Tuesday, June 5, 2012

True Life, Our Host Mom is Addicted to Bingo!

Today in class we discussed the benefits and perils of health-focused development on a very theoretical, broad scale. It was fascinating, but that is not what I want to write about. On Sunday, our day off, Kate and I accompanied our host mother, Christina, to bingo.

She goes every Sunday. This isn’t too surprising for an old woman, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think she plans her whole week around it. As lunch time rolled around, Christina’s friend came to pick us up for the game. Kate and I piled into the back seat of the car with our host mom’s grandson, Angelito.  Her friend then drove us through Santa Ana and into one of the nearby neighborhoods there. It soon became pretty clear that Christina had no idea where this bingo game was taking place. We spent the next forty, or so, minutes driving up and down the side of a mountain, stopping to ask directions of every pedestrian we passed. She even said that one woman we passed would certainly know where the game was because she was “has her bingo face on”.  Christina’s friend was livid.  She insisted that she “has an allergy to places she’s never been” and that “You can never trust Christina with directions”. It was like watching a sitcom. They bickered (in a relatively friendly way) as we continued to search for the bingo game. We eventually ended up entering a gated compound and driving up their long driveway only to find out that the bingo game had been moved to another date. At this point, we were all incredibly sweaty and hungry. Angelito was practically fainting.

Christina wouldn’t give up. She now revealed that she knew of at least two other bingo games that we could go to. Her friend threatened to drive off without us, saying we could take a taxi. We continued to drive through Santa Ana, asking directions every few minutes, until we did finally find a bingo game. We stayed for close to three hours. We were surprised to find a wide range of ages represented among the bingo players which made us think that it isn’t just an old person game here. Then again, it was a fundraiser for a pre-school so it was hard to tell if this was a usual case. Although we struggled to stay awake, Christina was all business. This was no social event. She played six bingo cards without getting up once for the entirety of those three hours. She even brought her own plastic chips to play with. She was very intent on winning!

Despite the tediously long bingo game (I don’t want to play bingo again until I am at least 65 years old), Kate and I had a great time laughing about our host mom’s antics. We did actually have a great time.

Speaking of weird experiences, we found a very large spider, I’m talking three –inch long legs, in the bathroom the other night. Kate and I were trying to decide if we should kill it or take it outside once we got the courage up to go near it until Angelito emerged sleepily from his bedroom. He promptly grabbed a water bottle and smashed the heck out of that spider. We were a little ashamed to be shown up by an eight year old. He then proceeded to pull out one of his silver-capped molars from his pocket having claimed that it fell out. A little while later, we found blood, and what appeared to be pieces of gum, in the bathroom sink. Angelito was happily eating a midnight snack in the kitchen in spite of his tooth problem. It was a pretty interesting day to say the least.

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