lunes, 3 de junio de 2013

An Especially Eventful Week - Part 1 of 4

We had fun at the beach when Crystal and family visited in April.

First, I’ll just start by saying it’s getting hotter and we have no water. Here in our neighborhood, water usually comes through the tap once a week for maybe 8-12 hours. We fill up the cistern (large, square, cement water storage thing in the ground) and fill up a few trash cans in the house, (one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom). We also have a small tinaco (a round tank) on the roof that fills itself up but never seems to work properly and we rarely have water coming through the taps except for this one day a week I am referring to. I just had to flush the toilet with a jug of purchased purified water. We have to flush the toilet by pouring water into the bowl at a high enough height to create pressure to flush it.

Why does this happen? Why does city water only come through the taps once a week? I don’t know. Something to do with the water supply company Corraaplata is it called? I went there once and asked if a group of students could visit with someone to ask questions and they said yes, with an engineer that works there. So I plan on setting that up for a future volunteer trip. I’m sure that there is a solution to this water problem that would involve more organization and effort, something that I will critically state this country is lacking.

Miguel, our new art shop manager, arrived on Friday night. I am so glad he is here and hope he adjusts well! We left home at 8pm to get him from the airport and got home at 11pm. His flight was delayed. It was Maraya, Ilayas, Jennylove, Junior, Jireste, and I. We went in our neighbor taxi’s new van which he purchased to better accommodate our volunteers and summer campers. He will get more work this way, it’s true.

So, let me quickly update on a few things:

“Ewode” and“Jilande” – now live in a little house with tin walls our landlord constructed for them in our yard. Angelina is currently with another woman caring for her until we finish with a judgment as to who will have legal guardianship over Angelina. Jilande seems to want to live with Ewode now, but when she is near her mother, she treats him very poorly, leaving him all day long and late into the night, sometimes all night with the baby, running around wearing the shortest skirts possible. When she is here I see she sits at her house and stays right by Ewode’s side…for now at least. But Ewode has proven to be a great father from what I have seen.. as well as a really great partner to Jilande who she is blessed to have. And Jilande’s mother thinks that the baby is hers, although like her relationship with her daughter who at age 15 she sent to live with Ewode, she doesn’t seem to want to put in the necessary effort to raise her, she just doesn’t want anyone else to. And if the baby’s father wants to raise her, what right does she have to raise her anyway? So we’re heading back to the court. They told him to come back with the baby’s papers.. which is just a record of the birth that the hospital gives. She is not declared yet and has no birth certificate. He thought that he had this paper, but then learned that Jilande had given it to her mother who is storing it, and hasn’t been able to get it. After explaining this to the court, they said to come back on Monday.

Elisenia and siblings – She is doing well, although still quite developmentally behind and I would really like more expert opinion since the doctors who check her out just prescribe the same cold medicine over and over, as she remains very succeptible to colds. Here is a picture of her in shades with Eriverto (her caregiver's son and also a student on scholarship through our org.) and Maraya

She is now 2.5 years old and Maraya is 21 months. She can crawl and loves to eat, but she still doesn’t talk. That is what I want to learn more about. She makes noises and signs, but doesn’t speak words really. But she is very happy and alert. After her **younger than 2 with HIV positive mother** special HIV test was sent off and lost, we still haven’t retested her but her caregiver is aware of the possibility. The normal test should give a valid reading now and so I should take her, but have just been so busy (although I could send her caregiver, although she has never been and I planned on us going together) and am also nervous, but ya, gotta do what you gotta do.

Elisenia’s brother and sister Junior and Jennylove are doing well here with us. If we can’t adopt them because of funds, I would like to at least get their guardianship papers and one day try to get a visa so they can visit the US with us. I see that we gel more and more as a family every day. It’s pretty cool. Here is a video of Junior’s hen who hatched 9 chicks and a few pictures of the kids. He has one more setting and so does Chinaider. 

Jennylove and Ilayas going to school.
Junior and Maraya - two bosses.

Other siblings Alexandra and Elideau are still in Muñoz. Alexandra is with her godmother and Elideau is with a woman from the community who has a foreign partner and although she is from the batey, she is financially better off. Elideau’s student sponsors are seriously researching adopting him! I have been helping facilitate from this end and have a meeting with a CONANI lawyer on Monday morning as well. CONANI is the social work agency of the Dominican Republic. I am interested to see how this works, as I know lately people have had more luck adopting through the lawyer in Port-au-Prince who I visited a year ago, but the adoption agency Elideau’s future family is using in Ontario, Canada has given them specific people and offices to speak with here and believe they can take things quickly from there on, so we will see! I have been talking with many other adopters through e-mail and continuing to learn lots.

Law school – I really love it...but apparently not as much as I love Project Esperanza. When I sit down to work, I find myself doing a billion Project Esperanza tasks first, and then getting into law school stuff. I try to put Project Esperanza on the back burner, and would if someone would take over my role, but just don’t seem to be able to put it off to the side. I want things to go well so very, very much! So I am behind on law school but working hard to stay on pace. Mid-terms are coming up. I have taken many, many quizzes and written four essays so far. I thought my essay grades were horrible but apparently they are right on track as students hardly ever score over a 75 on law school essays, my advisor says. There is a woman who helps me 6 hours a day, 6 days a week with the kids and with housework so I can dedicate that time to law school. Before this I never hired anyone to help out in the house except Jireste’s aunt Mari for the first month that Junior, Enelbi, Elisenia, and Ebo were here last March (2012). I always wanted us to handle our stuff in our house, but it just became impossible.

Alright, now let me tell about this crazy week... in part 2.

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