Day 5 of the New Year.

7 January, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yesterday at Gano I learned how to conjugate the Spanish verb for “to go” in the past, present and future tenses before promptly forgetting all 3 verbal possibilities. What a classic move on my part. Dang it.

Before the morning was over, I also shoveled handfuls of loose rice into smaller ziplock bags; I interacted with beer bellied old men, gray-haired grandmas with two year olds clinging to their legs, unsmiling teens, half-drunk homeless guys with overwhelming fumes of alcohol emitting from their unwashed clothing, garrulous young Latina mothers, and even an old neighbor of ours. Conversational topics throughout the course of our regular weekly time at the food pantry included child-raising, Mexican culture, the Christmas holiday, hair colors, single hood and service, Spanish verb tenses, vocational direction, the bus system here in Houston, family traditions and hometowns.

Another highlight of the morning was discovering an extra boombox resting in dusty splendor in the adjacent gym building next to the food pantry’s chilly walls so that added an extra touch of musical flair to our conversations. I really do believe jazz and mariachi alike have the ability to bridge any and all cultural, age and gender differences… mmm. Yes.

Around lunch time, we waved our last goodbye to our friend and co-volunteer, Leticia, and then headed out on the familiar path through the Hispanic neighborhood east of Houston Ave, crossed the concrete overpass bridging the intersection of interstates 10 and 45 (not forgetting to wave to the elderly man with deep wrinkles and a gentle smile who magically appears to be watering his wilting shrubs every single time we pass his house), cut across the empty corner lot on Holly and walked back into our house.

All in all, it was a fairly typical morning with all of its unpredictability and unique moments and as we crossed the familiar pot hole in front of our porch, I thought to myself, “This is why I love where we are right now.”


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