Losing our Language: A Story of Thanksgiving
When they said they were boarding Group 2 now for Quito, he turned to me and said he didn’t know a word of Spanish.
It doesn’t matter, that’s what I said to the Farmer.
Gratitude is a language you speak with your hands, the way you form the vowels and spaces of your life and we could all learn it together.
We’d just fly straight into the dark, fly high on health and all this grace and our bags right full and we’d speak love and isn’t love always what’s understood? It isn’t. The man I married, he knew that.
But he nodded anyways and opened his passport to his unsmiling mug. The flight attendant approved.
Outside of Quito, our translator with Compassion International, he takes us to Bianca’s house. She waves for us to come in, sit down. The translator doesn’t have to translate the look in her eyes.
We sit in her 2-room cement block house with a dirt floor.
The one sleeping room, with its two beds for six people, it has a hole covered with plastic to let in the light. The living room, it has the open door. When the translator asks about bathroom facilities, Pedro points up the hill.
We want these kids to have a better life than us, Bianca tells us this. The translator passes on her lines, bits of her throbbing heart.
They need to get a real education and be professionals and not live like this.
She waves her hand and sometimes you can almost taste the scent of it in your mouth, the thick desperation on a woman, a cheap and heavy perfume.
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