UPAVIM is located in the center of the squatter community of La Esperanza. Many of the kids who attend Reforzmiento either live on the same street or walking distance from the school.
During recess, the kids will run home and return with their pets. Quickly, it goes from “show-n-tell” to “who has the best pet”. Last Thursday, one of my favorite brothers, Daniel and Alejandro, brought out their flurry companion, Spiky. By far, Spiky, is one of the most cleanest and well kept dogs of La Esperanza; and that says a lot.
Anyway, Alejandro and Daniel iniatied a ricochet effect, that prompted other students to run home and drag their pets off to Reforzimiento.
Feeling the competition, Alejandro leaned in and told me, Daniel was going to run home and bring me some chickens.
Being an American and a intermediate Spanish speaker,the first thing that came to mind was, ” Oh, they want to bring me food. How sweet!”
Less than five minutes later, I was greeted by two baby LIVE chickens. The brother immediately proceeded to put the chickens on my shoulders. To Alejandro and Daniel; this was a regular day of recess. For me; this was a test of how calm I could act in the midst of absolute fear.
The first time in my whole life, I was given a chicken and it wasn’t a least skinned, bagged in plastic, and tagged with a unit price per pound.