Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Raining Buckets

I know I’ve talked about this before and in the grand scheme of things it is a little thing.  It is something we North Americans (for the most part) think about differently.  Even I do sometimes after all this time.
I had fallen asleep to rain on the roof.  I woke up sporadically throughout the night hearing that rain – thinking what a lovely sound to be sleeping to… and then I woke up to begin the day with the rain still pouring. 

This isn’t TOO unusual.  We are in the rainy season after all.  And October and the beginning of November can be particularly relentless.  So I’m not sure why this morning I’m ‘obsessing’ about children and youth walking into town from the cantons to get to school. 

Mauricio, Elmer and Marvin (Cecilia’s brother and 2 sons) were the first thing on my mind this morning upon wakeup.  I’m thinking they will be SOAKED by the time they get here at 6:15.   I’m thinking about those poor boys who every day swing by the Pastoral House after their half hour walk UP the path from Alejandria to change into their uniforms which Cecilia has washed and ironed the day before.  These poor boys will be SOAKED.  I knew they would not be able to cross the flooded and rushing river which splits their little village to get to the main road to catch the bus.  The bus probably isn’t even running this morning because it cannot climb the slick, muddy and sometimes steep roads to town.  I’ve driven that road in the rain and it literally becomes a rushing river in many places, mucky mud and deep pot holes in others and slick cobble in others. 

I knew the boys would have to walk the more direct path – which is narrow, muddy,  steep and mostly through a coffee finca.   I’m thinking that maybe they won’t come today …

Wrong.  Right on schedule – they showed up:  Mauricio with an umbrella and his jeans rolled up and wearing his cheap sneakers to get here.  Elmer arrived in a cheap thin yellow poncho that only went down to the waist so his pants and shoes were saturated.  Marvin didn’t come (the youngest). 

Dedication and commitment.

I remember years ago, living only 4 blocks from Indian Hills Jr. High school.  I would drive my boys to school when it rained.   And even before that, when my sons were in elementary school, they rode the bus.  When it rained, I would drive them the half block to the corner and invite all the kids waiting at the bus stop to pile inside the van to wait for that bus. 

And here, so many children have to walk a very long distance to attend school.  Rain or shine, mud or dust.

And I’m pretty sure many of those same children were not thinking about the lovely sound of the rain as they slept last night – more likely they were trying to stay dry in their beds below their leaky roofs.

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