We were enchanted by Sofia and Michelle’s “Happy Kids of Bonao” bilingual school Holiday play this past week. A local woman sewed every child’s outfit for approximately 300 pesos each (about US $7.50). You can see Michelle in her red outfit, above, performing with her classmates, swinging her maracas all around and over her head in complete oblivion of the audience. Sofia is attired in an aquamarine dress and was graceful and sweet in her class’ turn on the big stage. It was quite a production – is everyone else with young ones attending one plus hour long programs of Nativity stories right now? Are a lot of the children throwing up in the aisle before they go on stage? Did your own child just get a virus or food poisoning two nights earlier? Just wondering if we’re all on the same page during this festive time?…
On the way home, we were flabbergasted by a jaw dropping surprise and gift to our lives off the grid: You remember when I shared that our drive to the farm includes about 25 minutes of an unpaved, deeply potted road? Most of the drive includes truly magnificent views of nature at its finest, with meandering rivers and steep pastured hills rising up from the waters, so that helps us accept the 10-20 mph pace. As you’re driving and admiring the views, though, you must constantly watch the road and maneuver around holes and mini avalanche cut drop offs such as the one here in this pic by the river. We had semi-accepted it as part of life here, though, and had learned to ignore the weekly rumors that “Now They will fix the road…They are coming to make the road…” Mmmm hmmm… So imagine our shock when we turned a corner and– it was like something out of a movie when the Saviors of Something suddenly appear over a desert scene to save the lost man on his last drop of water in an empty flask. Well, it’s not that extreme, but just get a sense of the kind of music that would be playing in the background of that kind of movie scene (“Taaaaa-daaaaaaa!!!!! Ba-buhhhhhhmmmmm!!!!! Da da da da!” type of thing) and add it onto our scene and that’s how we felt when we saw:
A convoy of tractors and trucks and heavy machinery were out, flattening, filling and working The Road to our farm! We rolled down our windows and, parade-like, waved at the drivers, workers, neighbors, and throw in the cows and mules, too. Lots of back and forth waving and smiles and excitement. It cuts our drive time down by many minutes, to virtually anywhere we travel. It’s exciting. I can’t quite describe how exciting, you’ll just have to play that Savior Coming Over the Desert Dune kind of music in your head, and you’ll get a feeling of how excited we are. Ecstatically excited.
Now, just in case I start ever feeling any kind of “woe is me” thing, from something as incredibly minor as having to drive our truck over a bumpy road…we see so many people here who work hard…who are doing what they can to feed a family, patch a huge hole in a window, make their way. It always puts things in perspective, and humbles me. The fellow in this picture is loaded up with containers and bottles that I am guessing he takes somewhere in exchange for a few pesos. Every day, we see many people on the road working really hard — mules laden with plantains, women balancing enormous baskets of produce on their heads, men at the stoplight with sunglasses, lollipops and goldfish for sale. May those of us who can, share what we have – this season, and at all times.
Sending everyone such a pure wish for peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness. Everyone.