We found our places in the back of the bus and talked politics in Mexico, in Europe, and in the US. We talked about the disenfranchised, the poor, and the insidious design that promotes the income divide. We talked about how people want micro-lending programs to be miracles, to do more and more for communities — more than they were deigned to do. Before we knew it, we were near the church and needed to hop off the bus. Unfortunately, my colleague left her little gray sweater behind. When she realized it was lost, she consoled herself that it wasn’t that expensive. But it was warm on especially cool evenings, such as this one.
The four other teachers headed back to Oaxaca in a taxi. I decided to wait in the quiet town for the unpredictable bus. It wouldn’t be as crowded and the music would be as interesting as most end-of-the-day conversations.
As I nestled into my spot and closed my eyes for a minute, the money collector was before me earlier than I’d anticipated.
However, he wasn’t collecting coins. He had questions. He wanted to know where the other girls were. I told him they’d returned in a taxi. Then, pulling the lost cardigan from a hiding place, he asked if I knew to whom it belonged. I promised that I did and thanked him for collecting it and for turning it over to me.