I am alone. Susan left today. I cried. I began walking to the school and got to the Tides and I was so sad and it started pouring down rain. I stopped to see my friends at the Tides and have a cup of coffee to wait for the rain to quit pouring down in sheets. Before it quit raining, the school called and a little girl had a perferated ear drum that was bleeding and they had Mr. victor (my favorite cab driver) bring her to me and we went to the Poly clinic. No doctors at the poly clinic today...so we went to Dr. Lerida. She had such a bad middle ear infection for so long that it busted her ear drum. I do not know how painful that was for her and she never said anything until it was bleeding. Her mom knew and did not do anything - just sent her to school. I got the medicine and found where her mom lived and took her to her to tell her what was wrong with her and that if she did not take the medicine that she could loose her hearing. Mom was thankful and I told her she would go back to the doctor in two weeks and mom was going with me next time. I went back to the school and then again it was one child after another. One had no socks and shoes that were so small that he kept taking them off in class. This is the same boy her just fell in my arms crying yesterday when I asked what was he thinking about when he didn't do his work in class. I told him today (after i got socks...still going to find shoes...we didn't have any his size...going tomorrow to the second hand shop to see if I can find some) that if he did his work I would get him a surprise. He did his work and I gave him a matchbox car. I have a friend for life. I had another little boy who wet his pants three times in a row and they were just giving him new underwear and sending him back to class. Mr. Cruz (our wonderful security guard) brought him to me and said "Kim, the teacher has changed his pants 3 times and I found him crying in the bathroom" - I talked to him and he said he didn't know when he had to go and it hurt him when he did go...back to find another doctor. I got his mom on the way to Dr. Dan's (who said he would see him for $10) and the child had such a terrible bladder infection - he had not even told his mom. These kids just suffer with pain and do not even tell any one because why? I do not know why...but I think because no one hears them cry.
I have settled fights, dealt with children stealing, tried to figure out what is causing the learning problems, had more than I want to think about children crying in my arms, and so many of the children say something is wrong or someone is hurting them but will not tell me what or who. I am having lessons in gaining trust. I am so touched by the resilence of these children. They are so tough. Everytime they get in trouble - they are so afraid to tell their parents - they will get a lashing. They have so many scars and bruises on the outside and every one of them say...i fell on a rock in the ocean. I know they know not to tell. They love their school and I think it is the only place they feel safe and like someone cares for them. I have a 7 year old whose mom won't come and get him and he lies and says she meets him at the bridge - i waited forty minutes for her to come "across the bridge" and then took him back to school - she came 1.5 hours late. I think because he didn't come home. Today he didn't come to school.
Not all the children are like this - there are many more very wonderful parents - just like anywhere. They want their children to get an education and be something they could not achieve. they are just so poor. There are more wonderful parents than those who are not to wonderful.
I was on the radio and tv station yesterday morning at 7 a.m. and finished my day at 5 pm. I am so tired at the end of the day but a good tired. Mr. Cruz is trying to develop a boys soccer team and I think we need a girl's team too. We have a possible coach. I want to start a league so they can play games and he wants to have the winner go to the mainland to play...we are starting a PTA...which is preliminary to beginning parenting classes. If I see one more kid hit in the head...I do not know what...but I am trying not to explode. so these are my days...I have tons of documentation to do tomorrow - thank goodness it is Saturday. There is church for our school at the high school Sunday and then a benefit concert for the school at Rendevous on Sunday.
I need kids tennis shoes and socks. I need little trinkets that I can give them if they are good. I need copy paper. I need another social worker on this island. Oh yeah...It was announced on the radio that my counseling services is available to families from other schools. So, if you are reading this and coming to San Pedro...bring stuff and help if you can.
I learned that cococut oil will heal a sore. I can get it at my local vegetable stand. I love that place. I learned how to put more minutes on my phone today. I learned that I have a lot to learn about how to help these kids...I will keep trying and praying. I need your prayers.
I need it to stop raining. The roads are a mess. I am always wet and muddy. the wet sand just sticks to everything. the potholes keep getting worse and worse. It has rained all week. Tonight it feels cold. I know boohoo from those of you who are freezing. But the rain keeps people from making money here.
I am invited to a birthday party at Bayside over by the boat docks. whose birthday? I do not know. Of course I am going. New friends. I am going with Ernesto - signing off until tomorrow. Love you all and miss you so much!