Why am I continually surprised here in delightful ways?
Sunday, the road from my house was blocked by a car that had fallen into the sewage ditch that the community is digging. But Isaías dropped by and told me that there was an alternative way, that we should be able to get through.
So we left, a little early – the car loaded with people going to Mass in Toreras. I made sure I had the four wheel drive ready to go.
But that wasn’t enough. On a muddy incline we got stuck. I had a heavy rope and so everyone got out of the car (except for a kid, a baby and his mother who were in the cabin) and the men and one woman tried pulling the car. That didn’t work. But within a few minutes at least five neighbors showed up and with them pushing and others pulling we got out of the mud and proceeded to Mass.
It takes a village.
I purposely parked my car that night up the road in the mayor’s yard. A good decision since not one but two cars got stuck in the ditch and had to be extracted by sheer manpower - no women pulling or pushing this time.
That afternoon one of the young men working on the ditch dropped by and told me that I could probably drive my car down here. I told him I preferred to wait, especially since it looked as if it was going to rain. And it later did – torrentially.
We talked for a while. But what really surprised – and gladdened me – is that this kid who has only finished fifth grade corrected my Spanish.
He had corrected me earlier that day and I had expressed my gratitude.
This really surprised me since most people are deferential and are reluctant to correct others (especially a gringo). What a gift Donaldo gave me.
There are some of the surprises that I keep experiencing.
Being here is not a sacrifice, since I find myself receiving a hundredfold.
Thanks be to God.