Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sometimes the Simplest Toys are the Best Toys

So in all our visits to the parks there have been children playing with these spinning tops.  We have been stalking these children.  We've looked in all the stores that we've been to and had not found them yet.  The boys were getting very impatient with me over it.  They really wanted to play with them.  At the mall the other day we saw a boy with one in his hand.  I ran over and asked him where he bought it.  He told me, "En la tienda."  Great, in the store.  That doesn't help much.  I asked, "In a store here?"  "No" and then his mom started rattling off a whole mess of Spanish and I was lost.

I vowed that the next time, I will be better prepared.  I have a notebook and I'm not afraid to use it.  Yesterday, we saw another little boy in the park that had one and I went and asked him.  His father was there and he started rattling off Spanish like I should be able to understand it.  I guess that's a compliment on what/how I had spoken.  Anyway, I told him that I didn't speak Spanish very well and would he please write it down... I knew Patrice would help us.  He did.  When we got home from the park, Cody couldn't wait to get down the stairs to ask Patrice about it.  In fact, Patrice wasn't here at the time and Cody made three trips down the stairs to ask him.  Finally, Patrice got home and we found out that he does know where to take us.  Yay!  He said he would take us this morning.  The kids moved so fast getting ready after breakfast, Ken and I couldn't keep up. 

The Bonbona is much like the flea markets that Ken and I encountered in Puerto Vallarta and Hawaii... crowded booths in a warehouse type of building and everyone that you walked by tried to get you to buy their stuff.  The prices are great and Patrice knew just what booths to take us to.  The first booth was a hand crafted in Pasto booth.  They had the trombos!  (spinning tops)  These ones were even nicer than the one I saw the boy with at the park the day earlier.  They were painted wood while his had been plastic.  Even better.  All the kids picked out their colors and I picked one out for John.  He's not big enough to play with it now but it won't be but a couple of years... and these are the old fashioned toys that last a while.  You wanna hear the best part?  They were about a buck USD each.  AWESOME. 

The 5 biggest kids and I spent almost 3 hours on the patio after lunch trying to get these things to go.  It takes a lot of practice.  You have a string about 5-6 feet long and you wrap it around the top in a special fashion.  You then hold onto the string while you throw the top.  Once we figured out to tie a loop into one end of the string like a yo-yo rather than just wrapping it around your finger like the pros do, it got a lot easier.  The kids could focus on their throws and they did pretty well.  It's funny, the staff here are all young guys and evidently played with them in their younger days.  They were all chipping in trying to help the kids figure it out.  Yuli didn't have much patience for the throwing but she loved to watch it go.  So I got to learn how to throw hers.  The cool thing is that once you get good at throwing them, you can learn all kinds of neat tricks.  You can use your string to pop it up off the floor and catch it in your hand. When you get really good, you can throw it and catch it in your other hand before it even hits the ground.  They are really a whole lot of fun. 

Everyone who walked by would stop and give us their advice on how to do it better.  One guy even stopped to demonstrate.  When he wasn't satisfied that he was doing as well as he could be, he sent his wife home to get more string.  He said it was too short.  Anyway, he didn't do much better with the longer string.  I think he was reliving his glory days, but it was nice to talk to other people.  I wish I had taken some pictures but the whole time we were out there, Ken was trying to get John to sleep so he could get some work done.  I didn't want to go get the camera and disturb him.  Oh, well, I'm sure they will play with them tomorrow.

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