Hola y Hello a Tod@s:
I wrote this blog post a while ago but never got around to actually posting it . . . . Some of you may have heard this story before if I talked to you on the phone, but I hope you enjoy it anyways.
On Thursday February 26th at 11:00 A.M., I began the long rainy walk to the university. Everyday on my way to school I pass an elementary / middle school. On this particular day, as I passed the school about 15 kids were huddled up against the playground fence and facing the sidewalk where I was walking. One of them started to yell, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying so I just kept going on my way. The sidewalk turns into a set of stairs and then continues to the right and takes you under an overpass. As I crossed into the shadow of the overpass I passed an old, fragile looking gentleman. He wore oversized glasses and a beret slightly tilted to the right, in one hand he held an umbrella and in the other a muddy soccer ball. It took me a second to realize how out of place the abuelito looked in the middle of the sidewalk. I stopped and looked from the abuelito to the kids above us lined up at the fence. Connection! The kids must have kicked their ball over the fence. I backtracked to the abuelito.
“¿Creo que la pelota es de los muchachos, no?” (I think that’s their ball, right?)
“Si pero alguien necesita bajar, no puedo subir” (Yeah, but one of them is going to have to come down, I can’t go up to them)
“Bueno, puedo subir, no me importa” (Well, I can head up, I don’t mind.)
And with that the abuelito handed me the ball and I headed up the stairs. As I made my way up the wet muddy hill all 15 kids began to cheer. One boy was even animated enough to yell out “¡Guapa!” (Good looking). I tossed the ball over the fence to who seemed to be the leader of the group and he thanked me for rescuing the ball. I turned around and headed back towards the overpass, and I couldn’t help but feel a little tinge of pride.
Now back on course, I had a new pep in my step. In the distance I could make out the same abuelito who had had the ball earlier and although he must have been 100 yards away I caught up to him a second. I decided to continue walking with him, my next class wasn’t until 1:00 P.M. anyways and by this time it was only 11:40. It took us 20 minutes to finish out what is normally a 5-minute walk, but I didn’t mind. I listened as he told me about he was investigating the life of one of his ancestors who had been a governor in Ecuador during the 15th century and was appointed by Felipe II to the Court of Santiago. Once at the library the abuelito turned to me and said, “Gracias por la charla” (Thank you for the chat) and I kindly responded, “El gusto era mío” (The pleasure was mine). Later that day, I excitedly retold the events to my friend Pilar over a cop of hot coffee at the Dublin House. When I finished, she smiled looked up at me and said in her Spanish accented English, “So you made a new friend and where some kid’s hero.” I paused for a second to take in her comment then laughed and said, “Yeah, not to bad for a Wednesday morning, huh?”
Un abrazo fuerte,