Keep the dharma wheel turning

(Guest blogger of the week: Mark Hand, or "Gringuito")

Life, until this morning, was pretty great. Our library and teen center are up and running, we have great applicants for next year's Program Directors, the search for a new Country Director is coming along swimmingly. I'm rock climbing more, my inbox is short, and I made a new friend at the library. José Suntaxi Suntaxi, age five, barreled into the library with his family yesterday like he was born to read, and of course ask copious amounts of questions. A sampling:

How do I open this?
Take off the plastic, José.

What's that?
It's a microscope.

What's a microscope?
It lets you see little things, look.

Oooh...! Little Gringo, do you have a bathroom?
We do - it's right over there. Make sure you wash your hands, ok? And you can call me Profesor Marco, instead of Little Gringo.

Ok! Little Gringo, are you going to be my friend?
Of course I am, José.

Why is this called a 'biblioteca?'
It's a place where you can borrow books. It's from the Greek... nevermind. You borrow books here. A libreria is where you buy them.

I've never, ever been in a biblioteca before. I can take a book home and bring it back the next day?
Sure thing, brother.

Given how great all this sounds, what could possibly go wrong? I was sitting in the upstairs office this morning, minding my own business and reading applications, when Dana poked her head around the staircase. "Mark, you and I are cooking tonight. Can you think of something to go with black bean salad?" Now my palms are sweaty, my pulse is up, and former volunteer Zak Schwarzman is reminding me to breathe, via g-chat.

I hate cooking. Last time I cooked, I ended up with some kind of spicy water that made everybody's nose run, apparently a no-no outside of Cajun Country. That was October. Now we've had to redraw the cooking and cleaning rotation, and I'm back in. Zak's response when I told him was, "Did everyone else tragically lose their arms?"

I think I'm going rock climbing. Here's to you, Zak the food therapist.