This is Vicente Miranda Sepulveda. He is 5. He is curious. He can be thrown around like a stuffed animal. He looks darling in my Andean’ish headband. He burns through camera batteries like shitty cigarettes. He lives in a tiny town outside of Coihaique, Chile called El Blanco. He doesn’t like too much milk in the morning.
Most importantly, he earned himself the prestigious title of benefactor to the $50 “Watson Family Dowry Fund,” (not quite the official title) that was generously initiated by my brothers and sisters-in-law to be donated to whomever and as however I see fit. We met him while trying to hibernate in an old shack for the night. He must have seen us scout this locale because he promptly barged in and rattled off 312 questions about everything imaginable. His smile lit up the room and warmed my bones. In a flash, he was off with a “don’t go to sleep yet…I will be back” demand. Within 5 minutes he was back, with warm salmon empanadas his mother had crafted. This earned him the small Watson scholarship and I insisted he tell his mom this is your tip.
As I thought, this gesture of money for no real reason to these unthinkably kind people would be met with question. Therefore, we were forcefully dragged back to Vincent’s incredibly modest home of no more than a wood stove, tin walls, and too much fried bread to handle, where the three of us were to spend the evening. It was in no more words, perfect.
Ryan, Chad, Abs and Kathryn….the Miranda Sepulvedas and Vicente especially, thank you. His hysterical sobbing upon our departure the next morning assured me that he and his family were the appropriate selection.
Love you guys.