Friday, February 5, 2010

Tuesday, Day 6

Tuesday was a totally weird day. A beautiful, mostly sunny, warm for a while strange day. I realized as I was organizing my room that I was missing two of my tee shirts. At first I thought maybe I was just crazy and hadn't brought them, but then I realized I had and that someone must have taken them. Our room is usually locked unless we're in the building, so that someone must have been pretty slick. I felt so disappointed that one of the girls would steal. I really want to think the best of everyone here. I told a couple of older girls and Tia Ismelda, the chaperon in our dorm about the situation. She grabbed the director Tia Arde and together they went through all of the girls' things. Both of my shirts were found. I know the girl who possibly took them; she's been wanting to hang out with me lately. I bought her a hot water wand for bucket baths yesterday. After lunch, I talked to her and told her that my shirts had gone missing and we found them in her drawer. I let her know that this made me sad, but didn't change the fact that I like her a lot and want to be her friend. I also told her she could still get the hot water wand. She denied taking the shirts, and said she was sad that someone had taken them, but was happy to still be my friend. We parted amiably. I now store my clothes in a locked bin with other valuables in our room (which is also locked).

After that I was walking along the path to the main cabana and passed two of the teen boys, Kyla and a dead sheep. The sheep had just been mauled by one of the dogs. It's head was all torn up. This was sheep pregnant with twins. I felt her stomach and knew the lambs were still alive. I asked the boys if it would be possible to cut the lambs out and save them and I thought they said yes. I felt really upset. I'm kind of a city girl and haven't seen a lot of this kind of thing. I was actually tearing up. It made me feel like a wuss. Meanwhile, they proceeded to hang her from a tree, which was such an awkward job since she was really heavy, the tree was small and these kids not very burly. A couple of times the sheep fell. They were grabbing her around the middle and it was a messy job. When they finally got her hanging upside down they bled her. I had the sinking feeling that the time had passed to save the lambs. The boys seemed in no hurry to cut into her.

They started by skinning her with their machetes. They were surprisingly adept at this and she started to look like hanging meat rather than a sheep in a matter of minutes. When one of the boys put his hand into her stomach, I had to look away because I felt nauseous. Apparently the lambs were too young to save anyway. I didn't stay around for the whole event, but I had an idea what we would have for dinner.

After lunch I saw two of the boys attempting to chop through the sheep's sternum which was just laying on the cement sink area where they usually wash clothes. After some unsuccessful hacking and slashing, one of them pulled out an ax. Once again I didn't stay to watch the whole event, but you get the picture. And yes, we did have lamb tacos for dinner.

I spent some of the afternoon with one of the older boys, William. Really, he's not a boy but a young man. He's 18 or 19, I think. He didn't get into university this round and he's pretty down about that. There are many things he's skilled at and he would like to study the arts or physical education. I think he would be a great P.E. teacher or coach. He's the captain of the soccer team at Hogar, and the kid's really respect him. He has leadership skills. And he loves to draw. Anyway, he's been pretty depressed. I think the director of Hogar suggested to him that he try something else besides university, which is not very encouraging, but I'm sure he meant well. Hopefully, William will try to retake the university exam again and not give up. I really wish I spoke more Spanish, because I feel like my role here is also to encourage the kids. I smile as much as possible, talk to them individually, am very affectionate toward them and try to make myself available to them. Right now, this is all I can do. Some day I hope to have the right words to tell them how special they are, that they're one of a kind, and that they can achieve their dreams.

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