By Nacho Rodriguez
For the first time in my life, I felt true appreciation from other families or people that you don’t know in the villages, especially Agora, for a little thing you do to help them. Tuesday, June 13th was our second day in Agora, and we were the whole morning meeting people in the village.
When we were walking through the rocky paths, we saw two ladies carrying a white sack connected with some old ropes. Me and Reed decided to help them carrying the sack to their houses. When I got the bag it was 40 to 50 pounds and the old ropes they had to carry it were really painful for my shoulders. I didn’t know where their house was and I thought it was going to be only a few minutes walking with the bag to the other side of the village so when we started walking up the mountain out of the village i was confused.
We got on the road that sits above Agora and in the middle there was 6 women breaking rocks to make them smaller so they can use them to built their houses. We learned all of this with just sign communication because we have no idea of Hindi and they had even less idea of English. They started talking and laughing and staring at us. I was confused and interested in what they were saying.
Suddenly, a 23 year old that lives in another village comes with his friends, he knew english!! He started talking to us and translating. At one point they asked me for my name and i never say my actual name I always say my nickname, Nacho. Well, apparently Nacho in Hindi is dance and also there is a song called “Naacho, Naacho” that everyone knows. I presented myself saying Nacho and every single person starts laughing. They started doing jokes and trying to tell me something but I did not understand so I just laughed back.
The guy that knew English kept going where he was headed and we continued walking to get to their house to leave the sacks. We walked for 20 to 25 minutes with a bag of 40 pounds of seeds inside. We arrived at the house and they get us chairs and water but we can’t drink the water because it could get us sick – you tell me how I explain that to them. With some acting and sounds I tried to tell them but there was no way to them to understand. I had the idea of using the google translate so we explained them.
When they heard it, they understood everything. They decided to cook us some food to thank us, and I would say they were the best potatoes with spices I have ever had. While we were eating, we were surrounded of twenty people watching us eat. They were extremely nice and worried about how we felt, expressing all of this in sign communication.
Then, unexpectedly, the guy who speaks English came again and they asked us so many questions and we responded every single one. When we finished eating, we needed to leave but they were really happy just for meeting us. All of this made me realize that in our homes and countries we could not experience what we experienced in our unexpected adventure in Agora. We felt true connection and appreciation just for being someone who helped others and their family. Our efforts to help opened the door to their house and we were received with their arms and kitchen open, an entire family and their friends just worrying about us. This is what even a small gesture can do here in Agora.