Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Fun Day

This is our friend and houseguest, Kristin, with friends George and his adorable children who came to visit us the other afternoon. Kris met George, who is an island taxi driver, last year when she first arrived. He speaks good English, is a very nice young man and was a big help to Kris. He was so excited to learn that she had returned and came right away to visit her and meet us, promising to bring his children next time. On his last visit, he had told us about wrecking his taxi back in December. He had bought his own taxi, was still making payments on it, didn't have the money to finish paying for the repairs, and now was having to rent a taxi in order to make a living. On top of all that, he is trying to finish high school so he can go to college. He had to reluctantly drop out of school and go to work after the 7th or 8th grade. His family could not afford to put all the children through school. That is very common here; even public education is costly to poor families since they must buy all the school supplies, books, uniforms and shoes. But George is determined to finish, get a college education and make a better life for his family. George did not ask for our help, but we were happy to offer it. He just needs a little assistance to get through this tough time.  Despite all his recent troubles, he remains optimistic and cheerful. He had walked from his house to ours, about a half mile, carrying the baby and leading the other children. It was a hot afternoon, so Don gave them a ride home. His taxi is also the family's only transportation. He is not allowed to keep the rental taxi overnight. He must return it to Coxen Hole in the evening and then catch a ride in another taxi home.

Earlier in the day, we met another of Kris' friends, Olman, who was the security guard at her condo last year. He is another delightful young man, speaks only Spanish, but was learning English from Kris while also teaching her Spanish last year. We had such a great time practicing Spanish and English over pizza, that we  agreed to meet again next week and probably every Monday for more lessons. Olman works 12 hour days, 6 days a week; Monday is his only day off, but he seems happy to share part of that day with us gringos.

In between these visits, I took Kris over to Bob and Debi's to pick up a house key. She's going to house-sit for them while they're in Florida, then she'll move into her newly rented apartment. She's busy packing and cleaning while I write this. It will be a bit quieter for all of us.

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