One of the many hats I wear at my job is “Girl With The Truck.” For some in the barrio, knowing me is important because the truck is seen as a commodity. I often take women to cut reeds for their basket-making, and field many requests to go to nearby cities or not-so-nearby other provinces. I’ve transported furniture and palm trunks and bicycles and baby carriages and wobbly cakes across the highway that cuts through the neighborhood. I brought a sweaty groom from his house to an expectant church crowd.
This day, I took a group of friends and aunts to the monte so they could collect firewood for their families. Many have gas stoves, but use wood when the fuel runs out and they can’t afford to buy a tank refill. I abandon my wimpy attempts to help load the wood and instead stare in awe of the strength they expend to provide for their families.