Well, the party had been planned for some time but it sounded as if I was not the only one who found the weather and distance from home sad and frustrating yesterday. The students – my students and the students we’d been paired with from another American University – started showing up around 2pm. For awhile we occupied the apartment because Fellowship of the Ring was on and those of us who were there early didn’t want to give it up. Me because it is a comforting ritual that Mary and I repeat fairly often: find one of the LOR trilogy on TBS and drop everything to watch it, despite owning the DVD sets and having seen each of them a dozen times or more. For the three students it is because they’ve read, and loved, the books but not seen the movies.
I felt a bit like Bilbo there.
However, once we passed 20 in number, we adjourned to my building’s general purpose room which is much larger and was more comfortable. The party rolled on until 8 or so and my “grilled” dogs were a hit. I used a cast iron pan to grill them. Not quite charcoal outside under the sun but better than boiled.
The hit of the party was the body art. One of our students took a Public Art class here in which she could substitute a public art performance for the final paper. Easy choice, right? As I’ve written, last week was beautiful so she undertook her project on a bright, warm sunny afternoon. The idea was quite simple: she wore, basically, a bikini and wrote, in body paint, “Pintarme!” (only she used the upside down exclamation point on the front, as is correct but I can’t find on my keyboard) inviting passersby to have a go at art on her body. I had to pass by them on my way to pick up the rental so I stopped by.
Here is the scene:
She was well covered by the time I arrived but someone had written “Bang” on her shoulder so I added my version of art next to it.
She got a great turnout and a lot of little kids who were overjoyed to paint the gringo. There was also at least one little tyke who was very excited to paint her until some large idiot standing nearby started speaking English and scared him away.
So, this student brought her tools to the 4th of July party and offered American flags to one and all. They were pretty good. Unfortunately, we never got a photo where everyone had their flags turned to the camera at the same time. The urge to look straight ahead is far too strong.
We have our “official” farewell lunch this afternoon. However, several students still have finals to take and I’m missing quite a few final papers. They have until Friday. But our fifth student leaves this evening so it’s clearly winding down. Never fear, though, I still have a good story about rental cars and some more pretty pictures to come.