Three Kernels

Posted on April 8, 2011

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First Week in Los Laureles

by Carrie 4/4/2011

they call him Chino

Do you want some corn?” a messy little face asked me as, in his dirt covered hands, he held out 3 kernels that he had just poured out of a can he had opened with a kitchen knife. “Ah, gracias, what’s your name?” Juan Carlos is probably one of the dirtiest little kids that I’ve met so far in Los Laureles, but after this first encounter with him he has quickly become a favorite for our team to see around the community. This little five-year-old boy roams free. He may be building a fire by the garbage speckled road, hopping a ride on the back of the gas truck for a commute down the hill, or carrying a sack full of recyclables to gather a cent, but he always greets us with a goofy smile and lots of energy. Lots of energy from the same child wh o’s mother is known by the doctors for sending him to the hospital ‘sick’ when she runs out of food. Yet, he still offered his kernals to a stranger.

 

It’s only been a week, but I do believe we’re falling in love with the kids in this community next to the city landfill. One thing that really struck our team right away was how polite the kids here tend to be. There isn’t the constant bantering that you might expect from a bunch of boys. Of course, there is a bit, but most of the time the kids are sharing pages in a coloring book or taking turns in who gets to play dutch blitz (the game choice being clear evidence that a Mennonite moved into this community!) It’s been fun to get to know the kids that flock to Matt’s house. As we have spent this week following Matt around to see what his life is like here, there is always a kid yelling “Mateo!” and jumping onto his truck for a ride to whereever we might be headed – town, the soccer field, or a trip to the river to cool off. It’s been exciting for our team to start to know the faces and personalities of Los Laureles and to look forward to the next three months in this community. It’s fun to already receive smiles of recognition. Some kids already greet us with a personalized handshake. Others already have created inside jokes. For me, it is a dirt covered little boy that comes up to place his sticky hand in mine and give me hip-level hugs. This, I adore. And just this week, it started with 3 kernels.

 

 
 

teaching them how to play "bull frog"

 

playing dutch blitz

 

The ultimate destination on a hot day!

"We get to color every Tuesday, right?!?"

  

 

"Mateo!"

 

 
 

up the hill by the recycling

 

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