Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Xmas story

So after dining with my relatives, I headed to the church. But it was closed, no mass. On my way back I passed a homeless, called Miguel whom I was used to seeing every day at night. He sleeps at the bank’ s entrance, one block from home. Each time I pass him by I feel very bad, his situation kills me. So I decided to take action and I sat at his side on cardboards, and we talked for about an hour, till 11 pm. No one in the street. He told me that his son is a gendarme living far away and that every year he sends Miguel money (around AR$ 2,000) so his father can pay for accomodations in the province of BA. He said that what his son sends him allows him to cover his expenses for the year. I asked him how much he needed to stay in a guesthouse. He doesn’t like BA shelters because the homeless there rob other people’s belongings. I said wow, and no one controls that? He said no. They robbed him a backpack 2 weeks ago where he had a radio, a new pant, a new tshirt, etc. he said that the radio was his company during the lonely nights and weekends, when he could listen to soccer games. I felt crushed. So I went mad and all in my mind was: I absolutely need to buy a radio for him so he doesn’t feel as lonely tomorrow. But… even 24 hour stores were closed, of course. I made out an open drugstore. Knowing the answer I asked: “do you sell radios?”
There was a lady outside the drugstore trying to find batteries and a man buying medicines with several prescriptions. We started to chat accidentally. I explained to them abt my need to find an open store and Miguel’s story. The guy was touched.
“I love your story and I really like you. These are madnesses that we all make in life and I really like you for that. Listen my family is in the car, why don’t you join us and we will go around to find an open store where we can buy that radio for Miguel?
“ WOW I said, that would be wonderful…but I don’t want to bother you, I am sure you are going to celebrate Xmas Eve somewhere so…”
He said not to worry about that.
So I went home in a hurry, grabbed my credit card and money and rushed to this man’s car. I didn’t expect to find them, since it took me almost 7 minutes to go up home and come back, so I was restless. BUT…the man was just getting out of the drugstore as I approached the car…I couldn’t believe it. I meet a man on xmas eve, when no ones on the street and the few people who are are all dressed and heading out for their parties and this guy offered his time, his car, his family’s time that special night to buy a radio for a man he didn’t know and to help me!
We went to a shopping I thought would be open, Galería Pacífico, as other years many shoppings stayed till late on xmas eve, but not this year…everything was closed….he streets were desert… so he and his wife said:
“Paola look: we have radio we really don’t use at home and think that Miguel could use…” I said no, please, I will try to find a place open tomorrow to buy it, you’ve been really kind tonight and don’t want to bother even more. I will never forget what you did for me tonight. It’s been one of my best xmas time.”
Graciela, the lady replied: “please, lets meet tomorrow at the church entrance and I will give you the radio”.
I was so thankful. They gave me a lift 2 blocks from home after asking: “are you alone tonight?”
I replied: “No, but I know that if I were alone you would be inviting me now to join you and your friends for a xmas eve celebration”.
They said yes, you would be coming with us in that case.

Next day, at noon, we met with Graciela and she gave me the radio. That night I went to find Miguel with the radio and an envelope with the money he needed to cover one month in a guesthouse, probably the time needed to get the money transfer from his son.

4 comments:

Forbidden Reloaded said...

Very nice story. I have a pair of them with radios and poor people. I concluded you’re a charitable person and very brave to walk alone in Xmas eve night in Buenos Aires

Regards

Paola said...

Thank you FB. I can tell that it was one of my best Christmas ever. I'd love to hear your stories too, maybe written in your blog?
All the best

Forbidden Reloaded said...

I’d prefer put my story here because I’m not sure that the people who read my blog speak English and my blog is more about politics. Some years ago I was working in a place called Cerro Paraguay, in Bernardo de Irigoyen, very close to Brazilian border. In that place radios are very important, not only for the news. By broadcast radios people send message to their friends or relatives who live in the middle of the forest. As a matter on fact, I had to give my own radio to a person who guided me, and he was very happy for that. One day, I was working in a very poor school when I saw a very young and thin girl, no more than fifteen, holding a baby in her arms and pregnant. She attract my attention because she was almost bald and she was bitten by “uras” (uras was a tropical fly which when bite someone let a worm which eats flesh and when became adult leaves the body). I asked a peasant about the girl and he told me the story. A man bought, yes bought, girls’ mother five years ago. When the woman became older and the girl became almost a woman, the man gave the woman to another peasant changed her by a radio and “married” the girl. I couldn’t believe that thing would be happen in Argentina but it was the true. That is my story about radios

Regards

Paola said...

Those aberrations happen SO often even here in the province of Buenos Aires, so close to the Capital... You cannot run and you cannot hide....unless you are one of them.
Injustice is made for us to make a path to heaven and get people aboard.
Out of that, nothing remains.
Thanks so much for sharing your story.