Thanks for all the warm wishes about what would have been my mother’s 67th birthday yesterday. Your emails and comments here and on Facebook meant a lot to me. Thanks!
The Starbucks to people ratio in DC is off the charts. I got to walk nearly eight blocks to get to a grocery store, and not even a very good one, but coffee, no problem, they’re everywhere! Too bad I don’t drink much coffee because there are six Starbucks within a five block radius of my house. Donville works at one of them.
I ran into him while he was on his break. Originally from Long Island, New York, Donville has recently started there as a barista. “I love it,” he told me. “The best thing is connecting with people and building a relationship with the community.”
His father is Dominican so Donville grew up speaking some Spanish. “It’s helpful when you can speak to someone who is not comfortable speaking in English,” he said.
Donville came to DC to study at Howard University, but after a year and a half he decided to put things on hold for a while. Although he doesn’t have any family here he seems to like DC quite a bit. Speaking of family, he told me that he was going to put my $10 toward a trip home to New York to see his family during the holidays. “I’d actually like to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas,” he said. Hopefully my $10 will help. The bus ticket can be pretty cheap – just ask Davie from Day 5 who after receiving my $10 went straight to catch a $24 bus to NYC.
One of eight brothers and sisters, Donville shared something very personal about his family with me. Unfortunately his parents were not financially able to support the entire family and were forced to give one of his siblings up for adoption when he was young. His little brother who was named Elyshawaun should be 14 years old now. He and his family do not have contact with him any more. Donville would like your help to locate either his brother or his biological father, William Gafney (or Gaffney), who also should know the whereabouts of his brother. He didn’t know what Elyshawaun’s last name was, but they were both last known to be in Brooklyn. If you remember Victor from day 139 you might recall that he shared with me that he had never met his mother. I was pleasantly amazed when a blog follower, Linnie, used her genealogy skills and tracked his mother down! Wow…that was amazing! Hopefully we can find young Elyshawaun!
My ten dollar gift to Donville went toward a $7 pack of Newports. I am always a little disappointed when the money gets spent on cigarettes. But it is his choice. I told him that my mother died of heart disease and was a long time smoker. He said that he had only been smoking for about a year and planned on quitting some time. “But just not now,’ he said. He didn’t know where the other $3 would get spent…who knows, maybe he will read this and give us an update! Maybe he has quit smoking by now. You can do it Donville!
Check back tomorrow for my first blog post from my recent trip to Chicago!