As Nancy sat alone in the computer lab at the local library she began flipping through the pages of her passport. She remembered how excited she was when it first arrived in the mail. She remembered dreaming of all the places that she’d travel to and all the different stamps that would fill up the now-empty visa pages. Completely unused, she was surprised by the fact that it hadn’t expired yet. (The only reason she even got a passport was to join some girlfriends on a trip to Cancun to celebrate their 40th birthdays. The trip never materialized due to one of her friend’s ugly divorce – which happened three weeks before they were to leave.) Not wanting to get overly emotional about lost opportunities in the past, she quickly picked up her travel book and went straight to the photo section.
One photo in particular always caught her attention, it was a picture of a woman selling tortillas on the corner of a beautiful little village. The village was quaint and idyllic –exactly what you’d expect to see in a Mexico travel book. It wasn’t the village that drew Nancy in though, it was the woman in the picture. Her life was obviously a humble one and she could tell just by looking at her that she was a strong, determined individual.
Nancy wanted to meet this woman. She wanted to buy tortillas from her and ask her all kinds of questions. She wanted to know if the woman pictured was afraid of anything. She wanted to know if survival was her only option.
Nancy typed out the library’s generic username and password on the keyboard in front of her. She was determined to go online and find out just where this village was located and how to get there.
Before she began her research, though, Nancy did something she had been wanting to do. Nancy longed for the opportunity to write her own story. She wanted to speak for herself rather than let her situation speak for her.
So, she did.