Together for far too short a time

Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone – Andy Stanley


Wednesday evening, the bus delivered us safely home and we climbed the steep road to the Unbound center in the soft darkness. Another full day of visits – to a school, coffee plantation, and native animal rescue center – had left us weary, but content. For me, this was the moment that I had been anticipating for a very long time. Dixie was here somewhere, perhaps getting ready for tonight’s “fancy dress” dinner.

A cluster of people stood waiting, though, and there she was, wrapping her arms around me in a huge hug that might have lasted forever. It had been a long bus ride for Dixie, her mother Dalia, and social promoter Maria. And, it turned out, Dixie was just recovering from a virus and almost hadn’t been able to travel. Dinner was dressy in a casual, summery kind of way, made special by colorful decorations, abundant food, and an escort to our table. We visited and talked, all of us feeling a bit shy, then headed for bed. I was happy that we would have a whole day of activities together tomorrow, too.

I hope you’ll understand when I say that Unbound’s philosophies resonate within the context of much of what they do. For our day of fun, the activities were simple, creative, and brought us together in laughter and sharing. It’s best to tell the story in pictures:

One of Dixie’s biggest smiles of the day, with me and her mother Dalia.


Lifting our voices in a song that transcended the barriers of language…it was Kum Bay Ya!


Zumba lessons, and then a piñata, brought a festive end to the day.


There was so much that I wanted to know about this goddaughter whose letters take months to travel back and forth. Her small nephew Dilan Jesus came to life in videos on their surprisingly nice phone and I learned he would be joined in a month by another baby nephew. I tried to describe snow and they a village close to Nicaragua where life was so much different. But in our laughter and my terrible Spanish there was community and a yearning to become family. In the end, they missed their bus and I’m not sure why. Thus they stayed another night, a blessing that let Dixie sleep away the time from late that afternoon to early the next morning. She was still ill and even had a fever. In the morning, there was no putting off the goodbyes that came so hard. I will just have to come back!