag it out for in that one, glorious day. We were free to just be without having to worry about someone telling us our shoes were out of dresscode, or that our earrings were too long, or that we had to go home and change because our clothes were inappropriate (meaning we actually looked normal), or that we were receiving double detention for a "bad attitude" (meaning we had looked at someone the wrong way).
It ended too soon. You know what they say about having fun...and it's so true...dissapointingly true. Why can't the good times take forever? We had spent a long day with our host family though; longer than anyone else had. I remember feeling kinda smug about the day i had had when we met back up with everyone else that night. The four of us knew no one could possibly top our day of "absorbing Mexican culutre," and we were right. People were jealous...they wouldn't admit it, but they were. You can just tell when someone is mad at you for having more fun than they did. The chaperones even got mad at us. They scolded us for staying out so late, but what did they expect us to do? Just leave Gabi and her cousin, and find our own ride home with some random strangers in Mexico? In a normal world, everything would have been just fine, but our world was not normal. In our world, if anything good happened to anyone who wasn't one of the "chosen few," it always ended badly. Unfortunately, none of the chosen had been with us that day, so there was a little tension in the air. It was like a time bomb waiting to explode. And it did. At dinner.
We were sitting around the dinner table, and one of the "chaperones" was telling a story and pretty much bragging about himself and how great he was. He was abusing his authority by making up scenarios about himself and then asking us what we would do in the situation, knowing that none of us had the guts to tell him the truth. None of us, that is, except for Amanda. My dear bff always had a hard time putting up with this certain person's obnoxious behaviour, and that night was no different. After he had just finished making a smart comment about what he would say to a student, and they had laughed uncomfortably at his ill attempt at self-righteous humor, Amanda commented, "i'd tell you to shove it."
We all kind of laughed...awkwardly. It was hilarious, but we didn't want to get in trouble. We shouldn't have been worried. He had Amanda in his sights now.
The bomb was about to go off.
Things were pretty calm for the rest of dinner. Then Amanda got called into the back bedroom with the Principal, her assistant, and the "chaperone" who just happened to be the Principal's son.
She was in there for quite some time and when she came out, i knew she was furious. I've known her since we were 5, and i knew this was not going to be good. Somehow we got a ride back to our host family's house, and then the floodgates opened. It wasn't fair. It never was. We knew it wouldn't be, but i think we all kind of hoped that the next time, things would be handled differently. We should have known better than to go against a sure thing. It's like running into a brick wall: you only hurt yourself...the wall never knows you were there. She got out her calling card and called her parents. The tears were flowing, but i think they were angry tears more than anything. How it was right for that man to sit there and say whatever he wanted and not be confronted about it (which he did all the time), and then when one brave student stands up to him she gets punished for having an attitude problem and being in "the wrong place with the Lord" (whatever that means), is beyond me. Was the outcome surprising? No. Was it still as upsetting? Yes.
I remember sitting across the room from her as she sat in silence putting one peanut butter ball after another into her mouth and wondering if there would be any left for me. Haha! She was so upset, she ate the whole bag. And i got to help :)
We were used to things going the way they did. Didn't make it right, but we were resilient and strong-hearted. That one incident would not spoil the day, or the rest of the trip, for us.