The Mexigonia Weekly

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Isaac at the Border

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“I’ll help you, I’ll help you,” little Isaac said to Elizabeth and Braden as they pulled up to the border between El Salvador and Honduras. He gave them each a sturdy handshake to show his sincerity.

“No thanks, we’ve got it,” they replied to the boy. There were dozens and dozens of men waiting to assist them at the border in return for a ‘small’ fee, and Braden and Elizabeth could manage Spanish well enough to do without them.

“No, Ill help you, it’s very complicated on the Honduras side, you need to make copies of your papers, I’ll do it!” Isaac said as he reached for their papers.

“We’ve done this before, but thanks!” Elizabeth assured him.

Elizabeth and Braden then walked over to the Salvadoran official who would cancel their driving permit, allowing them to obtain a Honduran one. Isaac followed.

“Can I see your permiso?” the official asked Braden.

“He wants to see your permiso,” Isaac informed them.

“Thanks, but we understand,” Braden told the persistent youth.

“Yes but I’ll help you,” Isaac replied.

“You’ll need to make a copy of that for the customs office,” the official stated.

“You need to make a copy,” Isaac re-stated. “I’ll make a copy for you.”

“I can do it, but thanks,” Elizabeth told him.

Braden waited with Rocinante as Elizabeth walked to the photocopy office, and Isaac followed.

“How much does a copy cost?” Elizabeth asked the woman working at the desk.

“Ten cents,” she replied.

“Just ten little cents,” Isaac relayed.

The woman smiled as she observed Isaac’s efforts to be helpful. She took Elizabeth’s permiso and laid it on the copy machine.

“She’s making a copy for you,” Isaac informed Elizabeth.

“Thanks,” Elizabeth said with a smile, succumbing to Isaac’s unnecessary observations.

The two walked back to Braden, where the border official reviewed the copy and sent the travelers on their way.

“Thanks for your help, we can take it from here,” Braden and Elizabeth told Isaac as they got into their car.

“You have to go to the office now,” Isaac said to Elizabeth through the window. “I’ll go with you.” Isaac then started to run alongside the Rabbit as Braden and Elizabeth pulled away.

They pulled up to the first customs office, and sure enough, Isaac was just a few seconds behind them.

“You have to go to this office,” Isaac pointed out.

As Elizabeth walked up to the window, the woman working behind the desk quickly requested to see her and Braden’s passports, to which Isaac soon relayed, “she wants to see your passports.” Isaac continued to relay all the messages from the woman to Elizabeth, including how much to pay, and where she must go next. Braden and Elizabeth then drove to the next customs office to obtain a Honduran driving permit, and Isaac ran behind them.

They pulled up to the permit office, where a couple of Honduran men were waiting outside, offering their assistance as well. Once they realized that Braden and Elizabeth spoke Spanish, they resumed their positions in search of others to help. Isaaac did not give up so easily. He showed the Mexigonians the next photocopy office and where to wait in line. The Honduran men looked at the eagerness of Isaac and smiled at the three.

Elizabeth and Braden soon discovered that the office manager in charge of giving them their Honduran driving permit had just taken his hour lunch break. As Isaac relayed the message to us, the Honduran men laughed again, congratulating Isaac on a job well done. They then informed Braden and Elizabeth where they could take out money in order to pay for the permit, and Isaac soon re-stated that information as well, this time with a new eagerness, to show his Honduran counterparts that he could do this job well. As the boy began to tell Elizabeth her next move, he put his hand on her arm to lead her in the right direction. Without missing a beat, one of the Honduran men at the office quickly took Isaac’s hand away from Elizabeth.

“Don’t touch her,” he kindly advised Isaac, “She might not like that.” Isaac took his hand away, but soon regained his eagerness and tugged Elizabeth’s arm again. “Hey kid, look at this guy,” the man told Isaac as he motioned to Braden. “If he sees you touching her he could flatten you. Look,” and he motioned towards Braden’s arms, signaling that Braden could easily take the boy in a fight for Elizabeth. Elizabeth just laughed to herself.

Of course Isaac offered to accompany Braden and Elizabeth to the ATM, but Braden had another plan. “Why don’t you watch our car for us while we go.” Isaac’s face lit up at the prospect of having a real job to do.

“What’s your name? You can put a sign on the car with your name on it, because it’s yours,” Isaac suggested.

“I think you can watch it an it’ll be ok,” Elizabeth conceded.

Braden and Elizabeth soon returned with their money, and continued waiting for the official to finish his lunch hour. Elizabeth passed the time by listening to Isaac prove that he could read every word in her passport, and before they knew it, Braden and Elizabeth were ready to go. They quickly completed their paperwork with the official and returned to their vehicle

 

Elizabeth and Braden had to tip Isaac, not for his helpfulness, but for his persistence. He hadn’t made the long process any easier, but he did make the Mexigonians smile, and they continued to smile as they drove away from the border.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 18 December 2009 00:21