Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Poignant Conversation

It does me good to get out of town and drive the road through the "Jolly Green Giant" countryside to Celaya. I love the drive and there is always something being planted, baled or harvested as it was today.

I went to Walmart to pick up a few weird things I can't find in San Miguel and as I came out to unload stuff into the car, a young man came up to ask me if I needed help or wanted the car cleaned. (ALL of this conversation was in Spanish.) He DID notice that my license plates were form Texas and asked me where in Texas and I replied Houston. His eyes lit up and he said, "Ah, Galveston"..........and I said yes that was near Houston. I asked him if his family was there or in Celaya and he said that no his family was in El Salvador! Wow, I was caught off guard. I asked him how long since he had seen his family and he said almost a year. He told me he wanted to get to Galveston so he could fish and shrimp as his father does in El Salvador. He then can send money home for his family - his sisters and brothers. He got to Celaya on the top of a train......this young man is about the age of my granddaughter who will be 17 in September.

It was gut wrenching for me to think of the danger this young man faces trying to go the rest of the way - how will he hold onto this dream to make money for his family? Will it be worth it? Will people be kind to him? Will he make it?

Then I think of the life of my granddaughter who has so many friends and plays in the high school band and yes, she studies hard and has a lot of responsibilities, BUT she is safe and has parents and siblings and relatives as a support system................I can't get this kid out of my mind. Multiply him by all the others who will face danger, hunger and who knows what and I want to tell all those who do "hate" the illegal immigrants - there but for the grace of God - it could be you!

The young man from El Salvador thanked me for talking with him...........WOW!

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