vaquita f Colecta de dinero organizada por un grupo de personas para afrontar un gasto en comúnTranslated: an organized collection of money by a group of people to jointly pay for expenses.
A friend of a friend recently passed the test to become a construction manager (it's a licensed and titled position here). His mom decided he needed a new truck befitting his position so she called friends and family back in their home town and they provided a vaquita: the funds for Alejandro to buy a new, instead of a used, truck.
Isn't it funny how once you're aware of something, you keep coming across it?
This week one of my Spanish assignments was to read an article about Sofía Roldán Cativa, a young Argentine violinist who is making waves around the world with her remarkable ability. She's won awards, played in orchestras throughout Europe and Russia and is currently a student at a prestigious school in Germany. Her family didn't even have the money to buy bus tickets so they could all see her off at the airport in Buenos Aires -- she said goodbye to her mother and sister in her home town and then her dad took her to the airport. Each year she has to come back to Argentina and find another scholarship in order to continue her studies.
But back to my point about vaquitas... When Sofía was only 14 she had the chance to travel to Europe for the first time to play in an orchestra but the finances for such a trip were well beyond the means of her family. That's when friends stepped in to help, pooling their money so she could go.
In America we are used to the concept of barn raisings or collecting money for a sick child (those ubiquitous jars with photos on store counters everywhere). Americans are known for their generosity around the world, usually supplying the bulk of donations for disaster relief and originating ideas for programs like Make A Wish Foundation. As missionaries we are able to do what we do because many, many give, and give EVERY SINGLE MONTH. And I could totally see a community rallying 'round a young girl like Sofía who has such talent and just needs a little help to achieve her dreams.
But so someone can have a new truck?
It makes me wonder: would we be willing to help a good friend or family member buy a new truck (or a computer, an expensive tool... whatever) if we thought it would help them be more successful? Something to think about this weekend.