1. Traffic lights and stop signs are not actually essential for road usage. All those years of playing Tetris pay off when you are slowly easing a car through a crossroads where everyone seems to be going at once, very slowly…

2. Lots of people still use horses as a mode of transport for heavy goods.

3. Insects see me as an all-you-can-eat buffet (no change there then)

4. The password to getting absolutely anyone to do anything in this organisation is to say: “Dona Diana said…”

5. To say “how’s it hanging?” you say “Que pedo?” (lit. “What fart?)

6. Every meal comes with rice and beans. And some come with rice and frijoles, just for variation.

7. Most things I say in Spain Spanish are either rude or unintelligible here.

8. Hot weather makes me really tired and cranky, like a grumpy baby that needs a nap (also not news).

9. Ambassadors are dick heads. We bent over backwards to accommodate the US Ambassador, changing the date of the concert to the only night she could come, and now she has pulled out of coming to the show, saying that she CAN come to “have pictures taken with the girls”. (Good publicity for free? Yeah sure. Why don’t you just take the food out of their mouths and the clothes off their backs, you upper class, over paid, trumped up… POLITICIAN. That was one of Shakespeare’s favourite insults. Y.O.U. S.T.I.N.K.)

10. Although the girls here are happy, wonderful, bubbly children, adolescents, and young women, scratch the surface and you will get a sense of the vast pool of sadness here. Born to parents who were murdered, or who abandoned them as they were unable to take care of them for whatever reason, they are given a lot of opportunities. They receive an excellent education in as positive and safe an environment as circumstances allow, yet read any of their poems and you get a sense of the deep pain caused by the socioeconomic fabric here being pulled apart by violence and instability. I get the sense that the girls see the home as both a blessing and a curse.

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