I think of how lucky we are
“I’m finished with that slave work,” Raphael says. ”I’ve got what I wanted, and now I want to stay close to my family.”
Thirteen years ago, Raphael built his wooden house with his own hands. It has four small rooms and is solidly built. The neighbors sought shelter at the Popos’ when Hurricane Allen destroyed part of the island. “All we need now is one extra room,” says Francisca. They have to wait until they accumulate some savings. “When I think of all the people living around us in mud houses with no running water or electricity, I think how lucky we are.” The new room will be for the boys. They are growing fast and will soon outgrow their tiny room. And it will be built of cement, now that it is no more expensive than wood.
After the first year working abroad, Raphael bought a sofa and the piece of land surrounding the house. After the second, he brought back a television and hi-fi system. Then he installed a tap for running water. Finally he widened the path leading to the house and had electricity installed, sharing the cost with his neighbor.