19 October 2007
I've already written about Geovani in past Post-a-Cards. he's a local kid who comes in every night and keeps me company while I work. Our agreement is a simple one. I give him free refills on glasses of "leche" and in return, he helps me entertain/make fun of the hundreds of tourists who pass through the Black Cat hostel. at some point we became friends and everybody pretty much knows that whenever I work, there's a spot at the bar reserved for Geovani, who poses for pictures and makes them laugh. Everyone who meets me, at some point or another, meets Geovani. There was Derek and Chris, the Marines from Texas who would give him their leftover pizza when they were done with it. There was Elad (pictured above) the Israeli who was startled to find out Geovani was smarter than him. There was Jim, the local guy who talked to Geovani for a while, bought chocolate from him, and then shoved him away when he got annoyed with him.
The kid is dressed better than most of the other beggars, and I swear sometimes it's like he's a 30-year-old stuck inside an 11-year-olds body, but for some weird reason I connected with him.
Last night my manager was watching while I poured Geovani a glass of milk and bought him a bottle of water to take home. I thought she was going to yell at me, that I'd get in trouble once she realized i'd been feeding this kid, and if we were to add up all the shots of "leche" I've given him, it would most likely sustain a small pueblo for a couple months, but she didn't.
She told me she knew the kid, knew where he lived, that he was one of like 16 kids and they had a really rough life, their mother suffers from some kind of mental disability.
People ask me about Geovani all the time, they can't tell if he's just another one of the beggars who roam through Antigua or if he's my little brother. The truth is, I've built somewhat of an extended family down here, and somewhere along the way Geovani became part of it.
I'm almost done working at the hostal, and I'll be leaving Guatemala in about a month, the other night it struck me how much I'm going to miss him.