Wednesday, March 17, 2010

a letter to the pineapple girl

There are villagers who have made an investment that earns them money all year. They buy a bicycle with a cart on the back. They are actually really cool. You can be your own moving company. You can be a delivery person. You can fill the cart up with tomatoes and roll around the neighborhood. Or whatever fruit or vegetable is in season. You can fit your grandma, wife, kid, and neighbor kid on the back. You can pile it with recyclables and turn 'em in for a buck.

This is pineapple season, so every villager who owns a cart is filling it with pineapples, and parking them on corners. They peel them, slice them, and stab them with disposable chopsticks and sell them as a snack. YUMMY.
I study often at KFC after class. Out side the window there is usually this cart. This mom with a baby, and a 14 year old daughter. The daughter has a crippled leg, and the sweetest smile. She takes turns with her mom, taking care of the baby, and preparing pineapple on a stick to sell. This is a letter I wrote to her. I am making a lot assumptions about her situation. But they are based on my experiences and my basic understanding of what is “typical”.

Dear Pineapple girl,

For some reason, I am fascinated by you. You are a lot older than your baby brother. And you are obviously from a poor family. I think you parents must really love you. You are a girl, and you have a leg that doesn’t work like it should. And yet your mom and dad kept you, raised you, and your mom smiles when she looks at you.

And now you have this perfect, adorable baby brother. Your family must have a lot of hopes tied up in him. I wonder how you feel about that.

I wish you knew how precious you are. I want to tell you that you were created for a high purpose. That there was a plan for you life while you were still in the womb. Are you going to be the owner of the pineapple cart one day? Or will you save up to buy a sewing machine and learn to make and mend clothing? Or are you going to meet someone with connections, who will get you into a school? Will you marry a good man who loves the father and raise children with him who will also love and serve the Father?

You are beautiful. I know there are tens of thousands of girls just like you all over this province. I am going to do what I can for them. I don’t know exactly how that will look in the future, but right now it’s just going to be one mama at a time. One girl at a time who doesn’t mind me stumbling along in bad Chinese.

Don’t give up, pineapple girl. There is a lot to life. There is more to life, and there is joy in being content where you are. I care about you, but not half as much as your heavenly Father does. So, I just entrust you to His care in my mind.

Hallie the lao wai (foreigner)


Ed Ziebart said...

Ok, now pineapple girl is on my p. list! ~ mama z

Melanie said...

Hi Hallie!
(This is Melanie - I knew you in high school and found your blog through Janelle's.) As a blog writer myself, I know it's sometimes nice to know who out there is reading, so I wanted to tell you I am and your posts are great - this one is beautiful, but sometimes my husband and I just laugh and laugh at the things that happen in your life! Thanks for sharing.

Tim McLaughlin said...

Okay, I'm teary now....

rosebark said...

Wow. WowZa.
Thank you for showing your heart with us as you share it with others.
LOVE you.