I once had to do this thing about strengths and weaknesses for a class. We were supposed to make our own lists, and then we were supposed to ask a family member, a friend, and an acquaintance to make lists about us as well. On my mother's lists--yes, both of them--she put the word "sensitive." I suppose I am.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the 1st birthday party of a little boy. He is the grandson of my ex-next-door neighbor. (My ex-next-door neighbor is an amazing woman, by the way, but because of the economy, she had to go live with her daughter.) Now, the boy's mother has four children. Her husband vanished on the family about a year ago, maybe longer. Anyway, I have worked hard to develop a good relationship with the family, especially Jonathan David (the baby). At first, I was this scary white person, but after a while, I was the only one--besides his mother--who he wanted to spend time with. The family started calling me his madrina which literally means "godmother."
So, last week, they invited me to his birthday party, and my ex-next-door neighbor/good friend, Donya Juana, told me (in Spanish), "Come here right after church. Don't even go to your house first." Ideas: (a) They are excited about the party and church in Antigua goes a little late, (b) They are going to rob my house, (c) The party was actually for me at my house and they wanted some warning before I got there by sending me hiking up the side of the mountain first. And, yes, the ideas actually came to me in that order.
So, I headed to Antigua early yesterday to buy a present for the boy before church. It was a blue toy motorcycle, and I paid Q30 for it (all wrapped and with a bow). Besides my bus fare home, it was the last of my money for quite a while. But was it ever worth it...
When I got to the house, I found out it was the first present that the baby had ever received. (His sisters would go to look for something else for him later that evening as they walked me home.) But what got to my sensitive side more than that was that the baby's mother didn't have any pictures of her son. I had brought my camera, and she became very interested in this. "How do you get the pictures off of the camera?" She has pictures of all of her other children, but none of her baby boy. When I think of some of the people I know who have monthly facebook albums of their kids as babies or when I even consider my own babyhood, I found this really striking. I must have taken 20 pictures of little Jonathan yesterday as well as at least one good picture of each of his siblings.
Yesterday's mission job: photographer
And if there was any doubt in your mind, yes, the family is receiving pictures for Christmas.