The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 19, 2013

Rosaline's eyes


We went back to the school a few days later and about 50 children again warmly welcomed us. Rosaline was there wearing not only the exact same outfit, but the exact same expression on her face. I immediately gravitated toward her and just held her and held her. I could sense all the other school children getting irritated that I was putting all my attention into this little girl and not as much into them. Another thing I sensed was that Rosaline remembered me.

Last time I held her, I could tell she was scared that some strange white girl was forcing a pink hue onto her nails and toys in her face. But this time, she held onto me. I could seriously hold this child for an entire day if that allowed. I tried again with every nurturing bone in my body to make Rosaline’s expression change, but I soon discovered that I had to throw in the towel. Without fail, she just stared back at me with those big, sad, glossy eyes. Her teachers told me that is the way she’s always been. To get some shade, I went and sat back down in the tap-tap with her on my lap. It was then that Michael starting telling us more about her story.

Both of Rosaline’s parents died in the earthquake and she was taken in by her aunt soon after. Her aunt somehow contacted the pastor in her village and knew that he could provide better care for her. Therefore, Rosaline is technically an orphan. She lives with the pastor, whom the kids all call Grandpa. Grandpa also cares for three other orphans, aside from his own kids, and runs the school on his land. By looking at Rosaline's size, we can probably guess that she was born right before the earthquake. We may never know what trauma this little girl endured, but we can make some assumptions based on what she's like today.

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