Shoe Glue and Ice Pops

In an old post, I dubbed people-watching the best thing to do in Granada. Well, this day was no different as we sat on the stairs of the gazebo in El Parque Central, doing just that. Just moments later from the top of the stairs, a little boy donning a ripped t-shirt and an ice pop (the kind made in a plastic baggy) joined our company. His brother was there, too.

They loved the camera and being on the other end of it. They’d instruct me to take their photo here, over there, doing this and doing that – with teehees and big bright smiles in between and during takes. “Aqui! Aqui! Aqui!” they’d say.

Something surprising then happened, and it began with [another] ice-pop. Bianca brought the boys down to the ice-cream cart, where the little one picked out one of those double ice-pops. He held it high and returned to the stairs with delight.

But instead of tearing off the wrapper and biting into this treat like any other kid would do, he asked us to wait. His words and actions that then followed were both alien and touching. He told us that he was going to get his hermanito, so that they could SHARE the ice-pop. Yes, that’s right. This little boy with the giggles and a ripped t-shirt, in a moment of joy and sweets, thought of his brother, first. I was stunned. It was beautiful. I was happy to hear that they had a family and attended school, because not all the children of Granada were so fortunate.

The mood suddenly changed when a young boy with a plastic bottle containing a small of amount of shoe glue – enough to keep him high and numbed from his reality – approached us.

He was not the only one; his comrade lingered around with a smaller container in hand. Between ingesting contaminated air, he held his hand out in front of me, pretending to be weak and in need. In his defense, he was, but not as much as he pretended to be. The money I could have (but wouldn’t) give him, would probably be for his next high. It only costs 5 córdobas. Anyway, this young guy and his friend eventually left, and we were back to admiring innocence play with toys at the base of those gazebo steps.


4 thoughts on “Shoe Glue and Ice Pops

  1. It was so sad to see kids there without hope or family around. Those little boys were awesome though! I wish could follow them as they grow up. I also wish I could show the kids sniffing glue that they have hope and potential.

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