You're Too Kind!
One of the many constants on the Island is the children selling jewelry and Guatemalan vendors selling their purses and blankets on the beach. It is commonplace and I quickly learn how to say "no, thank you" without feeling the least bit guilty. They do have some beautiful items, but these are things that I do not need in my new, simplified life.
I didn't realize this far-reaching persistence would find me at my own Villa, on my own Veranda. No, the children did not follow me home. Enjoying my morning coffee and planning the day before me, I am interrupted by Francisco, our grounds maintenance person. I offer him a coffee and listen to him as he tells me his work history here on the Island and how he also is an artist and musician. I tell him that I'd love to see his work someday and ask him to bring me a CD, hoping I might be able to use some of his Caribbean music in an upcoming video I'll be producing.
The next day, he brings me a bottle of perfume. "Awe! For me?" I ask. "How thoughtful".
"Oh, no, no," he explains. "My mother wanted me to bring this to you; she is selling it. Only $40 US". Wow, I was really hoping for a gift. I did bring perfume with me, but the norm for scent these days has been bug spray with deet. Not the best fragrance but now I'm wondering what he told his mother about me. (Did I smell that bad?) Thoughts racing, I reluctantly agree to buy the perfume, only if the dollars go directly to his mother, and in three installments. I'm such a pushover.
Yesterday Francisco showed up with three paintings. Very proud of his artwork, as he should be, he tells me about each of the pieces. "Only $20 US, each", he says, "or three for $50 US; I'll make you a deal." I had to decline. I told him I would have much rather have had the art work than the perfume. Had I not purchased the perfume, I would have bought his local artisan work. I tell him I have no money to invest but that I'd put his work on the blog and see if any of my friends might be interested.
No, I didn't feel guilty. Although he is a very hard working person, I just need to clarify that the time on my Veranda in the morning is my private time.
Should I get a "no solicitors" sign? Maybe I can have Francisco paint one for me.