Saturday, February 20, 2010

A little bit scared.

I find it ironic that people commented on my last post and said that I am brave because I am currently too scared to sleep. A girl came into my room and told me that her bed is infested with fleas and she can see them jumping. She laid in bed for twenty minutes before she realized they were biting her. My first instinct was to tell her "get out of here right now before you infest my room." But I realized that was not the best thing to say to a flea-bitten friend and I tried to be as sympathetic as I could in the least amount of time. Soon I was itchy all over and I was just imagining the little fleas feasting on me and now, sleep is not an option. On top of that, I made a dumb mistake and let my roommate take some of my melatonin. Melatonin gives a lot of people, myself included, very vivid, violent dreams. This roommate talks and walks in her sleep EVERY, SINGLE night. Now I'm afraid I'm going to be the victim of some unconscious act of violence. It sounds dumb, I know. But I really did consider tying her to her bed before my attempt to sleep.

I want to write about a four-year-old named Junior. Junior is the most interesting little guy I've ever met. One minute he bites and hits and spits and the next minute he wants to be on my lap singing "sunshine." He loves that song. Junior has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and its painful for me to imagine how he is going to struggle in the years to come. I love him so much, even when he hits me in the face and throws the soap bars in the toilet. I have been reading up about FAS and I've learned that those who suffer from it struggle with cause and effect awareness...which is Junior exactly. He does things that he knows he shouldn't do and he realizes how bad they are AFTER he does them. Many times he will break something or hit someone and then begin to cry hysterically because he knows he will be punished. In accordance with Freud, his Superego and his Id are not in balance. His conscience, keeping him from impulsive behavior, is not as strong as it should be at his age. It will probably be something with which he always struggle. Junior has a lot of meltdowns but on the other side, he can be the most hilarious kid. He loves to show off which leads to fast babbling and odd facial expressions that always make me laugh.

Funny story: To get Junior and Santi to eat, we always pretend there are caballos (horses) in their bowls. They love caballos and apparently they love to eat them. The other day Santi came running up to me and told me he had eaten ALL of his caballos. I praised him thoroughly. Santi then pointed at his stomach and, with a huge smile of his face said, "estan llorando." (They're crying)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Swingsets and Stitches

The other day I was working in a very poor daycare center called Trini. The kids come from extremely poor families and have parents who work all day. I was helping some kids brush their teeth outside when I saw Justin crawling on the ground. He was not paying attention and didn't realize that he had just crawled directly into the path of an oncoming metal swing. It was one of those moments where one realizes what is going to happen and has absolutely no power to do anything before disaster strikes. The corner of the swing hit him in the middle of the forehead and left a hole in his head. It was awful. Blood, blood, blood. One of the workers grabbed a towel off the ground and tried to wipe it off but I told her no. The towel was absolutely filthy. We used a few napkins to put pressure on it. It was a scary moment, being on the side of a mountain in the middle of no where with blood pooring out of a kid's head. No one knew what they were doing. Luckily, our bus driver was waiting for us. I picked Justin up and got on the bus and told the driver we needed a doctor. One of the workers came and drove to a little clinic. I was so glad that I had gotten my vaccinations. While in the waiting room, I was sitting next to a woman that looked like she had something growing on her face. Justin was very brave. He had to get stitches but is doing fine now. Never a dull day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Crema para sus camas"

Two days ago, I was taking a much needed nap and I had a dream about Ramon. Ramon is one of the kids that lives in Los Pequenitos. He has been in a wheelchair his entire life and has they best laugh I have ever heard. I cannot help but crack up with him because when he laughs, he does a thorough job of it. I dreamed that a bunch of the volunteers and I were taking him somewhere when our car broke down. We began to walk down the interstate and I was supporting Ramon who had begun to walk but was very unsteady. We got to a rickety bridge that we had to cross but our weight made it sway back and forth. I could barely stand on it and I had to lean onto Ramon to keep my balance. Suddenly, I was just as in need as he was and we were supporting each other as we crossed the bridge. He was looking at me and laughing the entire way. I have never really been one to look for a significant interpretation of my dreams. But this one really meant something to me. Whether it was sent as a sign of some kind, or just my brain sorting out my thoughts, it made clear to me the process that is taking place here. I need these kids just as much as they need me. They don't have their own agendas, they don't pressure or push, and they don't even know what it means to be selfish. What they have offered me is love in its purest form and that is so rare to find.

Funny story: Yesterday I gave some of the kids lotion for their hands. Sometimes they try to eat it so I told them "Solo para tus manos y tus caras." (only for your hands and your faces.) Except I accidentally said "cama" which is beds. I realized I had said something wrong because the kids' faces lit up with joy at the idea of such a ridiculous notion. They started to squeal, "Crema para nuestras camas?!?!?" (Lotion for our beds!?!?) They started to run for their rooms and I quickly corrected myself.