Feb 26, 2011


I practically jumped out of a moving vehicle today when I saw Maria down at school.  I mentioned her in my last post about the prayer walk that we did around the neighborhood.   Maria is one of the neighbors that works at the school.

She doesn't know how old she is - nobody really does - which is endearing.  She defies what a particular age should look like.  She is difficult to understand . . . . even for some Dominicans.  But she manages to get her point across.

I just found this picture from several years ago.
She is with my cousin, Scott, who is well - shortish.
And he is hunching over . . . .

Let me tell you what . . . . this woman is little but MIGHTY!  She stands all of four feet high.  Her eyes are like sparkling blue diamonds. Her face worn, but her spirit ALIVE.  I have seen her hoist large trash cans over her head and walk them across a large field to dump them out in the trash pit.   I kid you not - the little lady is strong. The hike to her house had me breathing heavy like a middle school prank caller - for real. The most compelling part about her strength - is her strength of spirit.  The gal exudes JOY.

The last time my sister came to visit, we ended up giving Maria a ride back to the path to her house.  I introduced my sister (in Spanish, thank you) saying, "Maria, this is my sister.  She is visiting me. Her name is Dawn"  She took one look at Dawn, threw her hands up flamboyantly above her head and with great confidence and volume said, "NO! Ella es Chaaaarrrrrrro!"  Thus, on that day, Dawn's Dominican alter ego was born, and we shall forever call her CHHHHHAAAAARRRRRRRO (must be said with arms thrown wildly above one's head!)

Maria might be one of the most joyful people I have ever met.  I do believe that life is difficult for her, but I also believe that she is rich.

"Listen, my dear brothers: Has God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith?"  James 2: 5 


  1. Rach, you just made my weekend!!! Your description of Maria's spirit is spot-on, and the picture of her is lovely. I miss that little lady. I only had a very few conversations with her over my years there in which she was genuinely discouraged or upset, and when I reminded her of God's faithfulness and presence in our lives, she would always emphatically begin declaring his goodness with vibrantly renewed countenance!! Such a blessing, that dear little woman is!

  2. What a wonderful pic of Maria! Once you have met her, you will never forget her! Truly she is quite the lady! She reminds me of what Paul said about being content no matter what the situation. By American standards people would say she is truly poor but as you said Rachel, she is probably one of the richest people I know. Thank you for sharing this beautiful pic of a beautiful person...inside & out. This is what the DR was all about for me!

  3. I remember sitting in the counseling office - Maria would come in each Tuesday morning to clean. The first several times she came in I couldn't understand a word of what she said. Fortunately she would tell the same stories each week so I gradually learned to understand what she was saying.

    I admired several things about Maria's character (and she was quite a character!) Maria is definitely the hardest working person I know. Not only was she physically strong, she would put such effort into doing her job well. Maria always had a smile on her face, the joy she held in her heart exuded through her voice, actions, and very being.

    Maria is a special woman with a wonderful spirit. It's amazing to think of how this unsung hero has impacted the lives of so many people.

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  7. Jaja! She always called me RUUUBIIIOOO... or said something about my being a gemelo or mellizo (twin.)

    I'd pretend I understood her, smiled, nodded my head, giggled...

    She has a way of brightening your day. I hope to say Hi to her next time I visit!



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