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It Was Easy to See Their Excitement, and as We Got in the Car it Was Even Easier to See Our Excitement

Christian Linares reflects on his first meeting with Estela and Sandra from Floreria Juanita.

Heading into the 5th week of the quarter, my teammates and I were more than excited to finally get to sit down and really talk with Estela and her daughter Sandra, owners and workers of Floreria Juanita over in the Alum Rock neighborhood.  Our team had been getting along great, brainstorming ideas and sharing enthusiasm, but we had yet to get the chance to hear from the owners.  

We walked in to a small family owned taco shop in South San Jose and saw Estela and Sandra sitting at a table for 8.  We introduced ourselves and it was quickly apparent that Estela spoke almost no English, so I introduced myself in Spanish.  Her relief was evident, so I sat down next to her and started talking to her in Spanish.  We got past the general introductions and quickly got in to sharing about each other's lives.  Since the rest of my group didn't speak any Spanish, we were kind of divided into two: Me and Estela, and the rest of the team with her daughter.  When I took a second to look over and see how everyone else was doing, I laughed when I saw Sandra with a folder full of her business ideas.  She deflected any attempts at small-talk and wanted to focus on business, business, and more business.  This was such a contrast to Estela, who was happy to talk about her past and get to know us.

As we were wrapping dinner up, I was happy that I had gotten to know Estela pretty well, and my team was pleasantly surprised that Sandra was so excited and had so many ideas that she wanted to implement.  We made plans to come in and shadow them in the coming weeks, and I told them I would be happy to lend them a hand come Valentine's Day.  It was easy to see their excitement, and as we got in the car it was even easier to see our excitement.  We all started talking about how cool it is that the actions we are taking can have a real impact on these lives, and how exciting it was that they seemed so ready to work with us.  With Valentine's so close, we can't wait to get in there and see what they have going on!

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