One year ago today, October 14, 2015, while traveling in Cuba, I met this little girl. Walking outside of Ernest Hemingway’s estate to see more of how Cubans really live, I took a photo of the surrounding neighborhood, turned around, and there she was… just looking at me.
I asked to take her photo- “foto?” Her sweetness was a nod of the head. And we walked together slowly. I spoke my few remembered high school Spanish words – “Como te llamas?”- what is your name, “Cuantos anos?” – how old are you, “bien estudiante?” – good student?, “bonita” = pretty. A brief encounter. This small exchange had a lasting impact. Riding back to downtown Havana, I kept looking at her photo, thinking about this little girl, wanting to know more and wishing I had more time with her. I couldn’t even remember her name. The sounds were so different I wasn’t able to put the letters together in my mind. At the same time I thought about my sweet Jean, our 20 years together, knowing the pending limit of her then 88 years of age. And I realized that I would have space for another -this time it would be on the youth side of the spectrum of life. God blends. A brief encounter with this little girl. The next day I went back to try and find her.