Friday, August 18, 2006

The Kindness of Others - An AW Chain post

Well, it's my turn -not to mention my first time- on the AW Chain, a great blogging exercise by the folks at I was just tagged by Kelly at Organized Chaos and among the experiences she wrote about, one thing reminded me of an incident a few years back when I was still in college. You see, Kelly mentioned this friend who offered to pay her share in order for her to go on a trip with friends. It is indeed a moving experience when you meet such kindness from people who are your friends, but it becomes even more special when it comes from someone you are not that close to.

I had a 1/4 scholarship when I entered college here in Peru but that didn't make it easy for me. You see, since I was coming from a "rich hich school" (even when I was anything but rich) I was immediately tossed into the higher paying category, which was estratospherical and a very big problem for me. I remember going to the financial aid department saying my family couldn't afford this category and the lady there said something like "you should have thought of that before applying".

Anyway, I managed to get through the first couple of terms with huge sacrifices and I eventually got a job on campus with a woman who turns out was the wife of the head of Student Aid. Who knows whether I would have been able to finish college without her help, but there she was, out of the kindness of her heart, putting in the good word for me.

So eventually things got more manageable but never easy. You see, tuition was not such a big problem anymore, but courses demanded some money for some projects. On my 8th term (the program had 10) I enrolled in a TV Production course which I needed for my specialty (Media). Our project was to produce 2 episodes of a soap opera with everything that implied: actors, props, food, equipment, etc. As you can imagine, this was quite a problem for me.

When things got really bad and money began to become a problem not just for me, our group (7 of us) decided to raise funds by helping organize the faculty's fraternity lunch. So there we were, all day buying food, making sandwiches, handing out beers... and losing money by the minute. By the end of that day we were deep in the red and now we not only had the course to pay but we had to cover the losses.

So there I was. The following Monday I was ready to walk up to the teacher and say I was dropping out because I simply could not afford the project. Seconds before I walked in the group said they were having a meeting upstairs. I went there and this guy, Gastón Vizcarra, said "you don't worry, I'm gonna cover your part, you pay me whenever you can". And that was it. The group immediately moved onto some other issue and I was left there standing holding back tears (yup, tears).

Gastón was a great person, fun to be around, but we were never really close. But that was him. And that's the way some people are. They are there ready to help others. It was a touching experience I would never forget.

Eventually I did pay him back. And I passed the course too ;)

So there we go. The next in the chain is Just a Small Town Girl.

If you want to follow the whole chain, which I invite you to do, here you go:


Pass the Torch

The Road Less Travelled

Fireflies in the Cloud

Even in a Little Thing

The Secret Government Eggo Project

Curiouser and Curiouser

At Home, Writing

Mad Scientist Matt's Lair

I, Misanthrope - The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer

Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log

Flying Shoes

Everything Indian

The Hal Spacejock Series

Organized Chaos

Of Chapters and Reels

Just a Small town girl

Midnight Muse

Kappa no He

Hope you enjoyed this post, a bit different from what you might expect to find but no less fun.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger Bhaswati said...

Random acts of kindness always make my eyes moist. I've been at the receiving end of so many of them myself. The world is so worth living because of people like your friend.

Great post, Cesar :)

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

Angels appear in all guises, don't they?

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Kristine said...

Wow! I teared up. That's amazing, and it's so good to know people like that do still exist.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Simran said...

Can someone please pass me the tissues? Caesar what a beautiful story. There are still good people in this world who will do the unexpected to help out someone else, even if they don't know you that well.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Cath Smith said...

Wonderful story - thank you for sharing it!

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Very cool indeed. Your tale is a strong reminder to give as well as recieve. It doesn't have to be money, but acts of kindness are good karma.

At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Gillian said...

Thank you for this. Very moving.

At 1:50 AM, Anonymous bk30 said...

I'm sorry Cesar I thought I had posted already. You did a wonderful job, I really wasn't sure how I was going to be able to follow it :)

At 2:07 AM, Anonymous Laurie said...

I love hearing about this kind of stuff. :) More to the point, I love people who are that giving. I've been on the receiving end as well, and it's... Well, it's just wonderful. :)

Thanks. :)

At 11:47 AM, Blogger cesarcarlos said...

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments. This was really a heartwarming experience and I'm glad I had the chance to share it with all of you :)

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Pass The Torch said...

Beautiful post! I love celebrating the good we see in the world. There's a lot of bad, but there's a lot of good too.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Mad Scientist Matt said...

Quite a touching story.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Matt D. said...

This is a good story, though any time I read anything even remotely about college financing, I cringe. I still owe almost 20 grand. Ugh.


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