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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The "Faces of Strangers: #40" Story

Monique with friend Gizzy.
It was an ordinary day.  Running my hand over the skin of an Iguana by the name of Gizzy.  I found Gizzy and his owner Monique sitting on a bench along Front Street in the town of Philipsburg, the capital city of Dutch Sint Maarten.  Monique was rubbing his head as Carol and I passed them while heading into one of the many Shipwreck Shops along the main street in Philipsburg.  As I looked out the window inside the shop, I knew she was outside hoping someone would visit with her, ask to take a photo and give her a small donation.  As Carol was looking around inside the shop, I walked back out, gave her my small donation and began a conversation with her.  Monique was born in Queens, New York and moved to the island of Sint Maarten when she was three years old.  She told me that the friend on her lap is one of 189 Iguanas that she has.  She continued to tell me that she lives in an area that has plenty of trees and her "pets" roam free in her backyard.  Gizzy is a cold blooded reptile who is 2 years and 4 months old and will grow to be as large as a crocodile, according to his owner.  Monique had cleansing pads that she used to rub her Iguana and then rubbed oil on his skin to give it a slight glow.  
And, a kiss for Gizzy.
Another young boy stopped to watch what she was doing and was offered the chance to hold him, but was somewhat scared of the reptile and backed away.  I lifted my camera and asked if I could take a photo.  She told me she would take a photo of me with Gizzy, and I was tempted, but said I would prefer to take her photo with her pet so I could use it for one of my stories I write.  That, and I wasn't quite sure if Gizzy liked male human body parts.  The two of them posed for me as they drew a crowd along Front Street.  I thanked Monique for her time and told her it was time for me to leave, since she now had a good crowd of viewers who may also like to hear her story and give a donation to help her feed her menagerie of friends at home.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.   

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