I took a trip to Cozumel, Mexico with my family earlier this month. I stayed at a beautiful resort, one that I will write on soon. I had the BEST trip of my life! I met so many amazing people. One of whom’s name is Dominga. She was the braid and massage specialist on the resort.
I am minoring in Spanish at my university and was excited for the opportunity to meet and talk with native speakers. On my first day I was nervous to say more than Hola! to any of the workers, but then I had to sit and have my hair braided for over an hour with a solely Spanish speaker. Great things come after you leave your comfort zone and that saying couldn’t be more true. After about 10 minutes of sitting in relative silence and listening to the chit chat of Dominga and her coworker banter I finally chimed in thinking there is no time like the present. I asked her how to say braids in Spanish and she responded “trenzas.” From that the conversation grew. She asked if I was going to college and what I was majoring in. I told her pre-medicine and a huge smile lit up her face. She began to thank me and to tell me how great of a person I was for wanting to save people’s lives; I was almost in tears. I have never had such a personally proud moment. She told me that she had gone to school for 5 years and continued telling me that her daughter had already stayed for 7 years. She was so proud of her daughter for staying in school. She said her daughter had enough books to fill the whole house and that the reason she worked was to buy more books for her daughter.
If that’s not an eye opener then I’m not sure what is. What a cultural difference to see a parent so proud of their child’s accomplishments and to work so hard to provide for what the United States would consider necessities, something like books I mean. It made me proud to be in the same vicinity as someone like Dominga. Someone who worked so incredibly hard and cared so much for her family. She did her job really well too, took no short corners and seemed happy the whole time. She was thankful for working and for the opportunity to work on the resort, although she only had one day off a week and worked very long hours.
I was inspired by her and her daughter and still think about them daily. It’s crazy what sort of experiences stick in your mind, but there was something about her kindness and the love she expressed that was unforgettable. I continued to see Dominga throughout the week and she would smile and say “still look good, yeah?” Seeing her everyday brought a smile to my face. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, how much schooling you’ve had, or what your background is, a good person is a good person, and I wanted to THANK Dominga for every kind moment I spent with her. Gracias por las trenzas y las amabilidad.