Monday, March 23, 2009

Spin the Bottle

We called the trailer and its room home. From there, I shared the work in a pharmacy we had invested in, worked at the clinic, went to Bible study and church, rehearsed for plays and took care of children.

My granddaughter Ashley came to live with us for a year. The room wasn't built yet. We had a wooden room divider in the trailer to separate her "room" from ours. She came in the summer and we hired a man to help her learn Spanish so school wouldn't be so hard for her. Cleto not only taught her Spanish, but formed a folklorico dance troupe. Ashely was the best dancer they had. Not just bragging folks. The little troupe went to perform in a dance demonstration a few months after starting. Ashley and her partner performed a very difficult dance called "El Mono" (the bow). The n is supposed to have a tilde ~ over it, but I can't find the character set here. Even professionals gave this 8 year-old girl and her 9 year-old partner a standing ovation. A very proud grandma taped the whole thing. I wish I still had that tape.

Ashley helped her grandpa with construction work when she wasn't in school, studying or dancing. She made friends with several children, including those of the fisherman across the Z road from us. They were very poor and lived in a trailer older but similar to ours. The difference for them was that there were 3 of us and 6 of them. One night, after the room was nearly finished, Ashley invited the 3 little girls to spend the night with us. It was a taste of what was to come a little later.

We learned a valuable lesson from the little girls. After playing all the games we could translate, I heard one girl suggest playing "spin the bottle". I grew up in the 1950's and I knew that game. I was ready to object when I saw all the girls' eyes light up. I waited. They called to me to join them. I shook my head no but before I could move, little Carmen grabbed me and pulled me to where they were sitting cross-legged on the floor. The bottle spun and stopped. It pointed at one of the sisters. The spinner leaned across the center and hugged her sis, kissing her on the cheek. Soon all of us got a taste of what it was liked to be spun into family. I nearly cried with joy for the love that was shown. There was no funny business about this game.

As Ashley went to school and dance, I learned a great deal about the culture in Mexico. Most people were dirt poor or poor. There were not many of those would be called middle class in the U.S. There is a "class" distinction, however. Even the poorest of the poor Mexicans shunned the indigenous (Oaxacan or other) peoples. We taught Ashley to treat the indigenous with the same respect she would like to have.

I haven't posted for the last couple of days because I have strep throat. I went to the doctor yesterday and got antibiotics, cough syrup and an inhaler. I don't feel like a new person yet. Maybe tomorrow. Today my concern is with my dear friend Sharon who is having surgery and also with Krissy's husband John as he battles fungal pneumonia. I covet prayers for them, my sister Charlotte, Donna and Missie. I continue to pray for all of you. Blessings in Jesus' name,


Lisa said...

I will say prayers for you to feel better too... oh I am out of touch with Krissy... I will pray for her John... and thank you for sharing the news... it's been so busy since we migrated from J Land and I found lots of people and lost some too... what a nice entry... I can just see God preparing you for what lay ahead. I would have loved to see Ashley do that dance and see the ovations. Maybe there is some way to retrieve the tape.

Jeannette said...

Hope you are feeling better soon. I never joined in games of spin the bottle, over here that always meant stripping off!

Heli gunner Tom said...

You melted my heart and gave me 'misty eye' with your post today! I was with Sharon all morning as they did the heart Cath where they confirmed that the aortic heart valve is damaged very badly and will be repaired or replaced TOMORROW in Kenosha, WI, down by Lake Michigan. I prayed with and kissed my wife before they did that traumatic procedure this morning, she cried often...and I pray frequently for her surgery to be successful in the morning on Wednesday. That is all I can say for now. Thank you very much for all the prayers and warm regards.

Soldier of Jesus Christ,
Tom Schuckman
Jesus is Lord.

Donna said...

I hope you're feeling better soon.

Carolyn said...

Penny, I hope you get over strep! I had that once a long time ago, and have not forgotten it! I hope you get better soon, I live hearing about your life in Mexico. I am keeping you and the others in prayers~