My best Honduran friend is two years old.
Her name is Alison. She is my host sister.
She is usually always happy, always ready to greet me at the door with a big hug and a pico (kiss).
Currently, her favorite game to play is bloques (big legos). We build and build and build, so high, only to have her pull the whole tower down on top of us both. She giggles, a deep giggle which makes me giggle, which makes her giggle even harder. We’re silly together.
Every day she follows me into my room, to stare at my shoes (patos! patos!—zapatos) and clothing (opa! opa!—ropa). She likes to crawl up onto my bed, lie down, and pretend like she is snoring.
Whatever emotions I am feeling about the world around me at that moment in time, and living here in Honduras has filled me with a wide variety of emotions, Ali is always waiting for me at home with a hug and a smile and laughter.
And she reminds me that the world is beautiful—despite its shortcomings.
In fact, despite not being able to fully form words, she’s taught me quite a lot about life.
What we should value, give our time to, the kind of attitude we should have.
She reminds me that when the world’s odds are stacked against you, there’s always someone to reach out and tell you ¡si se puede! (you can do it!).
I can’t imagine leaving my best friend in Honduras. I’ll hate having to miss her growing-up moments, as I have been able to be a part of some significant ones during my time here. I’ll wish I could hug her, or dance around the living room with her, or listen to her learn to talk.
My best friend in Honduras has Down syndrome.
She’s the most beautiful two-year-old I have ever met.