Too Wonderful to be True
Lucia grabbed her son’s hand and held on tightly. The butterflies in her stomach got stronger and stronger the closer she walked to the airplane. How did I get here? She wondered, amazed, as she followed Abbey, a Something New volunteer, down the center of the plane toward her seat. This seems too wonderful to be true!
Lucia, her two sons, and two Something New volunteers—Carla and Abbey—found their seats near the front of the plane. “This is your seatbelt,” Carla explained to Lucia. “You can click this metal clasp in the space on the other side, and the strap will stay in place. There is also a light and some air conditioning above your seat.”
Lucia snapped her seatbelt in place, and then looked around the plane. Everywhere she looked, she saw blue and white. Blue seats and blue carpet. White walls, white ceiling, and small white tables on the back of each seat. This was her first time on an airplane, and so she looked everywhere. She didn’t want to miss any moment of this incredible experience.
Five minutes later, the pilot spoke through the intercom. “Flight attendants, prepare for take-off,” he announced, and Lucia watched three tall women in red skirts and vests walk up and down the aisle. Someday that will be me, she thought, and she smiled as she remembered her dream to be a flight attendant. Her smile quickly turned to a look of surprise, though, as the plane began to taxi down the runway.
All of a sudden, Lucia did not know what to do. The plane began to move faster and faster, and the front end lifted off of the ground, defying gravity more and more with each hurtling leap forward. Lucia grabbed the armrest of her chair. She covered her face in surprise, and let out a gasp. “Ahhh!” she shrieked, and then quickly covered her mouth. Abbey and Carla smiled, and chuckled happily. And just like that, tears filled their eyes.
All the Emotions
For the rest of the day, Lucia felt more alive than she had ever felt in her life. When the plane touched down in Lima, she clapped with the other passengers. When she walked out of the airport terminal into the heat and humidity of Lima, she inhaled deeply and sighed with happiness. She enjoyed the hour-long van ride to her new home in the heart of Lima. She didn’t think the day could get any better, but it sure did – right when the van pulled up to a five-story building across from a small, green park.
Angelo, the van’s driver, honked and waved and smiled. Beep, beep, beep-beep-beep! Beep, beep, beep-beep-beep! A cheerful welcome—fitting for a very cheerful Lucia, who laughed, and climbed out of the backseat onto the smooth, gray sidewalk. As soon as she did, a group of at least forty people came around the corner towards her. They were all smiling, and every single one of them came and hugged her. “I’m Brayan,” one told her, as he picked up her younger son and set him on his shoulders. “I’m Divanid,” another said, as she grabbed the handle of Lucia’s bag and began to carry it inside the building. “Welcome home!”
Lucia started to cry as the line of people grew longer and longer. She saw Something New volunteers, Peruvians, and Venezuelans all together, welcoming her and her two boys to their new home. “This is your life!” they all told her. “It is real, and it will last.”
“Come inside!” said Robert, a Something New volunteer, as he held the front door of the building open. As soon as she walked inside, Lucia saw balloons everywhere. A huge sign in the front entryway read, “Bienvenidos a Casa!” (Welcome Home!) Lucia walked upstairs and was amazed at everything she saw. On every floor of the building, people smiled and hugged her. They showed her the kitchen, family room, and playroom for her boys. They walked with her up the stairs, and explained where the bathrooms were.
This is Your New Life
By the time Lucia reached the fourth floor, she felt overwhelmed. I have felt every emotion today, she thought. I don’t know how this can get any better!
“Are you ready to see your room?” Divanid smiled at her from across the hallway. “It’s right down here!”
Lucia followed Divanid down the hallway to a wooden door next to a tall window. Divanid opened the door wide, and Lucia gasped. Directly in front of her was a wooden closet, with soap and shampoo inside. A fan stood to the right side of the room, and on the left side were two beds with beautifully-colored comforters.
Lucia started to cry even more, and several Something New volunteers stepped in to hug her. “This is your new life!” they said. “Welcome home.”