If you've followed my journey through the year with Di, I've got good news for you.    She has changed her mind.   She wants to return to her original plan to attend boarding school.

Last week, her grandmother came in from her remote village to see Di graduate from 9th grade.  One problem, graduation cost a tremendous amount of money which no one had.   So, the grandmother got an earful from me instead.  Lucky woman.   

Miskito women are stoic and rarely smile... they believe that if you smile in a photo, the camera may just steal your soul

It started out innocent enough...  she speaks no Spanish, I speak little-to-no Miskito.  Together, we were a pair of smiles.   Smiling was the only way we had to communicate with one another without a translator.

She arrived to meet me with an 'Oh! Canada' bandana.  I wish I had been able to give her one with the stars & stripes, or at the very least, a Honduran one.

She drove with me in my little Rhino.   She held on for dear life as I navigated potholes and splattering red mud.  The sun was directly in my eyes as I ran over a traffic cone in front of the police station.   I never saw the cone.   She had no idea what to do with me.   I'm certain she thought I had been drinking.

We arrived at the translator's house and began a long, difficult discussion about Di's safety.   Overall, I wanted to make sure that she knew that my first priority is and will be Di's well being... above and beyond education, her very life is important and the situation Di was heading into was a potentially dangerous one.   The grandmother nodded, but said very little.    We ended the conversation without a resolution.

A few days later, our Thanksgiving group was here and I saw Di and her grandmother at one of the orphanages.   The grandmother stared at me, watching carefully how I interacted with the Miskito people who worked there, watching how I acted with my friends, watching what I did with the kids.   It was a bit unnerving.

yes, I look like a tourist...  and yes, I like to smile

She left Puerto Lempira without much fanfare.   A few days later, I found out that she had a stern talking to with Di.  Stern.    And because of her honest words, Di changed her mind.     The same things that I had said to Di over and over were now taken to heart because they were spoken from the lips of one who has known Di since birth.   

So, Di wants to go.   I am happy that Di is safe and has chosen to make choices that will keep her from being exploited.     In some ways, I'm skeptical.  In other ways, hopeful.  Most of all, just grateful.      Oh, and ready to put my boxing gloves on for the next girl in limbo.  The fight, physical, emotional and spiritual is worth it.   Di is worth it.

And in a month or so, we just may be together on a plane headed to her future.   


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