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Luna and Jose spent many and very very good, funny, union, group moments with Salva . Salva spoke very much but he also knew how to listen, he could also listen, Luna supposed that they taught it to him wherever he had studied.

One day he came infuriated because he had to marry a couple who wanted to get married in his church because they liked it, not for credence. Luna told him that what did he care, and perhaps they were doing to make happy their family, perhaps be make their families happy, that surely more than one guest would be Christian, and sure the parents of both, and that people should marry where they want. But the truth was not even Luna believed what she herself said, but well a little. In short, he did not want to marry them.

They were going to have to do without without wedding photos in a nice church. It is believed that in the end he had to do it.

He drank beer from the cheapest and tackiest available there. Occasionally it was Luna and Jose who were buying of a little better to take there all together. Luna thought that he was thinking that, at his age, Luna wanted to have his energy.


Luna y Jose con Salva pasaron momentos muy buenos, divertidos, de unión, de grupo. Salva hablaba mucho pero también sabía escuchar, luna supuso que se lo enseñan allá donde estudió.

Un día vino indignado porque tenía que casar a una pareja que lo hacía en esa iglesia porque les gustaba, no por creencias. Luna le dijo que que más le daba, que si así quizás estén haciendo felices a la familia, que seguro que más de un invitado sería cristiano, y seguro los padres de ambos, y que la gente debe casarse donde quiera. Pero la verdad ni ella misma creía lo que decía, pero un poco sí. En fin, que no quería casarlos. Se iban a quedar sin fotos de boda en iglesia bonita. Je!. Cuenta la leyenda que al final tubo que hacerlo.

Bebía cerveza de la más barata y cutre que había. De vez en cuando compraban Jose y Luna de la un poco mejor para tomar allí todos juntos. Luna pensaba que Salva pensaba que ella a su edad querría tener su energía.


en castellano más abajo
Paula had not got involved in the shop yet. She had just finished her course at university, gone on a short trip to London, and now she was busy looking for a job. After so many people telling her to consider looking for a job just another job, she spent most of her day writing covering letters and sending them with a copy of her CV.
She continued to go to the parish for weekly religious meetings, though. People shared what they wanted about their lives. Since fair trade was now an important part of Ara’s life, a long time was dedicated to the subject.
There was no shop yet, though. Ara explained that they were in the process of producing some vouchers, that they intended to sell. With that money they would start setting up the shop and buying the first batch of produce. People could then redeem their vouchers, paying with them for things in the shop as if it was money. But for now all they had was the pieces of paper and a lot of scaffolding.
Paula promised Ara she would ask money at home to buy some of those vouchers.
“We are going to be cleaning the car park in the basement of the parish tomorrow, would you come?”
“Look, I need to find a job. I feel bad just going out all the time and not working. My parents don’t say anything, but I feel the pressure.”


Paula no se involucró en la tienda aún. Ella acababa de terminar su curso en la universidad, de hacer un viaje corto a Londres, y ahora estaba ocupada buscando trabajo. Después de tantas personas diciéndole que considerase que buscar un trabajo era simplemente otro trabajo, pasó la mayor parte del día escribiendo cartas adjuntas y enviándolas con una copia de su CV.

Ella siguió yendo a la parroquia para reuniones religiosas semanales, sin embargo. La gente compartía lo que querían sobre sus vidas. Como el comercio justo era ahora una parte importante de la vida de Ara, mucho tiempo fue dedicado al tema.

No había ninguna tienda aún, sin embargo. Ara explicó que estaban en proceso de producir unos vales, que tenían la intención de vender. Con aquel dinero ellos comenzarían a establecer la tienda y comprar la primera entrega de productos. La gente podría canjear sus bonos entonces, pagando por ellos cosas en la tienda como si esto era el dinero. Pero por el momento todo lo que tenían era pedazos de papel y muchos andamios.
Paula prometió Ara ella pediría dinero en casa para comprar alguno de aquellos vales.

“¿Vamos a limpiar el parking en el sótano de la parroquia mañana, ¿vienes?”
“Mira, tengo que encontrar un trabajo. Me siento mal sólo saliendo todo el tiempo y no trabajando. Mis padres no dicen nada, pero siento la presión.”

Decisions at 20

No one in her family, and even less so her boyfriend, ever understood
this choice. If everything got according to plan, after a few group
sessions with friends and family members of ex-drug-addicts, Paula would
be allocated one of these ex-offenders to accompany them about four
hours at a time. the idea was to never leave them alone.

