Jack in Sunset Valley

Jack in Sunset Valley

 

It all had been so unexpected… Jack had finished his school year and had been declared the very best student of this year. As a reward he got the opportunity to travel to Spanish Sunset Valley with possibility to do a course in the Spanish language. Everybody knew how he loved that language and the Spanish culture. His parents were pleased that he would travel by train because, especially his mom, was afraid of an aeroplane crash. The only bad thing was that he would have to travel with a tutor. But anyway…, he was excited….

Fortunately, Miss Tutor was reading whenever she had the chance so he had time enough to notice the beauty of the scenery and the boring a train voyage could be.

Other people were on the train as well. There was a family with 2 children and the youngest; a nice girl called Nancy had his special sympathy. She asked him to read her a story before she would sleep… and he did that with pleasure. It was good for a change.

Yes they had a sleeper because Valle de la Puesta de Sol is far away from his own country.

As Miss Tutor saw that Jack was a bit bored in the evening, she invited him to play chess. She was an ace playing chess so Jack really had to put all his attention to the game and even so… he lost always.

When they finally arrived, they took a taxi. Miss Tutor had told him that a certain family had inscribed last year for cultural exchange.

– “I will take you there and I will stay at a local hotel. If there’s something wrong you can call me and I’ll come over to see if you stay with that family or if you have to stay with me at the hotel during the time of your course.”

“Yes Mrs. Lightkeeper…, this is Jack…, the boy that you would receive during his course of the Spanish language. I trust that you provide all the facilities he needs to feel at ease. Well then… I will be going. Good-bye.” She went away en left Jack alone with a completely unknown person.

“¡Hola Jack, nos hace mucha ilusión tenerte aquí con nosotros!”

Jack’s mind was working like mad… What was it that she said? O yes… something about being pleased to receive me here in her family…. He said “Muchas gracias señora”.

“Please, call me Cynthia.”

She invited him to come in and showed him his room. Then they went again downstairs and showed him around. When in the kitchen she asked him if he was hungry and he told her that ‘not yet’. She said that he should call his parents to tell them that he arrived well and after that Cynthia told him that the children were on a school trip and that they would come later.

“Would you like me to teach you sim-fu?”

“O yes please, I would love that!”

Cynthia turned out to be a great trainer and it didn’t cost Jack much to get his first belt. She saw that he still had enough energy so she continued until she noticed that the boy was getting tired. “That’s enough for now…. You’re very talented young man!” She went inside the house while Jack showed his second belt.

The ice between them had been broken and they even had a pillow fight in the kitchen.

Risto came running inside. He was super enthusiastic about the school trip. He was as well interested to hear Jack talk about how everything was back home. They started to feel hungry and as Raph would arrive very soon from his afternoon job, they gathered around the fire to grill whatever they wanted…. Very soon Raph came as well.

When the children had gone to bed, Cynthia called Dawn and Ilona to tell them about Jack from the United Simdom and she thought that it would be a nice idea if Mattie and Carmen could spend some weeks with her. Then Jack would get to know more people from here and have the opportunity to speak the Spanish language….

Mattie would come next day after school and some days later Carmen.

From that moment on, everything happened very fast. Jack accompanied the others to the same school where he had to attend a special language class.

They became all very good friends and even put their heads together to do the homework.

Cynthia had prepared a buffet in the garden. It would be less work for her and the children seemed to like it.

Jack saw how Carmen was delighted by a certain kind of food and he thought that he wanted to try it as well.

When she told him afterwards that it was veal tripe, Jack (who is vegetarian) had to run to the toilet to throw up….

That was a good lesson he learned… not eat first and ask afterwards but the other way around….

Jack’s Spanish lessons went very well thanks to all the help he got from his new friends. It would be almost over. Very soon he would have to leave, so he enjoyed this time….

Cynthia had heard from Miss Tutor that it soon would be Jack’s birthday and she decided to throw a party for him.

When he came back from school he was surprised to see that everything had been prepared to celebrate his birthday.

Lots of people had been invited by Cynthia….

The moment was there that they expected him to blow the candles out. He got nervous from all the cheering. He took a deep breath and…fffff… blew the candles out. He felt somewhat strange in his own body when he noticed the energy around him and suddenly… yes… He had grown… In his mind he said ‘good-bye’ to Jackie and ‘hello’ to Jack….

Jack was already a good looking boy but now the girls were all trying to draw his attention and it seems like Jack himself did find them more interesting than before….

The party had come to an end. Next day Jack had to get up early because he had to pick up his Spanish course diploma at the Town Hall. So they went to bed…

Before getting to bed herself, Cynthia took place near her husband’s grave and enjoyed the sudden silence after the whole afternoon of music, dance and cheering. Then she went to bed as well. They would accompany Jack tomorrow during that important moment.

Still a little bit sleepy of that party they got up early and Jack had already a phone call from his parents to congratulate him.

Two taxis were necessary to take them to the Town Hall.

He would have lied if he would have said that he wasn’t nervous. He saw his new friends who were so proud of him…. They all went inside. It was a pity that they didn’t allow the photographer to go inside as well….

It seemed ages to him before he could leave the town hall with a diploma for 2nd grade Spanish. He knew that Miss Tutor was waiting to accompany him back home. Although he knew that he would miss his new friends, he was longing to go back to his family. There’s no place like home….

The End (or The Beginning)

(Sorry Jack for not using the correct haircut. I wouldn’t install in my machine. Now is has… but I had taken these pictures already.)

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