Martina

Martina usually feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere.

In school, she spends more time looking out the window than at her books. Not because Martina doesn’t like to learn, on the contrary: she would rather spend hours upon hours lost in the bush, learning all the scientific names of every weed and ant she could find on her way. While her teachers and schoolmates are friendly enough, everything is just so samey there! The same conversations about the same subjects every day, and, worse of all, it is always in only one language. Back in Martina’s home, they speak Spanish, Ngobere, English and even Guna, when one of her relatives comes for a visit. Such a melting pot of languages and cultures has given Martina an awareness of the complexities of the world that the other kids in her grade lack. Martina feels like school is only about reducing the beautiful intricacies and fascinating strangeness of the world into one-sentence explanations. How is that going to spark her interest in a world full of creatures and events she cannot even imagine?

All her life, Martina has maintained a voracious need to learn everything. From how to build a car, to the water cycle. But not in a classroom, that is. Martina simply feels more at home scaling a cliff in search of a fossil for her collection (and figuring out how to climb down after the fact), than reading books that were written before she was born. And while her curiosity can sometimes be a problem (like that one time that she thought a sawmill worked just like her uncle’s garage, which resulted in a landslide, a missing parrot, and a very ugly piece of furniture), and there are situations in which she thinks she knows more than others, what Martina lacks in experience, she makes up with enthusiasm.

Martina can fluently speak three languages and feels very comfortable using a blowtorch. Her record time lung diving is nearly a full minute, and that was after spearing a bójala fish! Her taste in music, like her fashion sense, is in a constant state of flux from one week to the other. She does seem to like wearing a lot of red, however.

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