Guatemala Journal April 3rd
I moved into the electricityless volunteer house at night and had to set up my bed by candle light. When I went to pick up my mosquito net/animal shield there was a thick hairy spider the size of my palm sitting on it. It was the type of spider that looked like an animal rather then an insect. I squished it. As I was tucking in the corners of my bed I found staring me in the face a brown scorpion. He was frozen. So was I. I squinted my eyes and drew first, for my flip flop. He scampered. I pinned him down on the mattress but he wasn't squishing. I reached down to grab for my other flip flop and the scorpion got away. I looked everywhere in that tiny room and around the bed for an hour. Nothing. I couldn't sleep in the bed knowing there was a little dude in it so I set up my hammock and fell asleep. When I woke up there was a giant stallions head four inches away from mine, through a screen window, breathing heavily. Welcome home!
Then came the kiddies. Its inherent, intrinsic in all children the desire to love and be loved and be held and to touch and to feel safe. I think its in all of us big people too but we are better at hiding it. These kids wear it on their sleeve. Everywhere I walk theres one of them holding each of my hands, even if they don't know my name. Ive been spending a lot of time with the Verones pequenos, the little dudes. Yesterday we commandeered an inflatable boat and 14 of us paddled 45 minutes to a dock in the neighboring roadless river town of Las Bresas on the Rio Dulce River. 86 degrees, blue skies, sunshine daydreams, no time, only time, the light breeze was at our back both ways. We pretended to be pirates. We sang like pirates. I taught them to "Yar" at passing ships and when we got to the empty dock we swam for hours and had soda and cookies. I passed out fishing hooks and strings and the kids were so excited to be fishing in an exotic new place. The fish were in fact bigger in Las Bresas and we caught many.
On the ride back to the orphanage I got caught in a quandary. We were paddling, and singing, a bunch of happy wet boys, and a motor boat pulled aside us and asked if we needed a tow. Naturally we "Yarred!" at them and threatened to board their vessel. We definitely didn't need a tow, as the journey itself was pure bliss. But part of me wanted to allow the man in the boat the good feeling of getting to help a boat full of orphans, (even though we didn't really need help). Maybe it would have made his day. He would have felt lifted like a hero. I told him no thanks, we were fine. I found out two days later that the man on the boat had terminal cancer and doctors gave him only 10 more months. I think/hope that future me will next time err on the side of sharing bliss and expanding goodness when at a similar junction. Its wise to assume that people are in dyer need of any form of elevation. Living, loving and learning.