After being at Hostal El Pulpo for two days looking after the place for Carlos Gord and I were anxious to get out for a walk. As we sauntered up the main, typically quiet road in Poneloya and we were surprised to see a crowd of people.
Men, women and children were lined up on either side of the street and gathered around the entrance of the church. We were definitely curious and wondered what was going on.
As I wandered around taking a few photos, trying to figure out what was going on a woman with blonde curly hair approached the fence. I asked her what the nature of the event was. She was less than forthcoming with information and was only willing to tell me that she was here on a mission from the US. She didn’t give her name, nor did she specify what organization she was with, which frankly, seemed a bit odd.
I asked how many pairs of shoes were they able to bring and she stated,
“Enough for all the children”.
Anxious to get inside the gates and take a closer look at what this mission was all about I asked her if I could come in and take some photos for my blog. She said that she could not allow my entrance to the church, but said I was free to take pictures outside the gates. This also seemed odd to me. First of all, if you were doing missionary work wouldn’t you want to talk about what you were doing, promote your organization and welcome any additional publicity you could get? Secondly, since when aren’t “all of God’s children” welcome in the church.
I eventually figured out that part of this mission was to provide new and gently used shoes to the children.
The kids were excited to pose for pictures with their new sneakers and as always giggled when I showed them their image on the display screen of my camera.
Other items that were being handed out were stuffed animals, pens & pencils and fleece blankets. The blankets must be for those cold winter nights when it dips to 25 degrees celsius???
As we headed back to Carlos’ place a little girl across the road gave us a friendly wave, smiled and said “adios”. I was quite sure she wanted her picture taken so Gord and I made our way over to take a quick snapshot and say hello.
With the help of Google I’ve learned that Solidary Foundation is the name of this group that was in Poneloya on Sunday. Ms. Zulma Gallego is the lady I spoke with. Why she was so unwilling to give me information – I’m not sure. To be honest, she made me feel as though I was not worthy of her saintly time and certainly not her respect.
I guess the important thing is the smiles on the children’s faces and how happy they were to have a brand new pair of sneakers or a stuffed animal to snuggle with at night.