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Posts Tagged ‘Honduras’

01/01/2010.

The first day of a new year.  There are probably so many interesting angles to examine on the first day of the year.  What does this year have in store for us?  Will the economy improve?  Is there peace in the future for Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, etc.?  Will world leaders make climate change a top priority of their administration?  Will Bill Cowher accept a job to return to coaching in the NFL?  (ok, that one is not probably on the minds of so many people, but I personally vote that he come to Washington and coach the Redskins!)

It’s an odd feeling on the first day of a new year.  It’s like the first day of a new job or the first day of high school.  You don’t feel any different, but things are somehow different.  For me, the biggest thing I notice when a year comes and goes is that I keep writing the old year by mistake on forms, checks, etc.  

That awkward feeling could perhaps describe the interaction that I had with today’s recipient.  I got a late start today.  I recovered from my evening of celebration and tried to get my condo cleaned up.  I decided to cook up a tray of lasagna.  I know my friends and family in Central Pennsylvania are probably horrified…there is a strong tradition there of cooking pork and sauerkraut on January 1st to ensure a year of good luck. After enjoying some lasagna and a glass of wine, I decided to head out to give my $10 away before midnight.  

I walked a little ways and came across a Rite Aid pharmacy.  I underestimated how cold it was tonight and was not dressed properly, so I thought that I would find someone inside to give the money to.  As I crossed the street and approached the pharmacy, I thought, I am going to give the $10 to the first person I see when I get inside. 

I didn’t a bit more walk through the door before I saw Melvin carefully studying the shelves in the first aisle.  I walked right up and asked him if he could help me out with a project.  He seemed a bit reluctant and started to try to get rid of me I think.  I quickly countered with, “it will probably only take 2 minutes and you get $10.”

That was all it took…and cash had exchanged hands.

Melvin has lived in DC for five years although he is originally from Honduras.  I asked if he was from Tegucigalpa and he replied that he was from a place about 6 hours from there by car.  I guess it is probably like if I was in Honduras and told someone that I was from the US and them asking if I was from Washington, DC.  Well, I guess that is a bad example since I in fact live here in DC, but anyway, imagine someone else…say from Oconomowoc, WI and them saying that they were from the US.  It would be kind of ridiculous to assume they were from our nation’s capital.

Anyway back to Melvin.  He seemed very nervous.  Perhaps that is a result of my rather hasty approach.  I exchanged a few words in Spanish to see if that might make him more comfortable, but he still seemed a bit on edge.  He said he was going to use the $10 to buy his 2 year-old son a toy.  That seemed to be a thoughtful use of my money and I bet it will make his boy happy.  He seemed eager to end the awkwardness and turned his attention back to his shopping.  I wished him a happy new year, shook his hand, and walked out of the store.

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