The Lunchbox

So this story is an example of how it is the nature of Dominicans to deny responsibility no matter what. I don’t know if it is a survival instinct or just a part of the culture.

I few years ago I was living in Gazcue with my children. I had a woman, Aracelis, working with me, helping with the house and children. She had worked for me for 5 years and I always knew her to be honest and trustworthy.

When I had things I didn’t need, I always gave them to her. One day I gave her a bunch of things that my children no longer needed. One item was a soft lunchbox, blue, square in shape. Marcos had used it in his preschool and so I had written his name on the top.

A couple of weeks after I gave her the lunchbox I was walking down the street where I lived and I saw a young man carrying a lunchbox that looked remarkably similar to the one I had given Aracelis. As the man came closer I could clearly see ‘Marcos Jerez’ written on the top of the lunchbox and I knew it had to have been the one I gave away. What was unusual to me is that Aracelis lives a great distance away from me, over an hour by bus, so if it had been someone in her family I wouldn’t have seen them in my neighborhood. I figured Aracelis must have decided she didn’t want the lunchbox and put it outside.

When I got home I asked Aracelis if she had thrown out any of the items I had given her and she said no. Then I told her what I had seen and I was trying to find an explanation for why the lunchbox I had given her was in the hands of a young man in my neighborhood. Her response what that it couldn’t be the same lunchbox, that it was impossible. I explained to her that it was the same lunchbox without a doubt because it had Marcos’ name on it. What was the likelihood of the same style of lunchbox (which I had gotten from the US even) with Marcos’ full name on it, being in fact a different lunchbox? Logic does not work with Dominicans, especially uneducated ones.

The conversation ended unresolved. She said it couldn’t be the same lunchbox; I insisted that it was. We were at an impasse, I let it go.

About a week later she came to see me after she had changed for work and told me that she had discovered that some of the things I had given her had been stolen by a neighbor and the lunchbox was among the items. As it turns out, that neighbor was a young man who worked near where I lived. Only then did she agree that the lunchbox I had seen was, in fact, the same one I had given her.

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