I first met 14 year old Sandra on a bus ride to Guatemala City to have her eyes checked. I noticed that she wasn't very interactive, didn't make eye contact, and only spoke when spoken to. About 20 minutes later I found out why. Sandra had cataracts and sees very little. I almost cried during her eye exam as we discovered she could only see light out of her right eye and only out of a tiny window in her left .
However, GOD IS FAITHFUL! Sandra's amazing sponsors has donated the funds needed to have her cataracts removed this month and she continues to see better every day!
Over several weeks of return visits and pre-op consultations, I had the chance to get to know Sandra. It was heart warming to walk up to a guarded Sandra only to have her face light up when I was actually close enough for her to recognize me. I was sitting with her on a Thursday waiting for her eyes to dilate and I started asking her questions. She comes from a town close by where malnutrition and poverty are epidemic. Her father is in prison and will be for some time. Without a breadwinner in the home, Sandra and her siblings spent their days selling large, heavy bags of soil or manure to help support the family.
She has been at Shadow since March of 2013. I asked her what her most favorite thing to do is. She thought for a few minutes before answering, “washing dishes”. Washing dishes? I questioned her again as sometimes my Spanish is not clear, but she answered again, “I love washing dishes”.
I considered her answer on the way home and remembered what her life was like before. The Dr. had asked her about carrying the manure (which she preferred to carry because although it smelled, it weighed much less than the soil). He asked her if it colored her skin and if it was hard to wash off. She mentioned that it was, and that she hated how it stained underneath her nails. That makes her love of washing dishes make so much sense.
After years of feeling dirty, she now enjoys cleaning things. That and she can most likely see her progress. It has been so exciting to see her explore all of what life has to offer as prayerfully her vision continues to be restored.