You probably think that since Pammie and Wendy showed up I forgot how to write...well, we were just super busy and I could not find a block of time to sit and write. i will catch you up now though as they left today. It is so quiet and lonely at my house tonight. I have the geiko and a new frog outside that the cat is driving crazy. Since the cat has not killed it, I am wondering if it is poisonous. I am not going near it.
Pammie and Wendy were awesome social workers and I do say I know they have many new friends and email partners to keep up with now. They helped me more than I can even explain by interviewing children and giving me new eyes to things that happen every day at the school and on the island. I am having hard time processing what happened today as I have had them to talk to every night and morning. It just helps to have someone to talk to about the days here. They worked hard and sweated a lot. I miss them already. Everyone was sad today and asked if they really left.
The highlights of the last days...D and N are actually doing their work! They have not been sent out of class either. I did a sexual abuse prevention talk yesterday to the Standard I students - their classes - 60 7 and 8 year olds...I had questions like I have never had before and I have probably done this talk over 100's of times. One question - So what happens if the person who is trying to sexually abuse you has a knife or a machete and they are going to cut your throat? What if you can't get away? Now you have to imagine that he is showing me the cut across the throat as he is asking the question...another question - "I heard that if they sex you - you can get pregnant, is that right?" and when asked where you might me when sexual abuse happens...on the beach, behind the bushes, in a hotel, in a shop, in your house...who? dad, step-dad, uncles, moms, tourists, anybody! ok enough - it was more than I could take from 7-8 year olds. D and J came up to me afterwards and told me that J had seen someone hold a knife to a kids throat in Belize city but he got away but the guy shot at him. D wanted to talk but then didn't so I am waiting him out and checking with him every day.
On the lighter side...I have given three of the worst behavior girls in Standard II (third grade) post-it-notes that are heart shaped, flower shaped and they just love them. I also took them for ice cream when they acted appropriately for a week. Three other girls fromt he same class walked me home the other day. One of them said do you have any more of those heart notes? I said no, but I am trying to get someone to bring me some from the states because i figure all little girls in Standard II need heart shaped notes...she said well, do you think all little girls need ice cream? I thougth for a sec and said hmmm...i am sure that all little girls need ice cream - so when are we going? they said next week. I am going to walk them home friday and ask their parents if we can get ice cream.
The San Mateo moms...wow...their soccer coach - Cruz - came to me last Friday and said - "Miss Kim, we have a problem. The shirts you got the ladies for their soccer are white and all the other teams have white shirts." I told him that I don't have another color of shirt. He said then you have to dye them. No, not me...unless you want tye died....then he said no we need you to buy the dye and they will dye them - ok - long discussion on color....how to dye....they showed up on Sunday afternoon with beautiful blue-gray shirts that match the school colors - i told them the marble look they created is one you pay big money for...they won their game and played so good together - Lynette played and made a goal! Now we have tow more things happening. We had a meeting and they are in favor of starting a coop - cottage industry. They need income. So after much discussion - we want to teach them to sew - make island table clothes, place mats, napkins, clothing, and the school jumpers. They also want to learn to make pastries to sell. During the discussion though - one mom said - but Miss Kim even if we got the sewing machines donated...we do not have electricity - we need a building with electricity, sewing machines, material and a teacher...to start. Any ideas for grants? One of the volunteers is all aobut helpign with this. Then one of the moms came to me after church sunday and said we have problem...one?
We have about a dozen kids who are not in school way back in San Mateo and there is not room at the school. They can't go anywhere else and they are going to be so far behind their ae group. so Wendy and Pammie and I walked the planks...talked to them about the issue and there are two women who have high school educations who could teach in that little area...we are going to get the lesson plans and books for the different ages and they are going to home school until the fall to try to catch them up. We saw Shirley's garden too - amazing how she can grow anything in the soil...she knows how to make the compost to make the soil that can grow things. We saw how they cook on an open fire of coconut shells. Amazing women.
Ernesto and I took the guests on a tour of the island on Saturday - north and south and went thorugh DFC and San Predito. they had the $15 dollar tour that not many get. We ate at all my favorite restaurants and tried a new pizza place that was really good. Wendy learned that no sooner do I mention a persons name and they show up - really weird. They have experience Kareoke also and Wendy and I sang a lot - our best one is "I love this bar", #2 - mountain music, #3 - delta dawn, #4 - rocky top,#5 - country roads....on and on. I will miss my kareoke partner. Wendy celebrated her birthday last Friday - we had a dinner with friends at Nautica and I had them put a candle in the key lime cheesecake with mango sauce. She even got gifts. they sort f learned to Punta dance...heard about the gringo in belize, had mango mojitos, learned about dirty bananas, learned that eating here takes time...had a few belikins. Ernesto cooked stew chicken, homemade tortillas, cocnut rice and potatoe salad for them. They will be back.
Wendy collected enough money to buy the drums. There will be a trip to the mainland. She also brough money to support the soccer teams. I hope I have some vitamins coming this way by volunteers and visitors as we are out of them.
Pammie uncovered a situation in which two little boys were coming dirty to school - no money coming into a single parent hoem because their dad left. They have not had water for months. I learned a lesson in this situation...Pammie got them two new shirts each so they would not be filthy shirts...one did not have his new shirt on the next day. I asked him why and he said he was saving it. I asked him if they had any food in their house for the weekend - he said yes. When mom cam upon request to talk with me on monday - she said S said you asked him if we had food and he told you yes - i teach my children not to beg or tell what we do not have but we really have no food. Ms. Laura said "kim, when you ask them those questions - they will never tellyou that they do not have food." So what do you do? Just figure they dont and get the food.
some things are nuts you know - I heard a preacher talking about fasting for lent to these children...sorry...just didn't set right with me - they could give up a meal for someone else to eat?? wonder who among use can go from friday noon until monday morning with nothing to eat? just wondering....wendy kept feeling guilty when we were eating at restaurants...
This may be enough for tonight. I am going to try to attach a sermon to my blog that Rev. Ann wrote about the blessing of the house. I can't read it without crying. She has captured the experience much better than I did. I hope it works to attach it. I continue to be amazed at how the people here let me into their lives. I am the one being blessed. Take care, love and miss you all.