sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2014

New Home, New Father Figure?

Well, quick Elisenia update. Adeline went with her to CURE International in Santo Domingo and the plan is to amputate below the knee, but she will probably have to be hospitalized for a week or so before the operation to get her chronic cough gone before putting her under anesthesia. Tammie and her husband and a few others came and visited at our house before they went and brought wonderful presents!




Alright, I'll get to the point of this blog post. In June we moved a few houses up on the same street to a house with a better water situation, more privacy because we don't share the yard space, it's a little bigger, and has a tile floor and bathroom, so it's easier to keep looking clean. The picture above was taken in our living room. It's a huge difference from our last house. We built an outdoor kitchen in the backyard for the still fully dependent boys for their meals. Actually, they continued eating with us in our house until August when Louran moved in to the group home, at which point it would just be too much to have yet another one spending so much time in our house.

Our new house is closer to theirs than before. There are about 4 properties between us and them. Well, just within these past few weeks, the houses on both sides of us have become vacant and up for rent. So they started asking me to rent one and move them there so they are right beside us. At the same time, there was a 3 week period where Chinaider missed several days of school. He said it was because he kept arriving late when the door was already shut, at which point they won't let you in. So in addition to waking up Junior, Yenilove, Ilayas, and Maraya and getting them ready for school, or in Junior's case, nagging him to get ready, I now started walking down to the group home and getting everyone up, specifically Chinaider.

There are three bunk beds in their house, (so beds in 3 sets), one twin bed, a tiny kitchen space, and a bathroom. The beds take up all
Current house.
the space, other than the kitchen and bathroom space. The front door has been broken twice and we just cheaply replaced it. They lose the lock or keys or dismantle the puerta candado which is what holds the lock, on a consistent basis. Literally, it seems as though every week something has happened and their house is once again insecure. I have realized that the only solution in the long run is a doorman. They barely have any yard space. We pay 2,500 pesos a month rent. It is a room off of a man named Nelson's house. Nelson is a very easy going landlord! They have been there since 2010, with some overflow at times into other rooms and such.


One of these mornings when I woke up Chinaider, I couldn't figure who one sleeping body covered in a sheet was. I kept asking and asking about everyone's whereabouts to figure out who was the sleeping body. I located everyone else and then someone admitted that it was Ti Rasta, which means Little Rasta, whose real name is Franco. He quickly popped up, uncovered himself, and started explaining that he had just come in late last night and slept because he lives up the mountain and had come back so late from working at the flea market. I reminded him that I had given him 3 months to stay after he was sneaking and sleeping before and asked that he respected that short opportunity and didn't enter the house anymore.

Yesterday Enelbi came to get me and told me to go visit their house. Bob was sleeping on his bed, passed out drunk. I asked around for where Bob lives so that we could remove him and place him in his own house. Enelbi found his keys in his pocket so we could open his door if it was locked. But then Willy came and got him up and got him out. Bob walked down the road and cussed us out as he went. The other day Louran found his pile of books not in his book bag as he had left them but on the ground, and no trace of his book bag. I suspect Bob took it.

Anyway, point being, I agreed it would be great if they lived right next door. I would be able to create a healthy fear around the house so that NO ONE other than those who live there enter, it also has more yard space and a fence that can lock, and I could ring a bell each morning at 6:30 am rather than having to walk down the street. Not letting anyone who doesn't live in the house should prevent the door from being broken again.

Another funny situation. I often want to record all issues that are brought to me in a day but don't have time to record them, but I'll share this. Yesterday morning Junior couldn't find his uniform pants. He then found them wet and in the washing machine. Adriana is the woman who helps us with washing clothes in our house and she had made the mistake of washing his pants before the week ended and leaving them wet. I called the director and asked if he could go in navy blue pants instead of black. Negative. Other kids would want to do the same if he was allowed. Uniforms are such a strict thing here in ALL schools. Right after I got off the phone (I was in the street as I had to go buy the phone card to call), I saw Enelbi with black pants on. He goes to our school, which is more leaniant with the uniforms since the kids are so impoverished, but the uniform is not black pants, but khaki. I asked him what happened to his khakis. They ripped. Can you please go put on Junior's navy pants and let him wear those. That worked out. But the whole situation made me late in getting the little ones to school. Chinaider and Miguelina both showed up after the pants got figured out. Their motos had not shown up. I went and got another guy to take them and he let me pay him later. This is what happens most mornings. And you think it is all figured out, but then something else always comes up.


Took this last night when landlady showed.
One of the houses was less desired but less expensive. Less desired because it shares a yard with others, which isn't ideal for them. But someone else rented it quickly so that left only one choice. I had someone lead me to the landlady's house and we planned a time to meet at the house to see and talk about the price. She waited for me until I got home last night around 6:30pm. The lowest she would go is 5,000. I think this is a must. It will mean we have to cover an additional 2,500 each month, since the current rent is 2,500.

I'll just mention this quickly. Another 4 houses down from us is a little Haitian church. The
Living room
kids of the pastor and his wife are quite involved in different Project Esperanza activities and we really enjoy the family. Day before yesterday one of the sons asked if I could go speak with a visitor of theirs. I did. We sat in their yard and talked. He had been here for 3 months, working at a call center, but two pay days had gone by and they had not been paid. He is a pastor from Cap Haitien but had come, as many do, in search of life in the Dominican Republic. He was staying with the pastor who runs the church and his family but had already put a deposit to rent a nearby room, it just wasn't prepared yet. He was doing some teaching in the church as well.


Bathroom
Well we talked a little and he mentioned that he ran an orphanage in Cap Haitien for two years, three months and the only reason he left it was
One bedroom.

because a staff member was threatening him, he said, and he didn't want the conflict. It turns out that I know the woman who funds and runs the orphanage! Anyway, I have always wanted a wise older male to have a role at the group home and be a presence helping to manage things, and also just being a fatherly presence. The right person was yet to come up,
Other bedroom.
although we have had a few who have done a good enough job, it just wasn't meant to be a permanent thing for them. I could tell right away from speaking with this man that he was very educated, and he said that he studied four years theology at the university and four years education. I asked for proof and he was about to go get it but I said that he didn't need to right then.



The yellow house is ours.
Anyway, let's talk funds. The new home is 2,500 pesos more than the current one. That is around $57 US. This is an immediate need. I don't want this opportunity to go by. I think to initially hire this man, he should be paid between 8,000 and 10,000 pesos a month. This is between $182 and $228. But I am not worrying about that right now. I am just feeling things out with him still and our need for him. So right now, I have an urgent request that Project Esperanza brings in $57 more per month to rent this new space. I wonder if anyone can come on as a monthly sponsor or commit to doing a monthly collection or anything to help out with this?

Here is a video we made the other night for my mom, whose "grandma name" is Gabby:


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