Over the years of blogging and freelancing I have frequently made mention of the levels of acceptance that the inhabitants of the town of Mompos have shown to me. Some time ago I spoke of Sonia, the smiling lady who would come by to collect our garbage in the Casa Amarilla and always share a kindly word. Recently, I wrote a blog about her family declaring them to be “The Real Heroes of Mompos“.
Yesterday, I was given cause for celebration and feel that I have been truly accepted by the Momposino community. As they would say here, in the cuna de la familia.
Yesterday, as I was leaving the Casa Amarilla, Sonia and her son Fabian were rounding the corner of the house with their triciclo on their regular waste collection route. Sonia called over to me and Alba.
“We would like for you to be the godparents of Juan Felipe, my grandson.”
Fabian was standing sheepishly to one side, but it was clear that he had sent the message but didn’t know how to deliver it.
So there you have it. Alba and I met little Juan Felipe today and have been selected as his padrinos. I am both humbled and honored that they should have sought us out in this fashion to help them raise their son. As is the case in this situation, our role will be largely an economic one, but, I am now very conscious of the importance of such a wonderful recognition from a family with no material goods and such modesty. Only two years ago they were all living in disaster tents handed out by the government due to flooding in the region.
As his chubby hands reached out and clutched the silver rim of my watch, the gaze of his big dark eyes rested briefly on mine and he smiled and gurgled. This is Juan Felipe, I thought, from the town of El Horno, just across the river from Mompos, our first godson.