December 26, 2009

One of the coolest gifts ever...

My mom asked me for my favorite coin from my trip abroad.  I gave her a 500 Peso coin from Colombia.

And this is what she returned to me... A necklace.  There is a beautiful tree on the other side. It's right-side up. But I prefer the upside-down 500 Pesos side  :)

The gift is amazing because it symbolizes six weeks in Colombia and an amazing adventure in South America. And my mum even traveled in Ecuador with me for a week! I am so grateful to wear this gorgeous memento.
Thank you, Mom.


December 2, 2009

spanish & me & life purpose

My cousin Claire and I -

What is my place in this world?
I keep asking myself. I do not know. But I have learned to find purpose in every day, and in every encounter with others.

Yesterday I was driving to a friend's house and there was a serious auto accident in a major intersection a few yards in front of me. I called 911.
The scene was chaos. At least 50 cars were watching as glass and plastic spewed, liquids streamed, and smoke billowed. Several others tried to help, but did not speak Spanish. It was a frenzy.

Several people spoke to the driver of the car whose car seriously damaged. She was still sitting in the driver's seat, smoke pluming out the rear door, and liquids spilling out all over the street. She was clearly in shock, and sort of gesticulating that she was ok.
And then I realized she may speak Spanish. Estas bien? Te duele algo? Puedes parar? I placed my hand on her shoulder and did my meager best to reassure her.
She did respond to this. Mi garganta, she said. Her neck was deeply burned and bruised by her seat belt. Thank God that her airbag deployed or she would have been in much more substantial trouble.
The 911 operator told me that she needed to stay seated in the car to minimize potential personal injury, that help was on the way. And as I told this to the young lady, my hand rubbing her back, a fire engine blared through an intersection just a block away. I smiled at her and quietly stepped away as the rescue men took my place.

I walked away from the situation feeling nothing particularly special. I just asked a lady if she was ok. Yet I must look back and consider that what happened was indeed substantial; I cannot imagine being paralyzed in fear after a major accident and not being able to communicate with anyone. Dreadful.

What is my life purpose? I have no concrete answer. But I do choose to be me, Rose, in every moment, no matter how chaotic or simplistic, elegant or raw that moment is.

I am grateful for the opportunity to affect her life, even for just five minutes. I feel validated. And all I did was speak Spanish.