Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Dos Gotitas De Agua
Today I was at the Cooperative store when an old man hobbled up the stoop in his shabby work pants held up by a worn out belt with rust on the buckle. I’d never seen him before but immediately Eslin turned to me and said, “Here come your mangos.” The man was carrying a pink bucket and as he made it into the store he heaved the load onto the counter. “My mangos?” I asked a bit confused, I didn’t remember putting an order in with this little old fella. The old man asked for a plastic bag and began unloading the mangos. I just stood there still unsure of what exactly was going on. “These are my mangos? Who told him I like mangos?” I asked. Eslin replied, “Maybe Seno Maritza or Seno Lili.” When the old man was almost to the bottom of the bucket he turned to Eslin and Selvin and said, “Here are yours” and handed both of them a handful of the fruit. Then he turned to me and said, “Your sister already left?” “Yes,” I said, “she left last Thursday.” “Uh hu” he replied, then took his empty bucket and hobbled out the door and back to where ever it was that he came from.
I gladly took the mangos he left for me. I was still confused as to how he knew I like mangos but I wasn’t surprised that he had asked about my sister. Ever since I returned back to Casas Viejas after Danica hopped on her flight back to the states everyone asks me, “Y tu hermana pue?” “And your sister?” I sadly have to reply, “Ya se fue” “She already left.” My tortilla lady, my next door neighbors, the woman who is always outside setting up her tienda when I head off on my morning run, kids I teach english to, an old man with mangos, they all have asked me where my sister is. Danica obviously made quite the impression on the people of my town.
Before Danica arrived I tried to prepare everyone by warning them that my sister and I look alike. I figured they’d think we were twins since everyone who met my friend Kamille thought we were sisters (Kamille and I don’t look at all a like- we are just both white). The Kamille comment wasn’t surprising since people also asked me if i am related to my soccer teammate Ericka (Ericka and I REALLY don’t look at all alike- we just both have light eyes). I was convinced that when my sister came no one would be able to tell us apart. This was not exactly the case. The day Danica arrived we were walking to my house when we passed my neighbor Milbia and the first thing she said was, “De veras, ustedes son como dos gotitas de agua, solo una es un poco mas gordita.” Translation, “You guys are like two little drops of water, just one is a little fatter.” I started cracking up- I’m used to everyone talking freely about my weight here. However, my sister was not amused.
While Danica was here we spent some time at the beach, ate a delicious seafood soup prepared by Fernando, helped in Jenny’s English class and baked mango banana bread with my women’s group. It was so wonderful to have family back in my town. I loved showing her how I live in Casas Viejas- there is only so much i can share over the phone and through email and my blog. Sadly, Danica’s stay was all too brief and now I’m reminded daily that she isn’t here by the endless questioning of the townspeople. I wonder how many weeks are going to have to pass before I no longer hear, “Y tu hermana pue?”