Waking up on time was not a problem. The rain pounding on the tin roof during the long hours of the night was followed by the roosters crowing and the all-dog alert, so that before the sun came up, we were already finished with any attempt of sleeping. We slithered out of our sleep sacks and peeked into our shoes (hoping a random mouse, cockroach or scorpion had not settled inside for the night) before we slipped them on and headed for the latrine.
That old latrine experience was always an adventure. Weaving in and under the plants, the short little distance to the potty seemed longer than it really was, especially in the dark. The outhouse was just wide and deep enough for the cement seat and a skinny person. The 2-foot step down into the outhouse carried a moment of mystery...would it be squishy full of mud? would the cockroaches scurry up the walls? Greasy had a harder time of it, being so tall that she could not really stand up without bumping her head on who knows what. It was best not to pull the cardboard door across the opening, but to let your best friend stand guard and hold the flashlight while you gingerly lifted the cover off of the pot.
After a tag-team latrine adventure, we slipped back into the house and got dressed and organized ourselves for the new day. We were scheduled to teach in the community school that morning, sharing a mini-VBS experience with the elementary school kids. School started at 8 am, and we were starting to get a little anxious about the time as the early morning wore on. Back then, Greasy spoke a little Spanish, and Grubby did not, and neither wanted to be rude about asking Julia to hurry up the breakfast process. Finally, Greasy said, "We'd better go."
We gathered our stuff, making the move to politely leave. Julia looked at us and said that we couldn't leave without breakfast. "They are waiting for us at the school," Greasy explained.
"Yes," said Julia calmly. "They are waiting."
The tone of voice in that matter-of-fact statement, "yes, they are waiting" really struck us. They will wait. They will start when you get there. You can't teach unless you take care of yourself first. Quit worrying about the clock.
We sat down and ate breakfast. Yes, they were waiting.