I have begun the process of meeting the women in the women’s group with whom I’ll do the majority of my work in the next two years. It turns out about ¼ of the women in town (or at least in my group) are named Catarina, and another third of the town is named Isabel, Manuela, or Ana. Literally. I crunched the numbers in Excel (no comments from the peanut gallery on my dorkiness, thank you). Of the remaining 30 women, only 11 have unique names.
One recent evening Aunt Isabel asked me to go drop gifts off at two graduation parties. When we went to the first house, Isabel introduced me to the lucky graduate, Isabel. Upon arriving at the second house I asked the name of the graduate. “Isabel,” replied Isabel. At my confused face, she explained, “they’re cousins.” My expression only deepened. “Their grandmother is named Isabel. We call the second one Isabel Maria to keep things clear.” Indeed.
I guess I better get good at making nick names.