miércoles, 22 de enero de 2014

An Especially Eventful Week Park 4 of 4

I am terribly sorry that I abandoned this series for so long! Volunteers arrived, summer English camp started and that just caused me to be busy beyond belief. After camp ended, I played catch up on law school until the final exams in December. I did well! But then spent my month of vacation playing catch up with Project Esperanza stuff and having some quality family time. Now the second year of law school has started and I don't really have time to write this but don't want to abandon the blog! 

For some updates, everyone is doing well, thankfully. We brought in a new boy into the group home as I mentioned was the plan. His name is Sony, he is 14 years old, and has been homeless and shoe shining in Puerto Plata since he was 11. He was making a commendable effort to go to a little school in a church by our house and was a great candidate to enter the home. I mentioned in part 3 that CONANI was talking about sending Elisenia and Alexandra to an orphanage. Well, Alexandra's godmother doesn't want her to go anywhere under any circumstances, and CONANI backed out anyway. They backed out when this new law was passed that has taken citizenship away from people of Haitian decent who already had citizenship. This has caused lots of negative backlash from the international community, and rightfully so. Right before this law was passed, the social worker from CONANI had asked us to take in a 12-year-old Dominican boy from the streets. It would've been different to take in a Dominican boy, but we were ready to do it. The day she told me to go pick him up, and she would take Elisenia to the orphanage, was the same day this law was passed, and that all was thrown out the window. 

So back to the especially eventful week. After I loaned Wildolf this money, I think things went a little downhill for him. I expected him to saca the moto right away and show me it. He said he would run errands with it, etc. However, he disappeared for a few days. (Again, I hadn't planned with him or told him to do x,y,z but really just wanted to get him to leave me alone.) When I next saw him, he told me that he was unable to get the moto, but didn't tell me why, and said that he was thinking of selling hard-boiled eggs on the streets instead. Some people do this, but it was more common when we did the street census in 2006 than it is today. He asked if I thought that would be a good investment. I said, whatever you do, the important thing is that you work hard at it and don't give up. Perhaps I should've said, give me the money back. But anyway, that is what I said, and I again didn't see him for a bit.

Then the next thing that seemed to happen was this fight incident I described in part 2. After this happened, I told the others about lending him the money and most people assumed that he had bought drugs with it, as he had had that habit in the past which went along with his stealing habit. They also said that since he had been hanging out at the boys' home, a Dominican man who they knew to be a drug dealer had come around looking for Wildolf. I was enraged at the thought of him leading people to the house with guns and to sell drugs!! The morning after this incident, Willy and Ewode let me know that Wildolf was lurking around close to the land the organization had purchased with a machete, and had threatened them both when they went by. Ewode and I went to the police, which led us to getting sent back and forth between the police office and the court house. I plead that the police arrested him him, went looking for him, exerted some protection over the house and situation. However, they were so nonchalant about it and said, if he threatens you, call us. I kept saying, "He came to the house with guns! He did threaten them today! Are you going to wait for him to hurt someone?" We spent a large chunk of the day at the police office and court house until finally they allowed Ewode to file a claim. They wouldn't let me because I wasn't there, even if I am responsible over the household where this took place, but did allow Ewode to file a complaint which would call Wildolf in for a court date.

As we sat down with the woman working in the court house and Ewode dictated information to her, I got a phone call from Rafael, who was our watchman in Munoz at the time. He was waiting at my house for me to return so I could pay him. We had already been in contact, but this time he called to let me know that Biby had been cut in the arm with a machete by Wildolf. I got off the phone and reported this to the woman. I begged her to send the police after him. (If I had gone the path of corruption and offered the police money, they would've gone from the very first request, most likely, but I don't actually know how to do that yet. And that's sort of a source of the problem here anyway.) They said that the person who was cut would have to file the report! Or if he was at the hospital, the hospital would have to send a medical evaluation. We rushed to the emergency room at the public hospital where we found Biby getting stitched up. The cut was right above his left elbow and required 20 some stitches on the inside and 20 some on the outside. It had taken place right in front of the Centro de Juegos where Biby was working at the time. They had apparently exchanged words and Wildolf ended up cutting him. Several ran after him and threw rocks after him but he ran away. I had to stay on the hospital staff to write up the report before the court would close for the day and the officer on duty ended up making me pay 500 pesos for this medical evaluation, which are apparently free. When I turned this into the court, I told the woman that I had paid 500 pesos for it, would she please make me a copy. She reported this to her co-workers and they all got a good laugh out of it. I started ranting negative thoughts about the country and then they stopped joking.

I think I will have to cut this story short or else it would go into 5 or 6 parts. It took a few days, but they finally gave Biby an order for his arrest. However, this then turned into a mess where we informed the police in the day time that the best time to trap Wildolf for his arrest would be during the night as we knew where he was staying at his sister's house. (She came to my house the next day and is a gifted actor. She shed tears, got a little hysterical, and said that she had heard that Biby had killed Wildolf and she hadn't seen him. She plead for mercy for him. Then others reported that he was hiding at her house.) The police told us the hour to come, but then when Biby and Ewode went, they didn't mobilize. So we let this go for a bit, as all of the running around was getting a little expensive, and I hoped that he would just stay away from my house, the boys' home, the Nintendo business, etc. He did not have family in that neighborhood and it seemed as though the reason he was hanging around was because he was trying to receive the same aid that boys in the home receive, if not more, but we don't normally take anyone in at that age unless they have been involved throughout the years and need a temporary stay, and we don't really take anyone in when they have that amount of family around either. I told him that I would help him register in school when it opened back up. I guess he just wanted money, which he got.

Wildolf hid for about a month and then we started seeing him around. After he saw nothing happened to him, he started coming around quite often. I approached him one day and asked him when he would pay me back the 3,000 pesos. He said he was waiting to start a job and then would pay me back. I told him that we had an order for his arrest and if he continued coming around we would have to follow through with it. He started in telling me his account of how they had done x,y,z to him and he was really a victim. I didn't believe it for a second since, again, I spoke to several witnesses on both accounts right after the incident occurred and all of their stories matched. His was the only story that differed. He had a friend with him who seemed to believe his side and I think I actually swayed his friend by repeating details of my exchanges with him and the loaning of the money. Our conversation ended when he said that Biby had stabbed him with a knife and that is why he cut him with the machete. I found it hilarious to think that Biby, who is bigger than Chinaider, would stab him with a knife while Wildolf had a machete in hand, and he would have the ability to then cause Biby such a large injury and run away. He said that they grouped up on him to attack him and he cut Biby in self defense. Upon hearing that I yelled, "Well then they would've killed you!" I repeated what I had said about the police order, and then left. I wasn't trying to promote violence, but just to say, did he really think that I would believe that 3 or 4 young men who are all bigger than him could've attempted to attack him and he would've won? This was a typical case of an abuser trying to appear the victim.

Anyway, until today, we never went back to the police. He continued coming around a bit for awhile and I tried to ignore him. At one point when I saw him passing by the boys' home I asked him if he lives around here now? He said no. I said, "Then what are you doing here!?" Other than that I try to avoid eye contact whenever I see him and.. well there haven't been any more problems with him. Hopefully things will stay that way! I haven't gotten any of the 3,000 back from him, but that just adds him to a long list of people around here who owe me money! Education. Work. Spiritual formation. All are in such great need here. Your prayers and support are always appreciated.

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