Saturday, January 30, 2010
Although none of my entries are edited, I thought on this particular Saturday night to let it flow. I paint my nails a Carmen Miranda-shade of orange and try on clothes that don't make me look like too much of a tourist with my rare, sunburned skin. I am waiting to head to West End to join up with Bobby and his band for a few songs. I acknowledge my recent absent-mindedness when it comes to being grateful. In a world full of extremes, I am challenged to meet the individual in my thoughts. We can catch ourselves in a whirlwind of disappointment even in paradise, on the sunniest day. That is how pessimism works, I guess. It feels natural to slide with the gloom, many times we remember of the 15 great occurrences in a day, the 1 that chipped our shoulder. This poses, as I am learning, so many problems!
So, I hereby swear to do my damnedest to see the light that is always on. One of my inspirations in this task is Darwin. He is a small guy, trying to get into his first year of what is the Honduran equivalent of freshman year of high school. He, is a true angel. We met because he showed to have a special drive to learn, so I invited him to English class last year. He showed up, each class. He is no nonsense when it comes to seizing an opportunity.
His mom wanted to get to the States for work and money. She left her 5 kids,including Darwin on the coast with a woman none of her family knew. She had asked her teenage sisters to take care of them, but they had the smarts to realize they were just learning how to take care of themselves, not quite ready to mother 5 kids. After a year, we got all the kids back on the island. When Darwin, all 4feet and a half of him walked into my school, my heart jumped, like when the man you love dearly appears in front of you. A few days later, after I picked up a gross $5 chicken salad from Wendy's ( the newest installment of America here on the island), Darwin dropped in for me to take him to get some new shoes. His only pair of functioning flip flops broke. We walked to the little tienda on the beach. This kid smiling and flopping his small arms around my waist. This kid has won me over. At first the only sandals are for girls, but the lady pulls out more sandals with our insistence. We find a pair that cost $2 and we spend the rest of the $5 dollar bill on 3 pounds of bananas for Darwin to take home. The lady with the shoes grins and we are all so excited about this purchase. Darwin and I chat on the way home about the expenses he has to cover to go to public school in a few weeks. I realize I just spent $5 on an American salad in Honduras, and Darwin is alive with gratitude and excitement with his new $2 treads and giant bag of bananas.