Just the other day I was driving out of the Colonia when I noticed a man walking along side of the road. Lots of people are continuously walking along the roads, but what made this man stand out was the fact that he was wearing a Durango BMX T-shirt. I was somewhat surprised with the appearance of this shirt, because I thought that I knew everyone that had a Durango T-shirt.
Just as a quick reminder, we brought with us several hundred T-shirts that were collected from the thrift stores that had Durango printed on them. It was and still is our goal to hand them out to those that we have spent time with. We are not here to open a box of goodies and allow the locals to have a free for all.
Earlier in the month we had handed out T-shirts to our graduating class of students in our ESL program. As we distributed the shirts, we told everyone that it was because of the love and support from Durango that allows us to be here.
Slowly I approached the man and told him that I liked his shirt(Me gusta su camisa). Kind of weird but I did not know what else to say. One would think that I had just complimented Kerry on a new outfit that she was wearing for the first time. He turned and looked at me with a huge smile. Ok, so he did not think that I was coming on to him. What next, I had to get to the bottom of this mystery as to where he got the shirt. I asked him where he was going and then if he needed a ride. That really is not as bad as it sounds.
Around here people are always in need of a ride. As with most people that we give rides to, they immediately jump in the back of the pickup. This works out for the best because not only can 1-5 passengers hop in quickly, they can just pound on the side of the truck to let me know when they need to hop out. This passenger was different and I needed to talk to him. He had to sit up front and tell me where he got the shirt!
It turned out that the mystery man with the Durango BMX shirt is the husband of my best ESL student. Enrique and I now have a bond, through not only the T-shirt but the time that I spent with him riding from Sandy Bay to Coxen Hole. If not for that simple T-shirt, I would not have had the opportunity to add to a relationship that I was already building in the Colonia.
So much of what we are now doing is simply getting to know people. We feel that it is through this process of taking time to know our neighbors that will produce the lasting results.