Edgar showed me the place where Chinita had plunged fifteen feet last Sunday. She must have been stumbling down the hill to church and tripped over the curb. I can only imagine the slow terror filling her parent’s eyes as they watched her roll down the steeply banked retaining wall. She landed, head first, on the pavement. The three year old had been unconscious for twenty minutes when the medics finally arrived. Without a word, Rosa Garcia got in the ambulance with her brother, Rolondo, and his baby. They would camp at the hospital for three days before any news came out. The prognosis was guarded but, over-all, good. She would not need a drain to reduce the fluid in her head. And, she could be released any day and the doctor ordered a Tomograph for the next month.
So, Rosa and I went to look in on her. She stood in square of sunshine under the window clutching a bag with the tea-set she had been given in the hospital. She looked up and stayed perfectly still and looked me over coolly. She remained a bit standoffish but did not leave her space. I went out to ask Rolando how he was doing and when we came back in Rosa had the little one setting up a tea party. She was thrilled to be the hostess and gingerly doled make-believe oolong to us. As is custom in Guatemala, we bowed and said thank you and she beamed as she responded, “you are very welcome.”