• September 18, 2012

Valparaiso: A City of Many Colors

Armando and Ida

Extract from Armando G.’s First Letter to His Sponsors from Chile.

“If I can describe Valparaiso in one word it would be color. Color in the moun­tains, sea, and sky. Color in the streets, houses, and stairs. The trees, sea, and moun­tains com­pli­ment the design of the streets, build­ings, and stairs.
But the color that is the most pre­sent is in the people. As if the vibrant image of the city is engraved in the pas­sion of their thoughts, feel­ings, and emo­tions, or vicev­ersa. The best way I can describe it are not my words but those of my new found friend Ida. Her phys­ical suf­fering is so strong you can feel it. But she told me this, ’I love to live. And how can I not, when your friends are reminders of how much love there is to life?’.

It catches me by sur­prise to think that someone would wel­come me into their home and share every­thing from a meal to a per­sonal story. To think that I had no con­nec­tion with anyone the same day last year yet here we are laughing and crying with one another.

The chil­dren are the most vibrant in my eyes. During the days where I stay in the house I have the priv­i­lege to spend the day with them. They can be a hand full at times but at the end of the day when I walk them all to their homes they tell me they don’t want to leave, they want to stay with me. You can’t help ask what did I do to deserve their friend­ship? They are truly God sent, each one of them. They never cease to amaze me. How during the rosary you ask who they would like to pray for and they point at you. They know I need their prayers. How they run up to you from far away to give you a pow­erful hug, it reminds me of the cold wind that catches you by sur­prise and wakes you up. They wake up my smile and I cannot help it. They always ask me why I smile and that makes me smile more. They don’t realize how great they are.They’re my teachers without knowing it. I pray that many see what I see and that I never lose this sight.”

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