I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I posted. Time is really flying and I know the next two weeks will fly by until I leave. I am a little sad about leaving, I feel like I could stay longer, but that changes hourly. This week I am a first grade teacher, substituting at Child Hope. It's only a couple of hours each day, but it feels like a days work. I have a new found respect for grade school teachers. While it is hard work it's also so rewarding and I'm so glad to have a flexible enough schedule that I can fill in. There's only six kids in the class, but they are a handful. I think they are just pushing to see where the limits are. The kids actually speak really good English they just have trouble with pronunciation and sentence structure so we worked on that most of the time yesterday. They are really sweet kids, and smart too.
I heard a story from one of the house moms at the orphanage that I think is worth sharing. She told me that there are few brothers that were given a home at the same time. The brothers look after each other more than most because they have experienced life on the streets together. She said that when she gives one of the brothers food that boy won't eat until his brother gets one. Or if only one boy is given something he will wait to eat it until they are together and give him half. I want to know love like that. Love that refuses the self until it knows another is taken care of.
Luke and I have found a new hang out at our house, the roof. Where we are staying is up on a hill already so once we're above the height of the other houses we can look down on the city and then the port. The other direction is a backdrop of mountains. The sunsets are magnificent from that vantage point so I'm making a point to watch as many as I can.
Last Saturday, we helped unload a shipment of donations. It was a rather hilarious sight watching the drivers try to back a semi through this tiny gate. First a tree branch had to be cut down to make room, which was done by a barefoot guy who climbed into the tree with an axe. After using an axe for a while the strategy shifted to a machete hacking away at this thick tree branch. Once the path was cleared it took the driver nearly half an hour to finagle the truck in. This stopped traffic in both directions creating a line of honking cars for as far as we could see. Some of the guys put twigs and small rocks in the road to block traffic, a good strategy, but I think the semi would have sufficed. Meanwhile a crowd of probably 50 people had gathered to find out what the commotion was. Apparently it was more entertaining than anything else because the group stayed to watch us unload.
As we unloaded the goods, mostly food, water, clothing, and a few crutches and wheelchairs, people sat around asking for things and making jokes. It was so frustrating working hard to unload all of this stuff when the people it was intended for just watched. I am ashamed to admit I lost my cool and yelled at some guys at one point, I yelled in English, but I'm pretty sure they got the point. It started raining as we finished and by the time we got in the car it was pouring, that's when I realized the keys had fallen out of my pocket. It was dark by then so we searched in the rain by car headlights for the keys ("karma", I thought as I stood scanning the ground in the downpour). We didn't have any luck so someone hot wired our truck for us- another life skill I'll leave here with. Luckily the key was found the next day.
We have also continued maintenance on the sun springs and more importantly trained Harry, the maintenance man when we leave. Harry's a great guy and we've got to know him really well in working with him. He is really helpful in learning about this culture. He showed us his house, at least what's left of it, and we got to meet his family. Harry's using the wooden boxes that sun springs are shipped in to build a house because his was destroyed in the earthquake. Thankfully none of Harry's family was harmed in the quake. He did show us a tiny hole in the rubble of a neighbor's house where he had climbed in and tried to help get her out. They were able to get her out over a week later, but she didn't make it. While the new house is under construction Harry and his family stay in a tent in front of their old house.
The house we are staying in has gone from house to hostel and now to warehouse. Many of the goods from the latest shipment have come here until they are distributed to the community, and the boys we live with have benefited. They now have new clothes, shoes other than sandals, and a variety of new food to try. It's really cool getting to see people's donations being used first hand. Although the boys did spend more time playing in the empty card board boxes than with their new toys, oh the joy of simplicity.
Well that's it for now. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.