Remembering Carolina

 

“Guess who I saw yesterday?”

We sat in the kitchen eating lunch when Iveli asked the question. The girls weren’t in school because the town’s school teachers were on strike. (Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that at least one day a month the teachers go on strike). Iveli continued, “During recess in the school yard I spotted her in the open doorway.”

“Who?” Erika asked.

“Carolina.”

Erika’s mouth flew open. “Our Carolina?”

Iveli nodded. “Uh, huh. She looked so sad.”

Carolina is a fifteen year old girl who used to live in our house. I had taken her in when her grand-mother abandoned her when she was seven years old. Shortly after Carolina’s tenth birthday her grandmother showed up at our house after supper one night.

“I’ve come for Carolina,” she said in a no-nonsense voice. But Carolina didn’t want to go with her. She had told us several times that her grandmother had beaten her viciously when she did something to displease her..

I tried to reason with the woman. But she was determined to take Carolina with her. Carolina did the only thing she knew to do. She threw herself on the ground and howled like a wounded animal.

Legally, our hands were tied. So we had to let her go.

Every night for weeks the girls prayed that Carolina would be allowed to live with us again.

“Can’t we go look for her, Papi,” Juanita asked.

“Right after lunch,” I replied.

I’ll keep you posted on our efforts to find Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Leon Jones

I am a retired American living in the remote jungle town of Iquitos, Peru. I came down 15 years ago to help Indian children. Presently I operate a house for abandoned children, a teenage volleyball team to help combat teen pregnancy and annual Christmas party for 200 Indian children in the town's poorest community. Periodically, I will post about the children.

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