As some of you might know there is the story about the Guatemalans being a bit scared of people taking their kids for illegal adoption; apparently there was once a Japanese tourist beaten to death when he (or she I don’t know) picked up a kid.
Myself I have had kids dropped in my lab to have them sitting there for a couple of hours during a bus ride where mama already careys two others. One in tied around her back in a cloth an easily mistaken for a small package. One holding her skirt and one carried into the bus while mama balanced a basket on her head. I have also made some good friends with the neighbourhood kids because I walk crossing the hammock bridge with them every day and when we do we try to make it swing as much as possible. This to the big fun of the kids: this crazy gringa….
With this in the back of my mind it is just só hard to not want to take all those naughty little menaces with their dirty faces home.
I am used to share my food with the kids living on the streets of Peru and Colombia; over there, the waiters in the restaurant will even give them a real seat and a good treat when you invite them to share your food with them. I did this with the two shoeshine boys who shine the Panajachel calle Santander shoes. I mean who can eat 4 (!) pancakes on his own? Myself I am 34 and had never the idea I needed to have kids. Dutch women are first of all not very much the marriage kind and kids is something you might do after 36 or later… I like to chat with all the people I meet; the woman on the street, the man next to me in the bus, my colleagues and the woman who takes care of the house I rent. There are always 4 questions to start with: where are you from, what’s your age, where do you live (in Guatemala red.) and: do you have kids? And I don’t have kids.
This raises eyebrows and I have even noticed women who don’t dare to ask me more about it because they think there must be a problem if at my age (!!!) you don’t have a kid yet!
Well…. This week I went to interview this woman who lives of her tamales sales.
While I walk up the hill at the outskirts of Sololá there is this little boy running around us asking us who we are looking for. We tell him we look for Juana and he says with the biggest smile; that’s my mummy!!
And I am sorry but every time I think of this moment and my interview where the story of the little boy is unravelled I still get tears in my eyes. I have the feeling he will be in my heart forever and we only met for 30 minutes! I feel I need to go back to just hug him but also his mother for adopting him…. I wish I could do more…
Read the journal following the link below, while I work on those rough peaces in my throat….