Flipping Over Old Guys

Every country I’ve visited has had it’s own unique customs and rituals.  You can’t visit a home in Ethiopia without participating in a coffee ceremony.  Ugandans dance like no one else.  Ecuadorians will almost always give you roses at some point.  The Dominicans, though? They flip over old guys.

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Seriously.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself.  The kids at a Compassion International project today welcomed us by running…

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doing a hand stand…

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and then flipping over my friend Brian.

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Then he spent much of the remainder of the day asking, “Do my ribs look broken?  Right here?  Are you sure?”

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Ok, not exactly. Alright, not at all – he never asked that, but he looked like he was wondering. We actually spent the morning playing with children and all of us, including Brian, left with ribs unscathed.  Also, I schooled some eight year-olds in soccer and dazzled some little girls with my hula hooping skillz.  Yes, I just wrote the word “skillz.” ‘Cause I’ve got ‘em.

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One little girl took me by the hand and dragged me across the project’s playground to a translator.  As she began speaking in Spanish, I just knew that five minutes in the future I would be on my knees with a little girl flipping over me.  I just knew it.  I began listing my options in my head.  I could fake a back injury but the entire project just saw me climb a tree – not very believable.  I could make myself vomit.  I did that once for ten dollars at youth camp in the sixth grade. Too messy.  I could-

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And just as I was weighing the prospect of fainting, the translator starting her translatin’.  “She says, ‘Do you know Charlie?’”

“Charlie who?” I asked.

Charlie turned out to be the sponsor of this girl’s big sister.  Thank you, “Charlie from America.” You’re changing one little girl’s life forever.  And you saved me from getting my knees dirty and my ribs broken this morning.

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