Friday, November 16, 2012

Looking Into The Gift Horse's Mouth

Anybody else having problems uploading pics to blogspot?  Grrr!

Oh well.

I stopped in at our little church here in Chelem, as I usually do when I take my morning walk down to the mercado.  I don't know how long I sat there contemplating my little complicated universe, but all of a sudden I noticed that Mary was missing.  If you know anything about Catholicism, you know that we hold the mother of Jesus in high regard and there is usually a special place of honor for her in any church.  Here in Mexico, there's usually more than one, in fact, and this might be considered sacrilege, I think the Mexicans may rank Guadalupe even higher on the old totem pole.  After all she is the madre and he is only the mijo.

In our little church one of the Mary's resides in a little glass enclosed alcove directly under the crucifix and this morning she was gone.  Vanisho! (I know that's not a word, but I still have the gringo habit of putting an "o" at the end of English words to make them Spanish.)  I hope that someone has taken her out of her home to clean her or give her a new wardrobe of pintura, I would hate to think that some banditos absconded with her.

But it reminded me of a story I once heard of a little boy who was writing a letter about the shiny new bike he wanted for Christmas.  He was too old to believe in Santa Claus, and even if he hadn't been, this bike was too important to him to plead his case to some fly-by-night salesman in a tacky red jacket and a boozers nose. 

No, he was cutting out the middle man and going straight to the top.  Jesus!

So he sat up in his room at his desk pondering and erasing, pondering and erasing, trying to come up with the most convincing letter he could compose.  One that would convince Jesus how necessary this bike was to him.

After many lackluster attempts, he hit upon an idea.  He jumped up from his seat and he padded down the stairs to the little shrine that his mother always kept for the Virgin Mary.

He looked both ways and then he grabbed Mary and ran up the stairs.

When he got upstairs he sat back down at his desk and he sat the statue of the Virgin Mary in front of him. He picked up his pencil and he wrote.....

      Dear Jesus,
      If you ever want to see your mother again......

That little story pretty well describes what I've been doing and where I'm at.

As most of you know, this time of year my time is consumed with obtaining over 800 toys for the ninos de Chelem for Christmas, and trying not to step on anyone's toes or piss someone off while doing it.  You wouldn't think getting toys for kids would piss people off, but believe me, it does.

I know this is getting long but hold on just a little while longer, it will be worth it.

Right before I left the states I wrote a letter to a major merchandise company asking them to donate an item for one of the raffles that we hold to raise money for the toys we give away.  Notice that I didn't ask for toys, that is because we've already ordered our toys for this year, now we need the money to pay for them. (Don't worry, we have most of it).

I didn't hear anything for weeks and had forgotten all about my letter (it was an actual letter, not an email) then one day I opened my email and there were two emails from this company asking for my phone number.  I no sooner pressed send and RRRRIIINNNNGGG!

Somehow the letter that I had sent to this company in California had ended up in the hands of the woman in charge of distributorship of all of Mexico and somehow this woman is from Merida and harbors an undying affection for the Yucatan.

But she regrets to inform me that they cannot donate the outdoor furniture, bbq grill, or red scooter (Yes, I was that specific) for my rifa (raffle) but they'd still like to help us somehow. 

They want to give us the Freaking Toys!!!

Okay, but we already have toys sitting in a warehouse waiting for us to pay for them and of course the warehouse belongs to this company's arch rival and they have been working with us all year and are promising us a substantial discount.

As they say in Mexico, "Tranquillo"  Don't worry, we'll figure out something to do with all these freaking toys.  I'm certainly not going to turn them down.

So yesterday the manager of marketing in the Merida store calls and says, "We have all your toys ready. We have X number of toy cars, we have X  number of Disney Princess Dolls...all we need is your recibo de deducible puestos and they're yours.

Our what?

I knew there had to be a catch.  We are not a Mexican recognized charity, there is no way we can get one of those recibo things anytime soon.  Fart!!!

But there's no way in hell those toys were given to us to be taken away.  So here's my plan.  I have emailed a "real" charitable organization in Merida that is affiliated with the United Nations that helps children with cerebral palsy.  Basically I sent them a letter much akin to the one the little boy in the above story wrote.

   "I'll share my toys but you gotta share your recibo.  Or else Fuhgeddaboudit!

If they can't partner with us, we'll go to one of the orphanages down here.  Either way we'll find someone to help us and a lot more kids will be getting toys for Christmas. Ain't it funny how things turn out?

 That's what I've been up to.

And You?


  1. Loved the story of the child holding Mary for ransom, I'm still giggling! I sure hope she shows back up.

    That's amazing about all the toys! I have no doubt you'll find someone to work out a deal with, no doubt at all.

    Quiet week here, except I went to the grocery store yesterday. Ugh, it was packed!! I thought I'd beat the crowds by going yesterday, but it seems everyone had the same idea as me. Seriously, I live in a small town, I didn't even know we had *that* many people here. So I hate crowds and here I am shopping amongst the masses trying to not have a panic attack, then what do I happen to see in front of me? A sample lady. Yay! I need a sugar / snack treat! Except as I get closer, I see she is offering samples of "sweet red" wine. WTF?! I almost hissed "Diablo" at her, but managed to make it past her without incident, though not without drool.

    I hate to think what would've happened if I was still drinking. I would have knocked back every sample on the table. :)

    Hey, thanks for mentioning my blog to Eeyore on your forum. He stopped by and has left a couple of very nice comments. That was very cool of you- thank you!!

    Hope you're enjoying the weekend,

  2. Here they hand out free tequila samples at grocery store, it's a good thing I've never been able to stand the stuff. Even on my worse days when I was stuck in a blizzard and out of bourbon and wine and drinking sherry because that's all I had left in the cabin, I still wouldn't have drank tequila.

    Does that mean I'm not an alcoholic afterall? lol