Thursday, February 5, 2009

Francisco

This is Francisco, one of our two vigilantes (guards) and the one who rescued me when I was trapped between the locked front gate and the locked front door. The gun is part of his working uniform. I don't know whether it's loaded or not, though I suppose it is. I do know that when Francisco thinks a situation could be dangerous, he does what I'd do - he calls the police.

After he rescued me, we had a couple of great conversations (en español) about life. Francisco's brothers and sisters mostly went to the United States 30 years ago, and they've prospered and raised families there. People think he should have lots of money because he has all these relatives in the U.S., but they don't come home any more, and all he's ever gotten from any of them was a pair of snakeskin boots and a fancy watch one brother gave him.

Francisco doesn't want to live in the U.S. His life here is not rich, but it's full and real. When he's not protecting us, he goes down to the Alcaldia (City Hall) where his wife has a food stand, and he helps her. They have two teenage children and love them. He's involved with his church and he's part of a group for lisiados, wounded veterans from the civil war - both sides, he says, because no importa which side you were on when you got wounded. He just managed to buy a little bit of land in Apopa that has a ramshackle house on it, so it sounds like he will be spending his precious few hours of time off beginning to build his new house. Buen hombre. A good man.

6 comments:

  1. There's something that sounds so not vow-of-poverty about living in one of the involuntarily poorest countries in the world in some establishment with a locked front gate and a locked front door with guards. Sorry about the criticism, but there it is.

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  2. In many ways I agree with you; it feels out of joint to me, too. However. The main reason for having this kind of protected location is that our work, organizing the medical mission groups, means that we have to do a lot of connecting with offices in the capitol and that we're storing equipment for the missions in the house. So a safe and convenient location makes sense for the work of this mission.

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  3. I appreciate this story.
    Brad

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  4. Has your house ever been broken into?

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  5. Yes, my house was broken into several times when I lived in Albuquerque.

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  6. My kind of guy, when a coffee mug is part of the uniform. ;)

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