My partner on this LST project is Althea. She is an ideal team member. She eagerly takes care of me and everyone else who comes her way.
From the beginning, she has attended to the sanitation of our bathroom facilities and sprayed for insects when necessary. I had thought we might take turns with the undesirable jobs, but she does not give me a chance. Before I’m even aware of a need, she has taken care of it.
She goes into the kitchen upon arising and turns on the electric kettle before I even get there. When I take my cereal bowl and spoon to the kitchen to wash them, she already has the soapy water ready, has washed hers, and reaches for mine.
If she is ready for bed and thinks I will be up a while, she goes to bed with the lights on. She makes up her bed immediately upon arising. She leaves the shower clean and even sprays with Lysol at times.
When we are ready to leave for the market, she reminds me to get my umbrella, for hers is certainly not large enough for both of us. Since I have a habit of leaving my umbrella behind when it is not raining, she often has to remind me to take it home.
She came prepared with interesting devotionals for when we take turns each morning. She is responsive to my devotional thoughts. She is tender-hearted and always thinking of something to do for one of our readers. She has been a great customer for the people selling their wares in the Mercado. She sketched out a diagram of the marketplace and had Cleo help her identify the stalls run by those who gather at Iglesia de Cristo so she could shop at each one. She wants to help them and also to take a gift to each person who donated money for this project.
She bought clothes for this trip so she could leave them behind for the indigent here. She is already planning to do laundry so she can leave clean clothes for Lisa to give away. She also brought a Bible she plans to leave behind.
She enjoys a good laugh and has consistently maintained her sense of humor. She makes witty comments and observations that make me laugh a lot. We´ve had plenty of time to catch up on family stories for the last 20+ years. It doesn´t seem that long since she and her family worshiped with us at Central.
In every way, she does her share and more for the team. When we are with other Americans or readers, she is a good listener but also can tell an interesting story. At the appropriate time after one dinner, she said, “I guess it’s time for us to go home.” The next time, I was the one to say that, since I knew she didn’t want to be the one to end the social time again.
She loves her readers and goes out of her way to recruit new ones. She even started with a new person on Wednesday. Our last reading day is today, Friday. She has a cadre of children who come to her for entertainment and instruction when she does not have a reader. An old Guna woman asks her for help with learning her numbers in English. Since the Word is the teacher and we are the illustrations, I can affirm that Althea has been a great illustration in El Valle.
Over all, she’s an ideal Let’s Start Talking partner. Kind of reminds me of being with my family on an LST trip!