(click on photos to enlarge)
Dear Friends of the Maya,
My niece’s two boys visited last week. All of a sudden they were running around a nearby park…lots of other kids had joined in some kind of search. I was sure it was for a hidden treasure. I was wrong. They were looking for a funny looking green spot on their little cell phones. They called it “Pokémon “. Dios mio, I said to myself. I am living in another world!
Then I realized that I am like that spot… people all over the place are trying to find me. I show up in Mexico and Michigan, California or Ohio. People “discover” me in Bowling Green or Adrian -at the local grocery store, walking around the block or swimming in front of their cottage. “Aren’t you ….” They don’t say “Pokémon” but rather “aren’t you the guy with the sombrero?” or aren’t you “el gringo en Mexico”. That is a famous American actor who does comedy on Mexican TV. Believe it or not, he does look and act like me!
Right now I am at our family cottage in Cement City, Michigan. You won’t find me in Cement City. It’s just a postal address. I guess they used to make cement there. Now they make money by stopping cars going over the ridiculously low speed limit of 25 miles an hour. I avoid Cement City whenever I can. So far so good.
Soon I will be in my beloved Merida, Yucatan.
A few days before I left Mexico at the end of in July, one of the members of our team informed me that she had taken another job. She was responsible for our Scholarship Students, our emergency aid programs and small groups in five villages. We knew we couldn’t replace her quickly. We decided to break up the responsibilities and include more people from our villages in the leadership of our programs. We envisioned a new person who will be our Director of Personnel or Human Resource Person. Only problem is that our people in Mexico didn’t know anyone who had the qualities to assume this new position.
I panicked. Then, I noticed a small book on the table:” Stay Cool and Carry On!”. I’m only on chapter three but making progress.
It’s hard to “stay cool” when we have 120 young people waiting for their scholarship money at the beginning of September.
I spoke with one of them yesterday. Marcos wants to be a lawyer. He will make a great one. This summer he has been helping us get the solicitudes (requests for scholarships) in order. He found out that an essential part of our scholarship program is the service which our young people can give to their local villages. He is very much aware of the problem of Alcoholism in our villages and the damage it does to families. In the past he had helped niños get more self-confidence by giving acting classes. Now he has more confidence himself and wants to help his young friends confront alcoholism in their own homes as part of his service for the future.
We will continue our search for a Personnel Director. Meanwhile people like Marcos and others will be participating more and more in our attempts to make this a better world. I hope you realize you are part of the support network which enables us to “carry on.”
When I get to Komchen, Cosgaya, Sierra Papacal, Noc-ac, San Antonio Ool and Dzitya in a few days, I have a funny hunch even the kids there will be running around trying to find Pokémon. We are all looking for someone or something which will respond to our deep longings for friendship and love. We all want to help make this a better world. I don’t need my cell phone and a little green spot to help me find a better future. Together we can make that happen.
Paz y amor,