We treasured all the mail we received from you guys while we were living in Paraguay. We’d often attempt to hold off on opening something until we got home to make a production out of it or, if we were lucky enough to receive more than one item on a given day, we’d give our self-control a run for its money and try to space out the unveiling of the cards.
We even created a space for these special possessions: our card wall which spanned our living room and was often marveled at by each new visitor.
When packing up our house in preparation of moving on from Paraguay, we debated what should be done with these paper items that had brought us so much joy and served as a daily reminder of our community of support from back home.
We decided that carrying them with us didn’t mesh well with our strict desire to travel light and free (just one big backpack each) as we slowly make our way home. So we came up with a solution to let the magic of the cards live on.
After pouring over the notes and messages one last time, we packed up the mound of cards (you guys were good to us!) and headed to the soup kitchen ready for a special craft project. After all, it was Friendship Day, which is celebrated widely in Paraguay, so it made sense for the kids to create friendship cards out of the cards we had received from family and friends.
I underestimated what a hit it would be. Eyes lit up and squeals were heard as I laid out the cards (or at least the front covers) on the tables before the kids. They selected their favorites (quickly, before their neighbor did) and then waited impatiently for their turn with the limited number of glue sticks we provided.
They cut and pasted and designed their own friendship card for someone special in their life. They asked us what the words meant and practiced repeating them. Even the cook got excited at the cards and scurried over to the work table to snatch a few up for herself.
She selected one that said, “For My Granddaughter” and said she would save that for when she had neitas of her own.
We did this project on one of our last days at the soup kitchen, so I was well aware of the limited time I had left with these young children who managed their way right into the depths of my heart.
Looking at Isaiah watching the crafting go down, I knew we were both struck by the sacredness of seeing our worlds mixing and the love of our friends and family back home being passed forward on that Friendship Day to our friends in Yuty.
Thank you for being part of it.