I had been wanting to go up in the colonia to visit for quite some time now, but I had to wait for a foot injury to heal before I tackled climbing up the steep paths to reach many of the homes. When Susan asked if I wanted to go with her the other day, I decided I was ready to test the foot.
Their tiny house is of an unusual construction for the colonia - sort of an adobe block and wire type of wall with plastic bags tucked in to help fill gaps. Their little plot of ground was quite narrow around the house with perhaps only 6-8 feet to most sides. In the photo above, they are taking up the entire width of the front "yard". There is jungle all around them; no other houses are close by, so they have a quieter and cooler location. We did not go inside the house but wondered where they all sleep. The house didn't appear tall enough to have a loft area.
Julisa was so excited when she saw me climbing up behind Susan and Tia. She was practically jumping up and down. She gave me such a big hug and just held on for the longest time. She's such a sweet girl. We have not yet told her that we would like to sponsor her for school. Imagine how excited she will be with that news! We will tell her as soon as we figure out where we will send her (and hopefully, the two other 7th graders who still need sponsors).
I had brought along two jars of peanut butter and left them with Julisa. With 11 mouths to feed, I'm sure they can use it.
Soon it was time to make our way down. I am not all that sure-footed, but Tia is and assisted me in the descent. And she was just wearing flip flops! She grew up backpacking in the California mountains and is as sure-footed as a mountain goat. I was so thankful for her help!
I was remembering a couple of Sundays ago when Julisa and Iris arrived at church wearing high heels! I asked if they had walked down the hill wearing them and Julisa said yes but I'm not sure she understood my question. I can't imagine that they could have worn them until they neared the bottom.
Along the way, we passed another house that was built precariously along side the creek on the steep side. It looked like one more hard rain would wash it right down the creek. The family must have thought so also for we noticed the husband and another man were clearing a spot a little higher up and farther back from the creek for another house.
Susan pointed out another steep, rocky path leading up to Norma's house, and commented on Norma climbing that path in the dark, without a flashlight or any other light source, when she comes to church on Wednesday nights. These people are hardy!
At the bottom of the hill, we found Marvin, the water man, and Susan was able to pay him to fill up the water tank. He promised to fill the tank that afternoon. I know one happy family!