Daily Archives: April 4, 2012

My Cinderella story

Quinoa and wild turnip, blowing in the Chillcapata wind.

At the end of the beautiful day I spent in Chillcapata, Peru visiting families who’d received animals and trainings through the FEED program of Heifer International... after I’d stuffed myself at the delicious lunch the community had prepared and gone nuts over all the adorable babies… one of the moms, Carmen Calle, asked me to be the godmother of her daughter Leidy.

Which meant I would be responsible for cutting off the long, black braids Leidy had been growing since birth – a rite of passage when Peruvian children reach the age of 6 or 7.

Although I’d been dazzled all afternoon by Leidy’s adorable grin, I was shocked and chagrined at this turn of events, although everybody else in the room seemed pretty much delighted at the idea. I asked Rosaluz Salazar, my Heifer translator, if this was culturally appropriate and what I was committing myself to (like the Catholic sanctity of the child’s soul), and she assured me it was fine, it was a ritual honor, I could snip and go.

So, armed with a scissors and surrounded by dozens of witnesses, I cut through Leidy’s thick black braids – and voila! she was my god-daughter.

Actually, Leidy’s my fourth god-daughter, since I’m the proud (though intermittently present) godmother of three other gorgeous girls: Marie, Maura and Lottie. I fully understand (through the ministrations of my own incredible godmother, Edythe Mendolia) that my responsibilities are to never miss birthdays or Christmas, and to give lavish presents whenever possible.

After the haircut ...what a beautiful girl!

I hope I never let Leidy down in that department. As the fairy godmother, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

p.s. Just a thought for Passover/Easter: Why not give real eggs (via a real chicken!) to a family like Leidy’s?  Click here for a Chick … and here’s a Chillcapata bouquet of thanks!!

Categories: Children, Passover & Easter, Peru, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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