Yessenia arrived here last fall while I was volunteering, and one of the first things that happened between her and I was a serious talk about how she hurt my feelings when she stole all my chocolate. Little did I know.. that incident foreshadowed some things that would shortly come to pass. Yessenia makes me laugh, always. She has joy in her spirit, because even when she’s asleep and I lay my hands on her to pray I always start smiling or laughing. Another thing that is sure to elicit a laugh is a review of what she’s got stashed in her cubby. Yessenia has a tendency to rescue trash that she deems as treasures shortly before they end up swept into the garbage, and I often find the fruits of her scavenges hidden with her underwear. Things like empty sardine cans (I don’t want to think about what happened to the sardines), various inedible fruits from trees in the yard, barbie legs, heads, and other plastic body parts, etc. I enjoy trying to imagine what goes through her mind as she decides such things are imperative to keep.
However, I sometimes find things she’s hidden that do not make me laugh. My art supplies, my perfume, the garbage from my raisins, my candy, and my hot cocoa packets, my five hundred peso bill. Actually the funny thing about that was that she stole my money and tried to buy two pepitos (like popsicles) from Estela with it. Fifty cents worth of merchandise with a fifty dollar bill, lucky for me Estela is very smart and knew exactly where that money came from. So anyway, my joyful little munchkin has some issues with stealing. She’s told me she wants to change, but.. so far it’s not going so well. (She ate my hot chocolate powder yesterday..) But I still think she’s hilarious. The other day we were making our beds in our room, and she started babbling to herself so I asked her what she was saying, and she says, “I’m speaking Chinese, because my dad came from China and he taught me.” Which isn’t true, but I showed her where China was on the map anyway and told her it’s pretty sweet that she’s half Chinese. Ahaha.
My other new favorite Yessenia story is about mayonaise. Whenever she wants me to sing her to sleep I sing her “You are my Sunshine” because it just fits, and I cannot figure out what words in English sound like “mayonesa” the Spanish word for mayonaise, but she’s started asking me to sing her the mayonaise song. Haha. So.. one night instead of “You are my Sunshine” I sang to her in Spanish about mayonaise on corn, which is how Mexicans eat corn, and I told her that I wrote it especially for her. A few nights later I had forgotten about that, and so when she asked me to sing her the special song that I made her I asked her what it was about, and she said, “Vegetables.” = )