I was riding with Mr. Victor in his cab today. This is always a special time for me. I tell him all the time that he is my counselor. He just laughs - but really he is...He has a bible and a devotional book next to him on the console. I picked up the devotional book and it talked about choosing the good path...listening to what god wants you to do. Mr. Victor and I talked about this. I told him that I want to come back and continue to work with the children at Holy Cross, but the way is not being made for me to do this. I just have to know that God will make the way for me to be where I am suppose to be. If he keeps me in Mississippi - there is a reason.
I know many of you have been praying for me. I know because after I wrote my last blog I went to bed. I woke up and had a peace about me. I got up and had the strength to go back to school and felt happy. I could keep the smile going all day. the little boy came to me and said he wanted to introduce me to his best friend. She is the most angelic little girl you will ever see or know. It made me happy to know she was there for him. I do not know why but seeing the two of them together reminded me of the Forrest Gump movie and Forrest's little girl friend. He then came up to me and said I am ready to talk to you. My heart went into my throat. I asked him if he wanted to talk to Ms. Grace also - he said yes. When we got to her office - he was calm and just told us that he was good. He acknowledged that we cared and that we loved him and just want to help but he still would not tell and even said no one was hurting him. I can't help but feel like he just wants to protect us. I can't explain why I think this but Ms. Grace feels it also.
I witnessed something that will be hard to explain. I will try. Our boys (10-12 year olds) in "anger management group" have a problem sitting still. We have passed a nerf ball around...Amrie decided to bring a little tub of smooth polished stones to the group for them to hold while they talked. When she put the tub on the table they grabbed for them - each trying to get the most. they hid them - put them in their pockets - tried to grab other stones from each other...caused quite a ruckus...I just watched for awhile. then I said, "STOP. put all the stones you have on the table in front of you and do not touch them. They could not do it. It took forever for them to be able to put the stones on the table and put their hands in their laps and still they were so guarded and worried about someone taking their stones. I told them to think about what they were doing. The stones were about 25 in number and the whole bag cost about $1 US. No stone was prettier than another or worth more. It was amazing. They had to talk about why they think what someone else has is better and how they did not trust anyone to not take something away from them - even when it was worthless. They fought over worthless stones.
Amrie had another culture lesson. This followed the lesson - you have to ask the right question or information will not be forthcoming.
My lesson - the post office. before I start - I do love and appreciate our postal workers but I have had the craziest time getting 6 boxes that tonya sent me. First - they were addressed to the school but because it had attention to me - I had to go sign for them. I went on tuesday afternoon. I was told that they could not give them to me because it was the last day of the month. Let me say - it is hard for me to leave the school to go to town and with 6 boxes - I have to not be walking. I went back today. The power was off - no electricity - somehow that was a reason I could not get my boxes. Needless to say - you folks that know me - let's just say - I was a little frustrated. The power came on and I got the boxes...I was laughing though...more lessons for me in slowing down.
We have an Easter festival tomorrow. The drummers and dancers will be performing. I wish you could here them and see them. The volunteer dentists were great this week. They saw 85 children!
I think our girls anger management group is going well. (the girls decided they wanted one also.) After group today - we said we would not have group tomorrow as the festival was happening...they said they wanted to come to group anyway...well, at least we know it not just to get out of class.
We need a full time social worker on this island who works for DHS. We need a foster care system on the island. Just thought I would ay it again. If I talk about this girl's situation it would be to easy for some to know who she is...let's just say...she has a social worker - on the mainland...she needs to talk to her...this child has been abandoned over and over - reactive attachment disorder, post trauamtic stress, depression...she needs a permanent home. argh! and all in all - she is holding it together....I told her Martha's story today - she is a friend who is a social worker in the states with child welfare who was a foster child. I told her because when I said "we are going to figure out how we can take everything you have been through and turn it in to good." she looked at me like I was crazy and said "how?"
I hope this blog reaches counselors and social workers who might have some time to come here and work. You are needed. I know the social workers on the mainland have a high caseload but there is the thought that the kids on the island do not have the needs of the kids on the mainland. I cannot fathom how the country can ignore San Mateo and the other communities. these families have stong ties and they are good people but they are stressed with financial concerns and survival needs. they work so hard just to barely make it and there is no time left for family and to nurture the children. they would if they could.
signing off - love and miss you all.