“Muy claros,” was the phrase of the day. Buenos Aires was sweltering. Vapor rose off the tin rooftops. There was neither faint hint nor whiff of breeze. And it wasn’t just me, a gringo in a different clime. Everyone moved slowly. Hand towels stayed in hand, not pocketed, to wipe the sweat from ones brow and neck and hands, continuously. I had brought cookies to tame appetites and found myself rueful that I had not waited and opted for popsicles. Still, the children beads of perspiration sliding down their foreheads and cheeks were present and smiling. After all it was Monday and another opportunity to engage with the XO’s was upon them.

Today was also David’s first day to lead the class and he was anxious to do so. He launched into his presentation of the ‘players list’ displaying an array of characters that he had created over the weekend to do so. David has a wonderful sense of humor and he cajoled the children with jokes and well-chosen fumbles that went over my head but caused spurts of laughter and giggles throughout his delivery. Extorting that this lesson was remarkably difficult and important he held them in his grasp. When he rapped up the children looked bewildered. That’s it they wondered. Next to startOver scripts and animation this lesson was the only breeze on this languorous afternoon. David grinned his sly grimace and the set to work on their stories.

I was thinking that the XO’s sealed keyboard and water resistance was a blessing today as small fingers worked while faces dripped and splashed and touch pads went goofy. Though the day seemed to pass in slow motion the children’s minds stayed alert. There were ample opportunities to get one-on-one input on developing story lines and scripts. Some of the children wrote out a ‘summary’ of what they are thinking about having happen. Unbelievably Wendys and Ruben and Marvin stayed on in the oven of the classroom long after the others, tweaking a script or putting the finishing touches on a sketch. The afternoon was a testimony to all of the children’s dedication. A tacit proof of the unending claim I keep hearing as though scripted in and of its self, in their personal interviews. “I want to always remember this time, here with my friends and the XO’s.”

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