Good Girl Gabi

Gabi clowning around with glassesGabi is a sweet young girl from Armenia Bontia. She spends a significant amount of time with us and participates in most of our events. Gabi is also a regular volunteer at our weekly medical clinics.

The culture surrounding the poor community of Armenia Bonito is one of “get what you can get”. Everyone is poor and if rare opportunities, gifts or free anything enters the picture it is always a mad dash to get what you can get. Few people share and there is little consideration of need vs. want. This is comprehendible in a community where many people don’t know when they will see their next paycheck or meal.

On Saturday we hosted a Girls Day At The Beach for 40 girls from Armenia Bonito. Of the hundreds that wanted to attend only 40 received the coveted pink ticket. While this ensures several dozen are happy it also guarantees several hundred are not. In fact, many get downright angry with us when we say, “Sorry, no more tickets”.

On Thursday our friend Gabi received one of the last tickets and later asked for a ticket for her sister. “Sorry Gabi, no more tickets”, we said. “You guys are bad!” she shouted. “Look at my poor sister! She is not going to get to enjoy the beach and it is all your fault!” Sean and Mike responded with, “Gabi, if you are so concerned about your poor sister you can give her your ticket and you can stay home.” Gabi shot us a look as if we had suggested she should eat her own hand, “What are you crazy?” she screamed, “No way man!” What impoverished kid in their right mind would ever give up the rare opportunity to go to the beach?

Saturday morning rolled around and we told the girls to line up in front of the bus bound for the beach and raise their prized tickets in the air. Gabi stood off to the side and looked longingly at the line. “Gabi, where is your ticket?” Mike asked. Gabi pointed to her sister standing in line and quietly said, “She has it.”

Good girl Gabi!