The Golden Arches of Heaven

October 15, 2011

I’d say the joy is palpable.

The kids get points in OANSA for attendance, bringing their Bibles, and memory verse recitation. They can redeem the punts weekly for chocolates or other small prizes, or if they wait and accumulate twenty-five stickers, we take them to McDonald’s for an ice cream cone. They also get to invite a friend.

Today, Juan Carlos picked Julio, Alberto picked Richard, and Pablo picked his little brother Bryan (seriously, siblings are so nice to each other here). We started with a quick car ride during which Richard begged me to sit in the middle so he could hang out the window like Alberto, and Alberto shouted, “MAMA MIA!!!” at the top of his lungs when he spied the lot that sells playground equipment.

We then filed into the McDonald’s where an advertisement of a Cadbury McFlurry (the regional specialties here are baffling) greeted the huge saucer eyes the boys immediately employed upon entrance. As it turns out, five of them had never been to a McDonald’s, and this was pretty much the equivalent to the BEST DAY OF THEIR LIVES! Or so I was told. In loud decibels. Repeatedly.

Vanilla-dulce de leche twist cones (booyah, points for Paraguay) for less than 1 USD were procured and almost worshiped and then rapidly snarfed. Slides and ball pits came after. I wish I had a slow motion video clip of the boys running towards the playground as if it were the arms of Jesus. I have honestly never seen such pure unadulterated happiness over bouncy sticks and black mesh netting. And Cartoon Network for the one kid who sacrificed playtime to watch tv because he never gets to otherwise.

Eventually, we had to gather the troupe to head out. Just when I thought my heart couldn’t break anymore with bittersweet heartache, Richard pointed out the window.

“What’s that building over there?”

“A movie theater.”

*long pause pregnant with awe*

“If I get one hundred points, will you take me there?”

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