However, things did not go according to plan. Paula spent a whole year
attending those groups. Then one day she voiced her impatience to one of
the women she befriended there, who had a friend “in the program”:
“You know, I don’t think it is anything against you, or that they don’t
think you are prepared, at all. I think it is just that they want the
boys to manage with just their family and friends, without relaying on
“external” people like you.
“Hmmm. Why do I have the feeling that I am wasting my time here then?”
“I’m sure you are learning lots of things in those group sessions.”
“I have indeed learned a lot. No doubt about that. But I want to make
myself useful.”

Paula started to search for other volunteering possibilities. After
spending one year in group sessions that had nothing to do with the
religion that brought her over to get involved in the first place, she
wanted to join something with lots of Christians in it.

One of those Christians was Ara.

“So, how is your Proyecto Hombre going?”
“It is actually not going anywhere” (interrogating face by Ara). “It turns out, they don’t want volunteers like me after all. They prefer friends and family to do all that work.”
“Hmmm. Who has told you that?”
“One of those friends and families.”
“Hmmm. Have you checked with any one else?”
“No. But I have been going to those groups for a year and I haven’t been told to accompany anyone once.”
“So, what now?”
“I don’t know. I don’t want to take on groups of confirmants, but after a year of non-religious talk, I feel like getting back to a Christian group now.
“Hey, have you heard of Salva!?” Suddenly Ara’s face changed to one of an excited teenager.
“No. Who is Salva?”
“Salvador. Padre Salvador. He left a few years ago to be a missionary in Peru, don’t you remember?”
“He’s back!”
“I didn’t know that.”
“He’s been talking about opening a shop to sell Peruvian handicrafts, and even coffee, as a means to aid them, instead of charity.”
“I’m all ears.” And she certainly was.
“Look, he says that all problems about third world poverty happen because their products are not paid by rich countries at a fair price. So he wants to help with all that by opening up a shop, in the car park of the parish, which is unused now, and he is going to bring products from Peru and most of the parish is involved in that now. Ok, there are three new people that Salva has found somewhere, who are a bit atheist, but apart from those three, we are all from the Parish!”
Paula wondered how came she had not heard anything about this and she guessed she had been studying too much, going out with her boyfriend too much and attending too many ex-drug-addicts-friends-and-family-self-help group meetings. But now she felt the excitement too. She did not need any insistence from Ara to decide to get involved in this shop. Fair Trade, Ara had said.
Paula and her boyfriend had planned a whole weekend together. But Paula could not wait until then to tell him the news:
“I am leaving Proyecto Hombre.”
“Wow. That makes me so happy. Now you will have more time for yourself, which I think you needed.”
“Erm, no. I am getting involved in Fair Trade instead.”
“What? And what is that, fair trade?”
“Something that will require my volunteering about three or four hours a week.”
“God. This is so tiring.”
“What is tiring?”
“You go to class, you stay in studying most evenings, and the evenings you are not studying, you go to those groups. And now this. Are you not exhausted?”
“Exhausted?” Paula wished her boyfriend could jump at the possibility of spending more time together by volunteering with her. After all, there were other people from outside the Parish too. But somehow, that seemed unattainable.
“I don’t suppose you have the intention to go on like this once we are married, do you?”
“Eh? Of course I do. And it will be lovely to have your support.”
“Uhm. And yourself?”
“What about myself?”
“Well, looking after yourself, having time for yourself? I don’t see you
have much time to enjoy yourself.”
“But I have all the time for myself. All the time I spent in those
groups, I was enjoying, I hope to enjoy the time with Ara and the others
in that shop and I even enjoy studying! The whole day is time for
myself! Of course if you volunteered with me I would enjoy it even mo…”
“And the house? When are you going to do the cleaning?”
“What cleaning?”
“When we get married. If you go on like this, when are you going to have
time to clean the house?”
Admittedly, she had not thought of these insignificant, trivial
“On weekends, with you, I suppose.”
“No. The house needs cleaning every day, Paula.”
She was left shocked and speechless.
“I suppose we need to talk about this.”
“Look Paula, let’s do this: let’s cancel this weekend and instead think
about this separately. After that, we can talk. Shall we do that?”
“And when will we talk?”
“We can talk on the phone again.”
“You talk as if you were thinking about the future of our relationship.”
“Yes, that too.”