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Child’s Play

25 Jun

I went to the bank the other day. Just needed to make a small deposit and
get my bankbook updated. Should only take, uhm…an hour or two!

Where I used to live, Ontario, Canada the same transactions would have had
me in and out in a matter of moments. But now I live on Roatan, the largest
of the Bay Islands, Honduras.

I stand in line, waiting my turn, glancing at the line reserved for those
with special needs; the elderly gentleman—leaning on a walking stick, the
young woman—her skirt stretched over her protruding belly.

There are two other wickets open. A shop owner stands at one, pushing his
hand through his hair, waiting for the teller to stamp and re-stamp his
papers. Next to him, a construction worker, his boots caked with red clay,
his jeans streaked with the same, watching the teller count out his monthly

Ahead of me, eight people wait their turn to be served. Beside one of them,
a little girl, her dark, long hair plaited, her smock—simple, on her dusty
feet—flip flops. She holds tight to her mother’s hand. I smile at her; she
smiles back, revealing a gaping hole where two front teeth will soon emerge.

Twenty minutes later, the little girl still holds fast to her mother’s hand,
and has begun softly chanting a Spanish nursery rhyme to amuse herself.

Another hour goes by, and the little girl and her mother stand at the
counter in front of one of the tellers. The little girl with the plaited
hair waits while her mother does her banking.

She hasn’t complained about how long it takes, she doesn’t whine that she wants to go play, or to McDonald’s for lunch.

She smiles at me again as she skips out of the bank—still holding tight to her mother’s hand.


This story was also submitted to Travelojos – The Latin America Travel Blog by request, for inclusion in a free E-Book in the works to Celebrate Latin America’s Pleasures and Endless Contradictions.

3 Responses to “Child’s Play”

  1. Ray Frensham 25. Jun, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Yes, but did you ever manage to reach the counter to do your transaction, and long did it take???

  2. Gennyca 25. Jun, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Eventually, the usual amount of time…2 hours!


  1. The Meaning of Life | Roatan Vortex - It Pulls You in and You Never Want to Leave - 15. Aug, 2010

    [...] But standing in-line at the bank for two hours introduced me to an amazing little girl Child’s play. [...]

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