Friday, July 15, 2011

Life in Mexico - Another Lesson

 



I'm always learning from the Mexican people lessons that I need to know. It's part of the journey of life. Today was no exception.

Javier the handy man/gardener repaired the stairs to the guest house last week. He said he would get sand and concrete and repair them. He did. He went to the store, got the materials and filled in the holes in the old railroad ties that were put in place about thirty-five years ago. Now people's heels won't get caught and it is smoother.

He and I were pleased with the work. I assumed since he had been infermarecently for a couple of days, and is always paid, that I didn't need to pay him for that extra hour of work. I was surprised last Monday when he saw me in the jardin and asked for that one hour's pay. I was on my cell phone and said we would take care of it on Friday.

Today we had a discussion about sick pay and why I had not paid him for that hour. He then said that he was sorry but he needed 20 pesos to pay his phone bill that day and that was why he asked. I replied, "Well, why didn't you tell me?" And his reply, "I feel shame".

Oh my, that was about three hours ago and I still have a knot in my stomach. My lack of sensitivity embarasses me. My vow now is to be more aware of the needs of both Josefina and Javier. They give so much to me.

I remember several years ago when Javier first came to work for me and I asked him to light the gas water heater. He didn't know how to do so. I remember having a second of irritation and then that turned to dismay when I realized he didn't know how to light it because he and his family do not have hot water. I was so ashamed.

The lesson today will NOT be forgotten on this journey of life. Viva Mexico and thank you Universe for Josefina and Javier.
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6 comments:

Calypso said...

I have been in that same embarrassing hole in Mexico. My experience is the Mexican people do not like to ask or even talk about money - as you suggest we have to be sensitive to their ways.

jackieinpdx.com said...

To quote a friend of mine who lives and runs a BB on Isla Mujeres "Never hire a man who lives in a tarpaper shack to install a sink". This was after I told her about an apartment that I was looking at renting. One of the flaws of the apartment was that the kitchen sink was installed backwards and to run water a hose had been jimmied up to it since there was no faucet. It's hard sometimes to think of what we consider necessities that so many don't have in Mexico, like running water.

Babs said...

Calypso what touched me so much was what he said to me in such an innocent way....broke my heart.

Jackie - so, so true. I have learned that a skilled plumber and electrician are essential - everything else Javier handles. My plumber is a woman - and wow is she great! She's attractive too so the men love to have her come and fix things.......

Cheri said...

I really value your blog today. What a generous God we have who sends us beautiful opportunities to love one another and to deepen our empathy and sensitivity for all his children.

Life's a Beach! said...

Love this post Babs. I think traveling in Mexico and seeing how other people live has helped broaden my heart and mind.

Babs said...

Cheri, so true.

Beck, I think travel always broadens our minds and being with the people broadens our heart. I so agree with you....