“Mi Casa es Su Casa” (My House is Your House)
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Switching roles and playing the guest instead of the host provided a unique perspective that I am very grateful for. I learned many things. As much as they apologized for their humble home I really didn’t care much that there was no hot water, no sink in the bathroom, a trickle from a tube for the shower, mosquitoes and a concert of cats, roosters, dogs and crickets every night at about 2:00. I wanted to be with them, talk with them, laugh with them, eat with them and stay up until the wee hours with them. The end of the story is that people trump laundry (or whatever else you would apologize for). People are the point.
Late Wednesday night we said farwell at the gate to Limbert’s brother Ruddy who had come to see me. As we were in the yard still the next door neighbors came out to talk. Turns out that the wife’s birthday was that day so they handed over huge pieces of cake for everyone. Limbert set the cake off to the side on the edge of the laundry sink and sat down on a stump with baby Elias on his lap facing the neighbors. Their faces could barely be made out from the lights of the windows of the two homes; they were grinning and content. We began to chat about the day. They are members of the same church so they spoke about bible study and the youth trip. Then the singing began. First “Happy Birthday” was sung in Spanish, then in English, then a funny rendition in Portugese with a bit of Spanish mixed in, no one knew Quechua so Limbert moved on to a solo in “Chinese” that had us all laughing to the point of tears. After the mini party ended Claudia and I headed to the kitchen to make some herbal tea to go with our cake and the man of the house took the baby in to watch some news. Politics dominiated the discussion. Not wanting the day to end but not able to keep my eyes open I said goodnight. Angiecita was already asleep on a matress on the floor in her parents’ room. Elias had been swayed to sleep in the hammack on the porch that he sleeps in all tied up and covered with netting. I went to the office turned guest room and laid down on my borrowed Winnie the Pooh bed to dream about my man.