This is Marina on the right with her friend Chabelita on the left.
If Joaquin has been my Obi Wan-Kenobi, then Marina has been my life coach and support person outside of the school and excursions. I have been staying in her home for the past six-plus weeks and I have repeatedly thanked Joaquin for placing me here.
Marina was the person who showed me how to wash the previous day’s clothing in the sink out in the back of the house. She taught me how to clean fresh vegetables and other things so that I won’t become ill. She explained to me the economics of eating cheaply locally. I can have lunch for $5 at a nearby Mexican place, or I can eat at the comedors around town for about $2.50.
She has cooked me so many meals. She can whip-up a meal of eggs, frijoles, queso and pan in five minutes or less. She makes wonderful lemonade and Jamaica tea. This was not in the plan by the way. She just does it. I try to reciprocate by buying groceries that I know she depletes on my behalf and keeping us supplied with “pan dulce” (pastries and cookies and such from the bakery).
She has told me so many times when areas or things are dangerous. Many afternoons as storm clouds built in the sky, she brought in my laundry so that it would not be soaked.
This week, when the schools closed down and I was looking for other ways to serve, she connected me with her parish center for feeding the homeless and served with me my first morning to help me with the process.
We do all of this in Spanish. She does not speak English. She started off very slow and careful and has been speeding up. It is a challenge, but we’ve passed evenings together and laughed and joked as I try to keep up.
I will be eternally grateful to Marina for all she has done and how pleasant she has made this trip