Friday, May 14, 2010

Back at Hogar Infantil

It's been a while since I've updated everyone on the constant change that is my life. The past few weeks have seen me back in Michigan for my grandfather's surprise 80th birthday party and then a brief week with Caleb before another 21 hour trip to Hogar Infantil.

Now that I'm back in Chiapas, and life is bound to be full of crazy stories, I will be writing more frequently again. I apologize for the inconsistencies, however, sometimes it's just hard to find words to write.

I arrived Wednesday night, back at Hogar, very exhausted but excited to see the kids. I was swarmed by hugs and welcomed back very happily into the fold. This however feels like a very different trip. I am more aware of the workings of Hogar as an organization, and let's just say I'm not so naive anymore. This trip back is punctuated by the fact that I need to decide for sure if Caleb and I will move here in a few months. So I feel a bit of pressure. In some ways it feels like I never left Hogar. It's only been two months since I was here last, but it feels different now because I have changed. However, my favorite thing, which is spending quality time with the kids is still just as wonderful as before. As usual it's the difficulty of trying to balance my time with every one. I had a great time talking to the University age girls lounging in my room yesterday afternoon. It's been really good catching up with them. I read children's books donated by Caleb's sister, Michaela to the little boys who gathered around me like a little flock. I was pleased to see them reading to each other too, as Kyla and I have been trying to emphasize reading for fun, not just school and out of obligation. The day was wrapped up by watching a terribly pirated version of Iron Man 2 that one of the boy's had. Though it was pretty unwatchable and half the time we were guessing what what going on, the guys were thrilled to see Iron Man anyway.

The little boys' cabana renovation is going well. One of the older guys, Williams, has been putting a lot of time into working on it. Most of the boys have been working hard on making bricks for the walls and digging the trenches. In my naivety I thought that when I started this project, perhaps they would hire workers to do the renovations for the cabana. I didn't realize that the kids would be doing it, but that's how things work here. There is a Tio that is overseeing the project and frequently works with Williams. The expanded walls are up and the roof still needs to be installed, but for the most part the skeleton of the bigger, better bathrooms is up. I'm sure it will be finished this summer. Now if I can only raise the rest of the money for this project, all will be well!

Kyla and I have been sleeping on the roof of the girls cabana because it has been so hot. We look pretty ridiculous on our rolled blankets with our mosquito netting camping underneath the drying laundry. Also, my mosquito net is really just a piece of green, sheer fabric so I look like a genie or that I'm on safari or something. I don't know what the girls think. Probably that we are just ridiculous Americans. :)

Capi David, the president of the U.S. Board is here along with some visitors for a few days. I've made a point to spend some time with him, and pick his brain for more information about Hogar and pestered him with my fundraising ideas. He's been pretty good humored about it, which is good because I know I will continue having questions and ideas. Tomorrow there is a big board meeting with the Mexican board (patronato) and I'm going to ask permission to attend. Not to have a voice, just to observe. My Spanish is so sketchy that I don't really know how much I will understand, but I think it would be good to meet the members of the Mexican board.

By the way, since I've been writing this, I've been watching two boys chase a sheep around the pen, trying to catch it and it's been the funniest thing. The whole heard goes racing around the shed, two skinny boys running, sliding, flailing arms at the closest sheep, who has managed to evade them pretty well until now. However, she just got caught and I'm not sure what their plans are for her. I love the sound of the sheep bleating in the morning and the rooster crowing and the strange sound the birds make at night. The birds sound like an muted traffic jam with honking and screeching….

More tomorrow, for now I'm off to have some more fun.

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