The girls are taking swimming lessons.
They are adorable in their swimsuits and goggles and gorros, a polyester covering for the head that everyone is required to wear at any pool. These are not like rubber Speedo hats that keep water out of the ears or create an aerodynamic dimension in the water. These gorro’s main function is to keep hair out of the pool.
Anaiah and Eliana are doing great learning how to swim and the instructor, whose bilingual instruction for the girls includes counting “one, two” instead of “uno, dos”, is excellent. Part of her excellence comes from her willingness to throw the kids around the pool without any floaties and from not allowing protective parents into the pool. She has a tough motherly technique that seems to work.
At the first lesson, nervous about the seven little kids being in the pool without parents and no flotation device surrounding them, I made a loud scream when I thought one of the kids fell off of the side rail. Everyone looked at me, the loco gringo, and then at the little kid who was just practicing putting her head under the water. I then pretended that I had something in my throat and was experiencing a coughing fit instead of owning up to what happened, exuding a nervous screech.
After a couple of weeks, the instructor’s methods are paying off. The girls are learning to use their arms, kick their feet, and feel comfortable floating along on their own.
Ecuador doesn’t lack for pools because of the yearlong moderate weather and the thermal waters delivered from nearby volcanoes, and we found a great maestro. Hopefully that combination will teach them to swim.