Wednesday, January 19, 2011

El Mendigo

Last night when I was getting water for Ranger I saw our neighbor in his yard, next to ours.  We started talking, and ended up talking about guitar playing and music.  While we were talking, my roommates came out, and when we were all there Norlan invited us all over to his yard to hang out and listen to him play the guitar and sing.  
We went over and met one of his younger friends, Juan, and his family, and had an incredible night of just sitting in his yard, listening to him play, sing, tell us stories, and converse.  The only light was the single street lamp nearby, which bathed everything in a surreal incandescence, while we sat under his mango tree and just lived life with all our new friends-- simple, easy and worry-free.
One of the stories Norlan told us was about a shoe maker who was visited one night by God in the form of un mendigo, or beggar.  God asked the shoe maker to fix his pair of sandals because they were his only pair, and they were broken.  The shoemaker grumbled that everyone was always asking, asking, and no one ever gave, so God said to him, “Regla mis zapatos y voy a darse cualquiera se desee,” or “Fix my shoes, and I will give you whatever you wish.”  
The shoemaker thought for a minute, then said in reply that he wants to be happy, and if he had a million dollars he could buy his happiness.  God responded by saying that He would give him a million dollars, if the shoemaker would give Him his legs in return.  The  shoemaker said, after thinking, no, even for a million dollars he would not give up his legs because then he would not be able to walk around town and see all of his friends and go to the market.  God then said to him, that if the shoemaker gave Him his arms, He would give him five million dollars.  Again, the shoemaker said no, if he did not have his arms, he would not be able to hug his children and to do the work he loved.  However, God again raised the ante and said that He would give the shoemaker ten million dollars if he gave God his eyes.  Again, the shoemaker declined, saying that if he did not have his eyes, he would not be able to see his family and appreciate the beautiful around him, so he would not give up his eyes, even for ten million dollars.
Then, God said to the shoemaker, “Entonces, no puedo darse nada, porque ya tiene todo que es necesario para sea alegre,” or, “Then I can’t give you anything, because you already have everything you need to be happy,” which of course, was the shoemaker’s original wish.  
Last night with Norlan was another amazing experience that taught me a lot about simplicity, perspective, and friendship.  So far, I have been posting about some of the people I have met who have already made a significant impact on me, even though they don’t realize it.  Soon I will try to post more about Honduras itself.  I hope this finds all of you well and happy.
Nos vemos!


  1. by the way, Ranger is our dog. pictures to come

  2. me mola el cuento :) me parece que te lo estás pasando genial en honduras y que estás trabando amistades con todo el mundo! como ya has dicho, este año será una experiencia valiosa para ti, disfrútalo! espero que sigas escribiendo tan a menudo en este blog!

  3. Looking forward to a few pictures and more stories. I liked my job better after reading about Norlan's conversation with God.
    Ditto what Katie said (I think).