And lots of times they are rather simple, neither elaborate or complicated, but priceless none the less. If you have read my blog for a while you probably remember me talking about the young girl who comes and cleans our house a couple of days a week. For those of you that haven't met Dulce here's a RDV (reader's digest version) Dulce started cleaning for us when she was 15 and newly returned from running away from home, with a pregnant girlfriend. Their plan was to get better paying jobs in Mexico City. It only took a couple months for Dulce to realized that without an education in ten years she would be the single mom of a couple of kids and still eking out a living as a bleeder for one of the butcher stalls in the market. She called her mom asked her to come and get her and decided on the bus trip home she was going to get an education. Dulce's mom is my close friend Martha's housekeeper. So Martha and Irma decided that it would be a good idea if Dulce came to clean for us. They knew how important education was to LW and I so they figured that we could help instill the hunger for knowledge in Dulce. She was 15 years old and still in primary school. The equivalent of 4th grade in the US. She had missed soooooo many days of school over the years she wasn't able to move on to the next grade each year. Understand that this is not uncommon here especially among women. Many people still feel that a woman's place is to have babies at a early age (16), whether they are married or not, and then to stay home to care for her family. Never mind that unless she finds work there is no home to stay at nor anything to take care of her family with.
Oye I'm digressing and this is no longer a RDV. Soooo to make this long story come to a end. Four years ago Dulce was 15 & in the academic US equivalent of 4th grade. She started studying and challenging classes then grade levels.In two years she had worked her way through primary and the secondary grades to graduate top of her secondary school. Last fall she started High School in one of the schools known for their academic standards. This fall Dulce is 18 and started her junior year of high school!! There is not one of us that would have bet that she would still be in school by now much less covering this much ground while remaining one of the top students in her classes! :) There are very few adults that have earned my admiration as much as I admire and respect her. For LW and I we couldn't be more proud of Dulce's accomplishments, and are ever so pleased that we have been able to help achieve her goals.
This is a picture taken by the newspaper last year at the end of the Revolution Day parade. Dulce on the right had earned the honor of being one of her schools flag bearers.
Of course Dulce and I pretty much have our own mutual admiration club. She knows my academic and career accomplishments, but she also knows what it took to be able to live my dream. She knows how important art is in my life and every so often brings me little pieces of
trash treasure :) Yesterday when she came to work she had something behind her back when she walked in the door. When I told her hello she blushed, got a funny little grin on her face and from behind her back she presented me with this amazing cutting board carved in the shape of an apple with a hand carved stem and leaves. Look the edges are router out!! Is it not the most beautiful cutting board!!??
No she didn't make it herself. She asked one of her friends taking the wood working class if he would make the design she created. Not only did they design and create the apple but they also have my name carved at the top.
I think that one of the things that make this such a precious gift is the public declaration of respect and love that she expressed. She made sure that her friend spelled my name correctly in English. Here in Mexico the nick name for Patricia is the same as in the US. But here it's spelled Paty
She also made sure that an I was used in place of the Y :) In my eyes the only thing that is more beautiful then this priceless gift was the incredible smile of pride and gratitude that Dulce gave me! Rest assured that the apple cutting board has taken it's place with the other beautiful pieces of art that my children created. And I can't tell you who had the bigger smile or glow of pride, but I can tell you that we both needed a tissue to capture a wayward tear.
Wishing you a most audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are. p;)