miércoles, 5 de junio de 2013

Part 2 to an Especially Eventful Week

 Now, a normal week is very busy with the kids, law school, and Project Esperanza. However, this week had an added element due to some conflict and violence. This afternoon after coming home from Muñoz where I organized art shop stuff and oriented Miguel, I spent some time viewing and taking notes for an online lecture in Criminal Law, and then tried to read, but was interrupted every 10 minutes, more or less, and gave up. I wasn’t even interrupted by my kids at this point, but by people coming to the door for their needs. One teacher came to receive his pay and to talk. Boys came one by one for headaches and a discussion over the freezer in the Centro de Juegos business that only one was willing to carry back inside after washing it and no one else wanted to help. Saturday is also when they receive their weekly food rations so they came for that. Around 6pm I ended up locking the doors and ignoring anyone who knocked. I felt physically unable to get up. Jennylove and Maraya took naps and Ilayas watched videos, which he can navigate by himself on You Tube – Scooby Doo, Super Why, Dora, and Diego are the hot ones these days. I just was so physically exhausted. After Maraya woke up, she pulled my head and hair and forced me to get up. I layed on the floor and was present until Junior and Jireste entered, settled, and everyone went to bed.

So what made this week even busier than normal? One was Miguel’s arrival. On top of meeting him at the airport and orienting him a bit , I spent a large chunk of Friday searching for a bike for him, and purchased one at a good price that, as far as I could see, would work well. However, when Chinaider checked it out, he pointed out spokes that were falling out, the thing that holds the chain that is crooked, and one other thing I don’t know the name of that needed fixing. So now we’re working on exchanging it. I could’ve sent Chinaider in the first place but having never purchased a bike here, wanted to check things out for myself.

The other thing that made this week busy was an attack to the boys in the boys home by a guy around here named Wildolf. I can’t call him a neighbor since his family lives in other neighborhoods. He does not actually reside in this community, but he just hangs out here all of the time. I’ll explain what happened and then give some more history and details.

On Monday night, I got up in the middle of the night, worked on the computer, and remembered that Ewode had some change for me because I sent him to do something and he didn’t bring me the change. I felt a little nervous about that so I went to their house to see if he was up. I could hear them talking from outside so they were up. He gave me the change and I ended up bringing them some soup we had left over from dinner. He told me that there had been an incident at the boys’ home that night around 10pm.

Let me give a current update as to who lives in the boys’ home. Willy and Emso are the two older members who are responsible.
Emso, (left), their teacher Met Sonel (middle), and Willy (right)
They are both around 21 years old. Chinaider is 17. Enelbi, who is 13, was put on sanction in September and we plan to invite him back within this week. Biby is also older, around 20, and is just staying for a few months. He had been involved before, mainly through the soccer team, but had gone to Haiti and come back. I told him he could stay for one month, but he could not find steady work, like most Haitian men around, and so he is working in the Centro de Juegos. I knew that he was making an effort though because he had put in days of work, but that really just can help someone get through a week. When he moved in, Junior moved in with us since the average age of the household members became much greater than his. And I plan on inviting Enelbi back when Biby moves out, which should be any day now. Soccer team is all set to function this summer. So potentially at the end of the summer we will invite in one more boy, and that will be a complete house, (and the house is small). Two “big brothers”, one “middle brother” and two “little brothers”.

We did purchase a plot of land and plan to build and have a program for 12 boys, but we don’t yet have the funds to build or to maintain such a program. So for now, I would like to raise funds to level the ground and enclose it with a cinderblock wall. Then we can use it for gardening for the time being. I don’t mean to be pessimistic and assume that it will be years before we have the funds to build, but am just making plans for the meantime, however long or short it may be.

So this evening, Emso, Willy, Biby, Chinaider, and Ewode were in the boys’ home, and Wildolf was visiting. We don’t really like there to be visitors and just ruling that out generally avoids lots of problems, but I will soon explain how Wildolf was trying to creep his way in. A discussion broke out between Chinaider and Wildolf. Chinaider had accused Wildolf of spreading a lie about him. Wildolf denied and apparently told Chinaider that he would cut him open. This comment alone, which all of the witnesses agreed on every detail of the event, enfuriates me. First, he shouldn’t have been in the house. Second, now he is threatening Chinaider in his house. Biby shoed them both outside, thinking that a fight would break out. Wildolf apparently went outside first, took up his stance, and told Chinaider to come outside so he could show him who he is.

Now, it’s important to note that Wildolf is 5’5” at most and 115 lbs. at most, I would say. He is quite small and perhaps 20 years old. Chinaider is… I should measure him.. maybe 5’10” now and perhaps 170 lbs. Apparently nothing lasted long. Chinaider punched Wildolf, and Wildolf ran away. Perhaps Chinaider should not have punched Wildolf… but then again perhaps it was necessary. I do not like violence but I also don’t like it when people don’t know their boundaries, intrude, talk crap, etc. I was sleeping at this time and didn’t know that Wildolf then came and got Jireste, telling him that Chinaider was beating him up. We live perhaps an eighth of a mile down the road from the boys’ home. The Centro de Juegos is also on the same property as our apartment. It’s just a two apartment building with one downstairs and one upstairs. Jireste went with him to the house and Wildolf started accounting that Chinaider has said x,y,z but threw in a lie, saying that Chinaider had said something about Jireste as well. Biby then apparently said, “Who said something about Jireste?” and punched him as well. Again, I completely believe these testimonies, since everyone told me the same thing, and they are not so close or corrupt as to all agree on a common lie. They also had nothing against Wildolf to be “out to get him”.

After Biby punched Wildolf, Wildolf left and Jireste came home and went to sleep. He didn’t wake me up to tell me about it, thinking it was an incident that had passed. But shortly after, Wildolf came back with two Dominican friends, one who had a gun. The door was open but upon seeing this, they shut the door. He began threatening, saying he would kill them all. He threw rocks, breaking the door. Before the door was shut he threw rocks, almost hitting people. I didn’t know this at the time, but he had apparently busted his brother in law’s head open with a rock during a fight months previously.

So now let me give a little history….in part 3.

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