Midway through highschool we caught whiff of rumours in the wind of another 2 boys joining the school after the summer break. They were coming down from hellish Florida to idyllic Cochabamba to stay with their relatives and live the opulent lifestyle afforded to them by their DNA. This was exciting.
Since neither set of our parents were really into the whole ‘looking out for you’ deal, Joel & I mostly just roamed free around the countryside growing up, chatting to homeless people and playing in filthy, dark alleyways whilst child slave traders looked on with a gleam in their eye, dreaming of thumbing through reams of greenbacks.
I imagine for some Missionary Kids, moving away from their home country and leaving all their friends and family must be an horrific experience. I say imagine, because I honestly can’t remember whether mine was or not. It could have been the drugs dad plied us with. Some more of the things I can remember from those early weeks of being a Missionary Kid…
- Our House(s).
Americans love camps. It’s like their national pastime or something. When they’re not eating individual portions designed for entire Catholic families or shooting each other under the loving embrace of the Bill of Rights,* they go on camps. Americans have camps for everything. Summer Camps, High School camps, Wilderness Camps. Girl Scout Camps.
Obviously I had no real friends when we first moved to Cochabamba. This predicament lingered for a while, so I spent a lot of time in the school library like a nerd loser. In the first month, I’d read every single Hardy Boys novel they had, sometimes churning through 2 a day.
Most of my early summer days in Cochabamba were spent with Joel, because we both lived on the school grounds and neither of us had any other friends. Joel was an adventurer, and as such had plenty of GI Joes & Micro Machines, a New Zealand Passport and a 70cc raging beast of a Honda Motorbike with a peeling Rolling Stones sticker.
Studying at an International School has its drawbacks. For one thing, there’s no standard curriculum. You get whatever the teacher at the time deems appropriate learning. Being an Australian citizen, naturally I got American History. I had an English teacher for Science, and a Kiwi teacher for English. You can blame her for the poor writing on this blog.