Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Easter Story

Many years ago, a girl, and her little brother were walking home from school on the last day before Holy Week. Home was a little shack in the desert. They lived with their disciplinarian grandmother, because the mother of this girl and her little brother was murdered by their father, and their father was now in prison. Although the grandmother was very poor, she made sure the girl and her little brother had clothing and books to attend the local school. The grandmother stressed education above all else.
As the girl walked home, she thought about Holy Week, and all of the rituals, the foods, and the traditions. And she knew that she and her little brother would not enjoy these Easter traditions this year. Abuela did not have any money for the traditional Easter foods - rice with coconut, rice with milk, a sweet dessert made of green papaya, caramelized sugar, cloves and cinnamon.
As she walked home, her path lead her past the wealthy man's house. In his garden, she saw a worker washing the wealthy man's cars. And she thought to herself, "I can do that. This would be a good job for me during Easter break." The girl turned around, went to the wealthy man's house, and knocked on the door. The wealthy man answered and looked down at the girl. The girl said, "I would like to come and wash your cars for you for the next five mornings. And I would like you to pay me for my work." The wealthy man smiled, and said, "I expect you here tomorrow morning at five in the morning."
The girl woke each morning before the sun, and washed the wealthy man's cars. And each day, the wealthy man paid the girl 100 bolivares viejo - the equivalent of a dime. And at the end of the five days, the girl knew that she had enough money to buy the foods necessary to surprise abuela with the traditional Easter meal.
Happily, she showed her abuela her earnings. The grandmother did not believe the thirteen year old girl, and marched her over to the wealthy man's house.
'Did you pay my granddaughter to wash your cars", the grandmother demanded of the wealthy man?
'I did', the wealthy man answered, gesturing to the row of gleaming cars in his garden. 'And I would hire her again, as she is a hard worker.", he said.
That Easter Sunday, with a table laden with all of the traditional foods, the girl and her little brother and the grandmother enjoyed the finest meal they had had in weeks. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. It was the wealthy man. He said to the grandmother, "Your granddaughter is a hard worker. If you are the one who taught her to work hard, then I would like to offer you a job as my launderess."
The grandmother worked for the wealthy man until his death. This job saved her family.
The girl who saved Easter, and was instrumental in finding employment for her grandmother - her name is Luz.
Luz is now a 37 year old mother of three children. Her oldest daughter is studying medicine in university. She owns her own beautiful house, and is looking to buy a new piece of land, to build her dream home.
Happy Easter!