We don’t have the police in Los Guineos so the afternoon when the girls starting fighting with machetes we had to telephone the town over and ask that they send us some police officers.

But let me back up.

For those who can afford it, Día de los Reyes is the day when parents give children presents. Unfortunately, this year, somebody gave their son a toy gun. I realized this the morning after as I sat on the porch sipping coffee and looked up to see a boy walking with gun in hand. My heart stopped for a second and my mouth dropped open. Even after I realized it was a toy it was uncomfortable to see such a young boy holding a gun.

And then, because one boy got a gun, all the other boys wanted guns. Soon, bands of boys were walking around, guns in hand, looking like they’d wandered off the set of the movie, City of God.

And let me tell you, getting shot at by these ‘toy’ guns isn’t pleasant. I had to hold my sobbing 11-year-old almost host sister after some dumb boy shot her in the arm. Getting hit in the eye has resulted in cases of blinding, apparently (luckily, this has not yet happened at my site).

So one afternoon some younger sister got shot by some kid and her older sisters starting yelling and trying to fight the kid and then his older sisters came over to defend him and then suddenly someone had a machete and then the police came.

So, don’t get your kids toy guns.