It was unlikely that I would become close with Vilma. She is one of the more shy students in Huadhua, where we run a biblioteca project. On the opening day of the project, the entire community held an inaugural event and everyone was in attendance.
All the children were so excited to start that once the community meeting and accompanying speeches were finished, they all rushed into the bed of my truck and asked (yelled and screamed) that I drive them to the building the community gave us for the biblioteca.
As I was walking to the truck to take the kids, I noticed one small girl walking away from the truck crying. I asked her what happened and she said that everyone had left her behind and that she couldn’t get into the truck. I took her hand and she drove inside of the truck with me over to the project site.
Since then, every time I go to Huadhua Vilma finds me and we walk to the library holding hands. She has also begun to do this with our hired teacher there, to the point where she is now in charge of bringing the teacher’s thermos. She likes to play jacks and marbles and is great at counting! Vilma is in 2nd grade of primary school and is 6 years old.