Since we arrived here I have been wanting to get some pictures of Luke with some of the beautiful Mayan people who are always so thrilled to interact with him...but I've not wanted to ruin a sweet moment by pulling out my camera and clicking away. I was afraid we would leave without getting any pictures for Luke to have of the people who loved him so much here. Then I realized I should just ask some of the ladies from our church group who take Luke off my hands any chance they get. Of course, they were happy to do it and our friend Will was an impromptu photographer (he has a great eye and a lovely camera).
Since I met Elena & Linda I have found them (like so many of the indigenous people here) incredibly beautiful. I have tried to put my finger on what quality it is that they seem to possess and I have yet to figure it out entirely. I know that their clothing fascinates me -- especially as this is not a special occasion costume, this is everyday clothing. I know that the people here have some of the best smiles around - even though many of them are missing teeth - their whole face just lights up and they seem almost more attractive because of their "flaws." Perhaps it is because there is no shame, just a pure smile? Their flaws freely shown as reminders of life lived without any cover-up. Whatever it is, it is an amazing quality.
I've thought about this concept a lot since Will passed on the great pictures he took -- looking at the two-dimensional photos of these beautiful women who have become our friends, I saw them through westerner eyes and was so shocked by how it seemed the depth of their beauty had been snatched away from them by the camera.
I hope that you might be able to catch a glimpse of them through different eyes -- these women come from a family of 14, they make and sell handicrafts for tourists and clean houses and do whatever other work they can come by to support themselves. They always seem to be smiling and I will treasure these photos of them with Luke.