|What are you doing to reduce global warming?|
We came to a stop at a red light and I looked out the window to see a policeman approach the truck stopped next to us to ticket the driver. John Zeller, the Director of the organization and team chaplain for the NY Yankees was sitting next to me and said, “Usually a $10 bribe will get you out of any traffic ticket in the Dominican.” A few seconds later the driver of the truck slipped a wad of Dominican currency out of the window, the officer pocketed it, and walked back to his motorcycle.
|The first kids following us to the village|
My instinctive ‘Americanized’ reaction to this was….ooookay, thinking that there must be some ulterior motive to this considering he bloodied his knees and struggled to get me away from the mob scene . Then he picked up a badly worn baseball with no cover, essentially a ball of yarn, and flipped it up to himself. He caught it and looked back at me, waiting for me to respond. I reached way back into the “depths” of my Spanish education and replied with sophisticated linguistic savvy, “Me llamo Adam.” He laughed at my monkey-see-monkey-do attempt to converse in his language but after I snapped out of it we were able to carry a simple dialogue about his family and what they like to do every day. Enrique was the happiest person I have ever met in my entire life.
I’d say Enrique is doing something right. The kid doesn’t have shoes, he owns one shirt that he doesn’t even wear, sleeps in a tin house that’s held together by string, his family can’t have more than $50 to their name, yet he smiles and laughs more than anyone I have ever seen in the 21 years I’ve been on this earth. Relationship—Satisfaction—Happiness—Higher love. It all comes full circle. What I felt from Enrique was a higher love that I’ve never seen before. Its been one day and my perspective on life has changed dramatically. A lot more stuff happened today that I want to write about. We played a baseball game. It was my first time playing a game in 6 months since my surgery and it felt awesome. Glory be to God, more to come tomorrow.
Post script: I did give Enrique something from my backpack before we left. A Major League Baseball signed by Martin Prado that I got when visiting my friend Kate Heyer in Atlanta. He said gracias over 17 times.