We decided to move to Sololá. A lot of the people in Itzapa were very fond of us and grateful for all the help we had given them. They didn’t want us to leave. They heard we were leaving because we didn’t have enough money and we didn’t have enough food. It so happened that we were low on money at that particular point in time, so we didn’t have a whole lot of food. But we did have some food. The folks in Itzapa had gotten somewhat of a wrong message. We would go through low spells, but then the money would be wired to us and we’d be alright again. During the low spells, we would just eat oatmeal and soymilk and whatever we could scrounge up.
One day, soon after the folks in Itzapa heard we were moving, I was cleaning the pantry, something I often took on as one of my chores. I brought everything out of the pantry and I was washing off the shelves.
All of a sudden these Guatemalan folks came in carrying little baskets of food on their heads. They said they wanted to give us food. I told them, “Muchas gracias,” and they left. Then some more folks came and gave us food. Again I said, “muchas gracious.” Then more and more people from Itzapa came to give us food, including corn, limes, and beans, and even a little bit of money. I was mind blown. I was thinking, “My goodness, we don’t need all this food. They need it more than we do. They could sell it to get money for the things they need.” I told this to some of my Plenty friends and they said, “Look, they have probably walked three or four miles with that squash on top of their head. You can’t make them walk all the way back with that on top of their head, again. For one thing it’s an insult and for another thing, they are going to be too tired to have to carry it back.”
Of course many Guatemalans are strong, often carrying 80 to 100 pounds of food or wood on their head or back. I agreed it would be rude to turn down the gifts, but we had so much food. They kept coming and coming, bringing more and more food. My heart was so touched. I couldn’t believe these people. They were so poor, they were walking in barefoot, wearing old clothes with patches. Here we were overflowing with food. And yet here they just kept coming and coming. It was one of the most touching days of my life — cleaning that pantry and having more and more food to where the pantry was overflowing. The Guatemalans were so appreciative of all we had done to help them and didn’t want us to leave. It was really sad — and happy at the same time.