A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
Naomi Shihab Nye, The Rider
At the greengrocer’s today I bought some bananas, a cantaloupe, three avocados, and a cucumber. A small purchase for me as I often leave the market laden with two heavy bags. The young man said 52 pesos, the register read a little more than 52, so I gave him 53 and he gave me one peso back. One peso can be important in Mexico. I said good-bye and thank you, he said hasta luego. I was on the street when he called after me and put two mandarins into my bag. A propina. His family – the family of little Maceo – now knows me and my simple status has been elevated. It is not uncommon to ask for a propina – I never do – and other stores have given them to me not knowing who I was, just another customer. But here was a different situation. They were bringing me into a circle of theirs.
Later in the afternoon I went to a very fancy hotel to attend the meeting of 100 Women Who Care, a group of women who donate to charities. There are “chapters” in many cities and the San Miguel group began as a result of one woman’s involvement with the Santa Fe organization. The concept is that of pooled resources going to a single charity; the thinking is that one significant donation can boost a charity’s ability to help much better than can many small donations. I sat with friends, someone came up to me and said she had heard my talk several weeks ago, I was introduced around.
To start the day I had coffee with the President of Jovenes, who has returned from her work in Africa and is now active in JA. We had much catching up, didn’t nearly get through our lists of topics and will meet again on Friday.