Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 17

Hi, Mom! Hi, Jani! I know you're out there reading this. The two of them actually wrote to me to see if I was okay, and I am...just pretty busy.

On November 1, I moved into my new room. That night, I froze.
On November 2, I didn't freeze, but I deadbolted my door at night because the main door was open much of the day and I'm usually paranoid. The next morning, I couldn't get out of my room.
On November 3, I kept hearing crazy noises in my room which kept me awake until about 1 am.

The gringos have taken over the Hogar. This has given some good changes and some not-so-amazing changes.
Good change: the boys have something to do during the day.
Bad change: a lot of the keys seem to have vanished and I can't access everything I need to.
Good change: less frijoles for meals.
Bad change: the gringos don't know to ring the bell for meals; so I've still eaten about as many meals as I did when we ate frijoles.
Good change: more people to speak English to.
Bad (?) change: more people expect me to translate all the time.

When I was here at the home for two weeks last summer, Christina and I decided that we didn't like groups coming here. "The Americans" became something that meant "people who come in and disrupt the normal workings of the home." There's one person in this group who is trying my patience. I'm sure she's a wonderful woman who has had many children and grandchildren and knows all about raising them, but the fact of the matter is that she doesn't know these boys. She wants little David--the beautiful 22-month old baby who I'm a touch possessive about--to walk places on his own (never be carried), to be awake during the day (never nap), to sit at the table and eat with a spoon all by himself (never be fed or held while he eats), and to use the toilet like the older boys (never wear a diaper). And, you know, I guess I wouldn't have a big problem with this if it were the United States and she was his primary caregiver. However, down here, that job (honor?) has pretty much fallen to me, mostly by my own choice. My parents say that when I was a baby, I always wanted to be held; so I don't mind indulging him in carrying him around. However, we have started cracking down on who holds him; we no longer let him just change arms whenever he wants. He is still a baby; so as long as he has a set nap time (which he does, more or less), I think a nap is just fine for him. (This woman exhausted David so much that he took a nap on the "driveway!") The eating thing is something we have been working on, but when he is tired, he wants to eat with his hands. Also, this 22-month old is using the same table to eat at as the 12-year old boys. The top of the table is just too high to be convenient for him which is why I often let him sit on my lap while eating...sort of as a booster seat. The diaper thing is understandable, though. And Karen wants people to start working on that with him as well; so I don't mind that at all. You just have to keep a close eye on him as there are no training seats! So, my patience is tried. It is anyway. Karen calls him a bad child (just a touch spoiled, really, and she doesn't help), and this woman treats him like he should be 10. There's a happy medium that neither of them is hitting and it's really, really frustrating.

Anyway, I spend my days translating, taking pictures, dealing with crowd control, and corresponding with Diane (of Orphan's Hope) and Carmen (of Celebrate Children International). And I have been busy. Not only have I not updated this journal, but I haven't downloaded photos from my camera or sent pictures out to Carmen either. (Diane pulls them off of Facebook where I sometimes post.)

And how I got out of my room the other morning? Around 6:30 am, Raul--one of the teachers here--went down to unlock the gate. I called out my window to him and told him my problem. Then I asked if he would try opening it from the outside. Sadly, what I had tried to accomplish for an hour, he managed in less than a minute. I know I wasn't a stupid gringa, but it was mildly embarrassing.

Okay...time for my post-lunch nap. Hasta luego. ("Until later.")

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