Around every corner in
We trekked back to the top of that steep, dust-swept hill and grabbed Yazmin and Roman, plus Isabella, who, as part of our group brought laughter, joy, and levity to everything. I hung back as the four teenagers marched and laughed their way down the hill. They couldn’t communicate beyond hand gestures and smiles, but they were carrying on like old friends just the same.
It struck me, as I watched these four teenagers from immensely divergent backgrounds giggle and snack on junk foods like they’d known each other forever, how universal the need for friendship and connection is. These kids have never gone to school, they don’t play volleyball or rock climb in expensive gyms. They work all day to be able to eat that night. They take care of their younger siblings and help build and repair their family’s shelter. Roman dreams of moving somewhere to get a good job so he can help his family climb out of poverty. He is sixteen years old and he bears the weight of 12 other lives on his young shoulders and in his heart. Despite all that, despite the daily struggles they face, struggles that gratefully our daughters will never face, they still want to laugh, to drink a soda and spend time with other teenagers and for just a moment to forget everything and just be kids.
Sigh. Mi corazón.
To be continued . . .