Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Marta the Mexican Orphan

Marta was standing outside of a Mexican convenient store, just blocks away from our hotel. Lola made eye contact with her immediately and we approached her.

She was selling hand woven bracelets with her older cousin. On the streets. During school hours. Marta had four badly decaying baby teeth but wore a beautiful smile. We learned that she was five years old and had recently lost her mother. Marta the orphan.

We sat down on the curb of the street, facing the Mexican convenient store, and spent ten minutes of our day in Marta's presence.

After taking some pictures with Marta and buying bracelets for Lola's entire ballet class we parted ways. Walking towards our beautiful and extravagant hotel, Jay asks me...

"She got a lot of money for the bracelets she made." Jay ponders.

"Yes. We did buy a lot of bracelets, didn't we? But it probably took her a long time to make." I answer.

"I could make bracelets if I didn't have to go to school. I would have so much time." Jay starts thinking about it more. "You know, Mama. I could sell bracelets on the street of Ohio. How about that?"

Lola gives Marta a hug. "Everyone understands a hug. Yes, Mama? Marta is my Mexican friend. Yes, Mama?"

This is why I travel with my children. I want them to see the world. Mexico was just an introduction of what they will see in their lives. We mave so many Martas to meet in our future.

26classy comments:

Stella said...

Love the photos.
The innocence of children is amazing to me! :)

Kathryn said...

~sigh~
Life can just be heart-breaking.
What a beautiful opportunity for your kids.

Maria said...

Those pictures are really sweet. That was such a sad story. It's neat that your kids got to see that part of the world.

Irene said...

Oh, I love those pictures! I would love to also travel with my kids and let them see the world. Maybe...someday...

suchsimplepleasures said...

i was in cancun for my senior high school trip. there was a man...obviously extremely poor, trying to sell his children. downtown cancun. it was heartbreaking!!!
but, mexico is one of my favorite vacation destinations...
that was a great post! it's amazing how little kids, they get it! they understand, but in such a simple way!!!
hope you had an amazing time!

Amy said...

Sweet post!! It is amazing how children perceive the world. At what point do we lose that innocence?

Don Mills Diva said...

Beautiful pictures. This is why we must try and expand our children's horizons...

Melissa said...

You have convinced me to travel abroad with my daughter. I've been thinking about it since you left.

I have to laugh that Jay wants to sell bracelets on the street and quit school. They just don't quite get how good they have it, huh?

LunaNik said...

this is sweet. isn't it amazing how children are drawn to one another. no racism, no class-ism, no judging...just hey, there's another kid, let's go say hi. it's beautiful really. wouldn't it be nice if we kept that attitude into our adulthood?

Huckdoll said...

Mexico is a hard place. I've been twice and honestly I have nil desire to go back.

I know it's good for kids to see stuff like that and I completely respect that you want your kids to see how other parts of the world live, but it just broke my heart constantly to see the kids down there.

Chanin said...

Just found your blog and wanted to stop by and say "Hi!" I am a stay at home mommy in Ohio also! Your kids are adorable!

Kelly said...

My husband and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon. We took a bus to the resort, a two hour ride. By the time we got to the resort, I was in tears. I felt like such a capitalist pig, lying on a beach while outside the walls of the resort people were suffering. My dh and I got super friendly with the waitstaff. I spoke with one guy about my guilt. He said not to feel guilty but to bring my american dollars there and tip well. We were at an all-inclusive resort, but we tipped everyone. It still didn't make me feel any better. One of the staff members offered us a look at the real Jamaica outside the resort. I met some of the most amazing people of my life on that trip. Beautiful. Sad. I hope my children, as it seems yours have, grow up with a sense of the world as connected, rather than a sense of entitlement. Very Nice!

Steph said...

Loved this post! I also love what you are teaching your children.

Kimmylyn said...

Beautiful. Your kids are so lucky to see the world with you.

Valarie said...

What an amazing experience for you and your children. The pictures are priceless.

Cecily R said...

Oh, see, this is what makes you an amazing parent. You look and see opportunity for growth and compassion and friendship in these experiences. I can't imagine for a second thinking that your kids are spoiled.

I LOVE these pictures and this memory.

Lisa said...

Wow. What a sweet little lady Marta is. Can you imagine living in conditions like that? Kudos to you for teaching your kiddos all about the world. The good, the bad and the ugly. They will grow to be lovely, compassionate adults - much like their mother.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful little tale. We haven't traveled with our kids yet (gotta quick havin' 'em first!) but I can't wait for these little "angels" that touch our lives in profound, unexplained ways. I often wonder when I run into people like that what God's purpose was. Did I miss what he wanted me to do for them? WAS there a purpose other than just meeting them and being reminded I should be thankful for all I have? In your case, I think you did what you should have done by buying her sweet little bracelets...and then maybe adopted her. ;o) j/k

Stacy said...

what an incedible memory that you wil carry with you! WOW :)

Candace said...

how great to have that perspective. What a gift to your kids.

Kellan said...

What a beautiful story of your precious children - and I loved these photos - I don't know if you even know how truly special they come across - the photos alone, brought tears to my eyes - so proud of your sweet daughter for hugging that little girl!! Thank you for sharing this special story and for taking the time for Marta. Kellan

girlymom said...

You make a very good, sincere point. Such a sad story and yet they are both smiling. You might have brought a lot of bracelets, but it was alot more than just bracelets to Marta. What an amazing lesson to be teaching your children.

Amy said...

Thank you for telling us about Marta. What a beautiful experience for your children.

Victoria said...

Yep - Martas. All of them. That's why I travel with my kids too. In Aruba, we had Juan (Mexican) and Cherise (Dutch). In Puerto Rico, we met Cecily (British) and Umberto (native Puerto Rican).

Such a wonderful thing for your kids. Lovely photos.

Jolyn said...

Yes, this is a good reason to travel with our children! No matter how exhausting it might be!

Jessica said...

I really hope that I can teach my {future} kids these things some day! I would LOVE to travel...often! At least once a year...somewhere!

What a great story, OHmommy!

 

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