This Week Sucked
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Honestly, this entire last week sucked. Sometimes it feels like for every step forward, we get pulled right back. We had a team meeting yesterday and went through the list of students who have either dropped out or who we're worried about in some way. Student A is still working in the roadside restaurant washing dishes. Student B's father died in jail and his mother just abandoned him. Student C is a domestic servant. Student D's seizures just started up again last week because of parasite and she got kicked out of her home for menstruating. Child marriage, child marriage, child marriage. An old woman stops by with an abandoned 6 month baby. Drunk father A did this. Drunk uncle B did that. If I hear about one more drunken alcoholic male incident, I swear.
"Let's try to get that mom in the Women's Center," we say like ten times a week.
"Maybe we need a Kopila men's center too!" someone said last night at dinner.
Sometimes we make the rule that we aren't allowed to talk about work at dinner. We find ourselves constantly strategizing, problem solving, and trying to get to the root of the problem so that all of this finally stops. We have meetings. We discuss. We make plans for more housing, for a safe house, for more family support. We keep trying. I keep finding myself wishing that every single kid could move into our house, which I know isn't feasible either. Sadly, these are not stories we just get to read about in the paper or a trending article on Facebook. They are our kids, who we've loved and raised and cared for since they were little. They're at risk and they're vulnerable. It's tough when you feel like you're doing everything you can and it's still not enough. It's hard when you can only control what happens inside of our school grounds and not what happens outside. So many of our students have been dealt such an unfair deck, simply because of where they were born. It makes me angry. It makes me scared. Some moments I feel like I'm just waiting for the next piece of bad news. Weeks like this one don't help.
A little boy came from a remote village who fell from a tree with a terrible infection. It took them two days of being carried to get here. His older 15-year-old brother just died a few months ago from an ear infection that went to his brain and I watched his mother tremble in fear of losing another son. Then a woman from our Women's Center's husband hit her with a machete. She and her daughter moved out, but are living in constant terror that he'll come back to get them. I keep going by to check on them and make sure there's grills on the windows and the door lock is strong enough. With Kanchi's death and watching her children crying as her body was carried away, it's been feeling like heartbreak after heartbreak. I've been going through past videos for our ten year anniversary and looking back to the times when I was skinny and goofy and laughed and sang all the time. I miss her. I keep fighting to get her back. The devastation has always been there but it seems more difficult than ever to weather the storms. You don't want to freeze up and turn your heart stone cold and stop caring, but at the same time taking it all in is too much as well. I'm trying to find the middle ground. I know change happens slow, but these are little kids and I want it now. I want it like right this very minute. I don't know where this picture is from but I saw it a while ago and have it saved on my desktop. Feeling like it's time...