|La artista Maria|
When 1 p.m. rolled around, though, I was ready for a break. Outside of the school, an indigenous woman had set up "shop" with her many textiles on display while busily working on her waist loom. She quickly spied another woman, Jenny, and myself as potential customers. Maria's (different last week's Maria) wares were not cheap by Guatemalan standards, but more than reasonable by American. Barefoot with hands stained by dyes, she set aside her loom and enticed me with her work. To establish there was great variety, she repeated "muy differentes, muy differentes." I commented that I thought she was an artist, to which she proudly replied, "Sí soy una artista." However, at that moment, I did not have the cash on me for a purchase. (I try not to carry more than I need.) She offered deferred payment, but I declined.
|some of Maria's many textiles|
Back at Rosario's, the restaurant was teeming. Electricity was out in our area of town which is not unusual. Luckily Rosario cooks with a small tank of propane and a charcoal warmer made out of half of a metal barrel. The "pata cerdo" (pork patty) was mostly bones and batter, but the spinach soup and rice were filling.
I headed back to the school after lunch to pick up a book of "cuentas" (stories) in Spanish and English. I especially need practice on my pronunciation. Maria was still there as she said she would be. I had resolved to politely tell her that I couldn't purchase anything. Her excited tones upon seeing me, however, weakened my resolve. Then I spied new and smaller merchandise. Before I knew what happened she had separated me from Q60 (less than $10).
Watching Maria made me wonder at her life. To walk the rough broken cobblestoned streets with no shoes. To work so hard at making her complex textile pieces. To be such an earnest sales person for so few Quetzals in return for that hard work.
Lord, help me to always respect others. Their lives are different than mine, not necessarily worse. Grant me ears to listen, eyes to see, and a heart of compassion.
Wednesday update - Maria separated me from more Quetzals today.