Monday, March 28, 2011

Back at Hogar Infantil

I'm finally back at Hogar Infantil after 8 months of craziness and transition. My mom has recovered from chemo and is in full remission. Caleb and I have lived with his folks, my folks, traveled to Italy, Monaco and France, were part of two weddings, bought land in the remote upper peninsula of Michigan, and I've worked as a waitress in our old college town. We've saved money, have become absolutely sure that we need a place of our own, and are making plans to build a cabin this summer. A part of all this planning and a constant in all this transition was the sure thing that I had to return to the kids at Hogar.

I quit my restaurant job, collected my donations for the kids and got ready to depart last Wednesday. Two days before my trip I came down with a miserable sickness, had a fever, the whole nine yards. I couldn't change my ticket without incurring a huge fee so I flew all doped up and hoping to make it to Cancun in one piece. I also had way too much luggage for one person to handle. By sheer willpower I made it to Playa del Carmen and then my friend's house in Akumal. My friend Mercedes happens to live in a cute little apartment right on the beach. The only thing that kept me going was thinking about relaxing in a lawn chair and staring at the Carribean, not moving.

I stayed with Mercedes and her boyfriend Miguel for nearly 5 days. I finally went to the doctor and was told I probably had some sort of bacterial infection like bronchitis and was given a pile of drugs. Mexican doctors I've found, really like to prescribe as much medicine as possible. All the medicine has to be taken at different times of day and for a different amount of days as well. Go figure.

I had to postpone my trip to Chiapas and the kids until Sunday rather than Friday. I was super bummed, knowing that I would miss that weekend with them. I finally boarded my bus Sunday night and traversed the windy, treacherous roads to southwestern Chiapas. 23ish hours later I was in Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, a little town that I'm so fond of now. A couple of boys from Hogar picked me up in the truck and I joyously rode in the truck-bed just content to look at my godson and smile. He is so tall now!

When I arrived I was greeted by lots of happy familiar faces and also lots of handsome new kids. I can't even begin to describe how content I feel just being here and how great it is to spend my days dishing out love and playing with kids. Today I had a very full day. I went into town and bought a bucket, which is a necessity when there's a water shortage and no guarantee you will have water from one day to the next. I spent the afternoon making bracelets with the girls and playing frisbee with the little boys. There are 22 little boys now. So, so many. They are all so handsome and have beautiful smiles. I gave out a lot of hugs today and kisses too. One little boy just clung to me and I could see in his eyes he was getting sad and thinking of his mom. Later, he was crying and I found out that today was his first full day here alone. His mother had left him here yesterday, and I'm sure she's been having a hard day as well. He was so heartbroken, it was hard for me not to cry also. Sometimes I can't help but think about the fact that I've had two miscarriages and want children so badly and here are a pile of kids with out mothers or whose mothers are far away and it just kills me. I want them all.

I'm happy to say that the little boys' house mom is still Tia Isabel - and she truly cares for them. 22 little boys is more than a handful but somehow she manages to keep them in line. She's my favorite caretaker here - there's a real maternal quality about her and wisdom.

I'm excited to have a whole day with my godson on Saturday. We have fun plans to play video games at the arcade (he's 15), eat fast food and see a movie. I told him eight months ago that I would love to treat him to a whole day of fun and I'm really glad that I can do that now.

That's all for now. Oh and I chased a really big cockroach out of my room today and only swore once, so I think I'm still pretty aclimated. :)

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