Monday, November 24, 2008

All in a Day's Work?

I don’t know how to even being to process today. I know Im not the only one in our group either. It was as if every major event waited to happen today at Oasis.
We got there and it started out somewhat normal until the stories of what had happened over the weekend started to come out. It started during break when Moses and Steward told me that yesterday, when all the boys were away from the house, a ton of house 2’s things were stolen. And when I say a ton, I mean each boy was flat out robbed.

All of Moses belongings, down the mattress off his bed, his trunk full of school books and clothes were taken. Martin lost a lot of clothes, as did Johnstone, Joseph, Steward, Timo, and John. John’s sheets were taken off his bed. A jacket Elvis had left at house 2 was taken, and he doesn’t even live there.

Later during break, I was talking to one of the teachers, and he told me that one of our girls, one of our students, had been raped over the weekend. Its a girl we know very well, she is a great student, so sweet, and very active at Oasis. That was like a blow to the gut.

Nothing like that has happened since we’ve been here, at least not to an Oasis kid. It happened Friday, but she didn’t really tell anyone until this morning. She was taken to the hospital this morning. When she came back, we found out she had contracted an STD from the attack. It’s treatable and she should be fine in a month or so…I use the word ‘fine’ lightly. How are you ever fine after being raped?

Then, just before lunch, a little girl who never fails to come to Oasis everyday, comes to the staff with jiggers in her toes. At a closer look we discovered how bad they were. It appeared she has had them for quite a while. The only way to get jiggers out is to soak the feet in some sort of anti-bacterial liquid that helps kill the jiggers and soften the skin, then you literally have to cut and dig into the skin to pull the jiggers out. If they’ve been there for any amount of time, they’ve burrowed deep into the skin and it’s super painful to dig them out.

So for about 2 hours Patrick, Elvis, Manu and I dug into, cleaned, and bandaged this poor little girl’s feet. The whole time, she’s screaming and crying in terrible pain. Poor Chris was trying to comfort her, but it was so painful she couldn’t do anything but cry. I give her massive credit for somehow being able to sit somewhat still through the process. She’s so tiny I don’t know how she did it. Round 2 is tomorrow.

So much was going on today, that it wasn’t until I got home and sat down for a second that I even began processing the day’s events. At this point, I feel it can’t be reconciled in my brain right now, maybe not even for weeks. All I know is the only thing that helps is crying. Getting it all out. Days like today, take you out of your “bubble” and throw you back into the reality of where we’re living. The overwhelmingness(?), if you can even call that a word, of it all.

I have to catch myself from getting too pessimistic about the enormity of it. I have to focus on the fact that there are places here trying to do something, anything. But its so hard.
I don’t feel my role is to step up and do something on my own. I feel my role is to support the organizations that already exists and try to fill their holes, be there for whatever needs to be done.

I fear this blog is already too long and I’ve lost some readers, but I hope not. I hate asking for help or money but at this point I don’t care what this looks like. Being here has kind of broke me of being embarrassed to ask for help when its needed. So if any of you have read this and want to help Oasis of Hope in any way over the time that I am here please read Oasis’ blog to the right and contact Lydia or let me know.

Thanks to those who made it to the end and helped in part of the processing...Sorry