Monday, January 7, 2013


It's the last day of our tour of Asia. I'm leaving tonight, but my mom will stay behind for 3 weeks to keep her sisters company; they are still mourning the loss of their brother.

My mom says, "We're running out of time. What do you want to do? Go shopping or get a massage?"

If you know me, you know I'd choose a massage over shopping any day. I'd have an empty closet, but I'd be soooo relaxed.

But if you know my mom, you'd know shopping is the only right answer to this question. It's not even really a question; it's a trick...

Rather than play our usual game of selective hearing, I decided on a third option. I said, "Do you think that maybe we could just visit the orphanage you told me about?"

She said, "Oh, that's a good idea."
We walked across the Ayala bridge to Hospicio de San Jose, which turns out to be more of a community outreach center with religious ties. The grounds contain a nursery, sleeping quarters for school aged children, and residences for aging adults.
As soon as we were within reasonable distance from the sign, we stopped to take a picture. When we got closer... I came up to the side of the nursery where there was a turning cradle.  It was like a big drawer, where women could place their babies if they didn't feel like they could care for them properly. It made me more than a little sad, thinking about what a difficult choice that must be.
Then she called my name. She got impatient when I didn't turn around right away. "Debbie! Turn around!" Her next word shocked me the most. "Smile!"
She took a picture of me. Why she wanted me to smile in it is beyond me.
So I didn't smile.

Yup. That's the face I make when she confuses me.  
I will never fully understand her. So I just laugh a little inside.

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