This is an excerpt from my book-in-progress. I am describing some volunteer work I did in Ecuador.
All the children knew I was different, but some couldn’t quite grasp the concept.
“Are you going to your country now?” one boy asked when I walked my bike out of the building, getting ready to leave for the day.
“No, I’ll be back tomorrow,” I said, not fully understanding the question.
“I know you’ll be back tomorrow,” he said rolling his eyes, “but how long does it take you to ride your bicycle to your country?”
Another day, while sitting on top of the monkey bars and fielding questions from two curious girls sitting next to me, one asked, “How long did it take you to learn English?”
“Well in my country everyone speaks English, just like people speak Spanish here, so I learned it as a child, the same way you learned Spanish.”
She looked confused and asked again, “Did it take you a long time to learn English?”
The second girl, who hadn’t heard everything but knew we were talking about language interrupted, “Profe John, why does it sound different when you talk?”