Catie Come Home

Our adoption journey to Guatemala

April 13, 2005

The High Price of Chiclets

Kimberly bought some Chiclets chewing gum from a young boy on the street yesterday. We paid 20 quetzels (almost $3) for a few pieces of gum ... but it was worth every penny to us to see the smiles on his and his mother's faces.

Every time we travel here, we see the faces of our own children in those of Guatemalans who are less fortunate. We see them at the airport, on the streets of Guatemala City and in the town square of Antigua, and we desperately want to help all of them. Many of them look as if there growth has been stunted by malnutrition, and I suspect most of them are truly needy. While we are relucant to just hand them money, we will buy goods from them. And while I'll usually try to negotiate with an adult Guatemalan if I think the price for a particular item is too high, I tend to pay whatever price a Guatemalan child quotes to me -- and sometimes more.

I can remember buying necklaces from two girls in Antigua on our trip to adopt Anthony. The girls were sitting on a stoop together, and Kimberly says they were probably sisters. They probably thought I was crazy for insisting on buying necklaces from both of them when the money was going to the same family. But I couldn't help it. I wanted something from each of them.

Three years ago, Kimberly did something a little different. She bought ice cream for the children who were eating lunch in Antigua's town square next to the bench where we sat. And this year, Kimberly brought a bag of bite-size candy bars to hand out in the town square. I'm sure that will be just as big of a hit here as it was in Russia, when I gave a bag of chocolates to the eight-year-old son of two of the Christians there.

I overpaid for the Chiclets yesterday only because I didn't have any smaller bills. But now that I've done it once, I might just do it again and again. It makes me happy, and it makes the children happy, if only for a brief time.


  • At 4/13/2005 3:44 PM, Anonymous Charlene said…

    I'm glad you can get such a good feeling from giving out candy and seeing the smiles on kids faces. Maybe you should give them toothbrushes to go alone with the candy. haha. I can't wait to have you all back, even though I wouldn't have seen you 'til tonight anyway. I can't wait to meet Catie and hear more about your adventures. I'm glad Danny is such a blogger because otherwise I wouldn't know all the stuff I do. I'm sorry I haven't been able to get on as much as I would like to, things are busy with school and I just finished writing a letter to the Adopt-A-Student committee to see if they will help me so that I don't have to invade your privacy this fall, so much earlier than planned, and hopefully I will make it down to Florida, even though I would love to stay and watch Catie, Eli, and Anthony grow up. Hope all is well. If you could, grab me one of those necklaces (I know that was earlier) or a necklace with something native on it, and I'll pay you for it when you get back. Nothing to expensive, I just would like something from the area--if not that's fine too, just figured I'd make a request before you leave.
    your sister in Christ,

    Joshua 1:9


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