I arrived early to my storytelling presentation. One elderly man walked in and started to questioning the organizer about the starting time. He thought it was at 4:30 pm and not 5:30. After 5 minutes of back and forth, the presenter asked this man what program he was looking for. He said while looking at the food that the librarian was opening, the legal consultant. He paused for a moment and asked: Is the food for free?
– Of course, but after 5:30 pm.
The man dissapeared and 15 minutes later, 5:30 pm on the nose, he was there again. Filled his plate and sat down to eat. When I looked at him he felt uneasy. I tapped his shoulders and said Relax. Eat your food comfortably. I thought for sure he was going to leave after he ate. The program was meant to be bilingual but with a strong emphasis in Spanish. The story I was going to tell was in Spanish. Concerned I asked him if he knew Spanish. I didn’t want him to feel left out.
No, but I am thinking in learning it. ‐— he said.
When the program started, the man had finished his food and was still sitting on his chair with no intention of leaving. More than that, he stayed, participated on the exercises we did about telling a story, he told a brief one with and without words, he tried to read in Spanish, and listened actively to the story of Martina Martinez y el ratoncito Pérez.
When we were done, I thanked him for sticking around. He answered: For sure, see you in June!
June is when the next storytelling or Noche de Cuentos session is scheduled.