We were getting ready to start a ‘movie night’ in the villa, but there were a lot of logistical details that had to come together just right in order to pull it off.
The night of the event, they all went haywire all at once.
We had forgotten the screws for the movie screen. I went to five stores to find replacements. In the end, the ones I got didn’t work. We still got the screen together, but it was rickety.
On of the neighbors promised to let us use her electricity, then changed her mind at the last minute. We did find someone else.
It was blazing hot, but someone bought us a bottle of cold Coke…which one of the villa kids accidentally spilled all over the microphone.
After we finally got everything set up (an hour late), we found that the big sound system we had wouldn’t work because the electrical current wasn’t strong enough to power it.
And just like that, the whole night had to be canceled. There was no way for anyone to hear the movie, which was ironic because we initially were going to use a smaller sound system, but decided that we wanted to be sure people could hear it!
And then a funny, miraculous thing happened…
Everyone clapped for us. Suddenly, we were people instead of foreigners. Suddenly, we were pathetic instead of intimidating. Suddenly we were weak instead of powerful and competent.
The men who had gathered started to play volley ball and once we had loaded up all the equipment back into my car, they asked Brian, Rich and me to play.
So we played (duh!).
We stayed for a couple of hours playing and talking with the men. I had a long conversation with Roberto who told me all about his home in Paraguay and how much he longs for it, and how he’d do anything to live in his home country, but has to be in Argentina or his children will starve to death (by the way…that’s what most immigrants everywhere say about their homes…an important lesson to remember). We talked, played, and got to know the men there. It was astounding and incredible. This was where we hoped we’d get at the end of the month of movies. It was far and away the best case scenario for weeks and weeks of work. We’d spent lots of time with the women and children in the villa, but the men are notoriously difficult to reach out to.
All it took was for all our plans to fail miserably and for us to look like fools.
Totally worth it.