We quickly learned that our guests from Central America love coffee. Say the word and their eyes light up. We get through gallons of it at every meal and during the day. (If you would like to donate something - coffee is always appreciated.) And it's not just the adults, the children drink it too. We once made the mistake at the airport of buying coffee for ourselves and for two dads from Honduras. Their (small) sons looked at us accusingly until David bought them some too. We also quickly learned to bring fistfuls of sugar packets along with the drinks; the parents drink their coffee black with oodles of sugar.
This little fire cracker is seven and already a coffee afficionado. David had brought her a cup of milk so she poured several packets of sugar into that and drank some before adding the rest to her coffee. She also ate every crumb of that huge cookie. The cookie says "Be Kind." It's what we strive to be. In the short time they've spent in the US most asylum seekers haven't encountered much kindness from officialdom. There are some in government who could do with that cookie to remind them that asylum seekers are human beings too. A friend of ours was in tears recently. She had worked intake (processing asylum seekers when they arrive at the monastery) and in talking to a mother found out that over the three days they were in detention they were given three small juice boxes a day for drinks. Their meal was a burrito like the ones you can buy at gas stations, except these were cold. This mother didn't eat hers even though she was hungry. A wise choice as it turned out because all the people around her who did eat the burritos became ill. It's unconscionable that we can't adequately feed people we have detained. UNCONSCIONABLE! I don't care what you think our immigration policy should be, or whether you think these people have no right to be here and should be turned away, while they are here they are our responsibility and deserve the dignity of being fed.
We don't know what the future holds for this little girl and her dad. I hope it's safety and school and work and lots of coffee. (And cookies as big as your head.)
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Disclaimer: The opinions in this blog are mine alone and do not represent an official Alitas account. Any mistakes are mine and mine alone.
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