Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: South America (02/05/09)
- TITLE: Maria
By Juliana Gonzalez
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Maria cracked open the swinging door to see if she could catch a glimpse of them, but realizing that she wouldn’t be satisfied with such a limited scope, proceeded to scoot herself through the door and around the perimeter of the store until she was safely tucked into a corner. Thinking she would be unseen, as most of the gringos were scrutinizing the pastries, Maria examined her cliental. The first thing she noticed was their make-up. It reminded her of the make-up worn by the payaso who made animal balloons at the park, but it was a little different. One of the boys only had a small purple circle covering his right eye. Another had a green triangle on his cheek and so on were the gringos painted. As Maria examined the choices of make-up and corresponding attire she was approached by a blonde-haired girl from the group.
“Hola!” the girl said in a foreign accent. Maria just smiled. “Como se llama?”
“Maria? Que bonita!” replied the blonde girl. “Is that your doll?” she said putting her hand on Maria’s favorite doll. Maria, not sure exactly what the girl was saying, just shook her head. Her cheeks were already so flushed from sheer embarrassment that she was not about to try speaking to the girl. The next thing she heard was one of the decorated boys yelling something to the group. The blonde girl looked up and before walking away turned back and said, “Adios, Maria. Jesus te ama.”
During the bakery visit, Maria’s mother had been invited by the group to one of the dramas. Maria could not stop talking about it. She wanted to know everything about them. Who were they? Why were they here? Although Maria couldn’t explain why, she felt so happy when she was near the gringos. Her mother said very little. They were a group from Los Estados Unidos that wanted to tell them about Jesus. When Maria asked if she already knew about Jesus, her mother said she did but still wanted to go because it was the polite thing to do.
Maria loved the drama. Her entire neighborhood was there. There were many short dramas that made her laugh and some made her sad. The longer drama filled her with more emotions than she had ever felt in her life. Afterwards, she joined all the children in the playground as one of the gringos asked them to give their hearts to Jesus. This time there was a translator and she understood every word. Maria gave her heart to Jesus that day. She remembered that there was something different about that blonde-haired girl and Maria wanted whatever it was that she possessed. Now she realized that the blonde girl must have given her heart to Jesus, too.
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