Friday, January 14, 2011

The Week in the Life at Talitha Cumi

We are planning our team in February right now. Since our workers wanted to leave after the first of the year, the girls and I are here with 2 ladies and a watchman. I hired two young mountain boys and and older gentlemen to help us get some rocks we need for the adobe duplex we are building for the interns that are coming to help us work here at Talitha Cumi. We needed eight loads of rock. I don't mean little rocks, we are talking small boulder size rocks. The men we hired literally dug the rocks out of the side of the ravine at out farm. The girls did a bucket brigade line and loaded the rocks from the steep incline to the flat bed Isuzu truck that I have just discovered I can legally drive. I am heady with power. :) We made eight loads in two days, which is amazing! We got a bunch of bizarre stares as the road crew were taking measurements for the 100th time, and they looked up to see a woman driving a flatbed loaded with a bunch of girls. Then they notice on the return trip that was 20 minutes later, that we had a huge load of rocks.
During all this I have 5 of my girls who had lice. One of the jobs of the house moms is to keep a check on this every day. One of the house moms said she was checking, but she was not, but I didn't find out until too late. At night I was combing through the thickest hair in the world with the tiniest of combs. When you deal with lice you learn a lot. Lice always move up and hide in areas you can't see. One lice is a louse. If you have a lousey attitude, well it is not good. A louse egg is called a nit. A nit-wit is someone with a wit as small as a nit. Just a bit of lousey trivia.
Well then yesterday, I woke up early and realized that if I didn't carry Mariela to the orthopedic doctor, I wouldn't have anybody here to watch the girls while I went to the doctor. Anastacia and Ezequela have been spending the holidays with us. Ezequela announced she was leaving so I got ready to go. The older girls go to class in La Esperanza on Thursdays. So instead of taking the bus, they went with me in the white Nissan. I had gotten up early and the girls got Mariela ready to go. I had several question and answer sessions from the girls before I left. I had to get a container to get diesel to put in the flatbed truck and then I needed to get some boots that needed fixed and I needed to get to the internet store to download a video. I had to go back to the house to get keys. When I got back I noticed Anastacia in the car too. I thought she was going to be with the girls, so I had to make a whole new plan. I finally got everything ready and was ready to go.
We finally got out the gate and headed to town. It would be close but we would make it. We got stuck behind a cattle drive. These cows needed to be driven somewhere like a cemetery. They looked so bad. It is dry season now and there isn't a lot of grass for them to graze on. Unfortunately for us and unfortunately for the cows they were running and we were really running late.
I dropped Lina off with Mariela because the doctor doesn't come into work unless they call him. I dropped the girls off at their school with bus fare to get back home. I went back to the doctor's office and we waited for an hour watching a very cheesy Latin soap opera. Lina went to help me with Mariela and so we decided to watch Mariela, who was entertaining us also with her new antics and just grinning at each one of her new accomplishments, saying "Look".

The doctor met with us and told us that she has definitely improved but not as much as he had hoped. He said that there is a Orthopedic Pediatrician in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. He told us that he will want to do surgery, "but don't do it." "He likes to do surgeries". With that kind of recommendation, I decided not to go to him at all. God remind me that there is a medical team that usually comes to La Esperanza led by Seth and Linda Berl from Moultrie, GA in March, and they typically have an orthopedic doctor coming with them, so I called them to get Mariela's name on the list. Linda said she would write me on email to let me know when to come. So that was done for now. Mariela is still doing her physical therapy with our girls. They take turns with her every morning, noon, and night.

We left from there to talk to the Public Defender's Office. I wanted to know if they had heard anything about the children that were taken from our center by their mom. In order to get a child to live here we go to three governmental agencies. I sign a document stating that I am the legal guardian of the child. The parents have to agree if it is a situation where the parents are petitioning the courts for their child to come into Project Talitha Cumi. In the case of the 3 sisters, their mom had no rights to the children except for a visit once a month. The mom has a warrant out for her arrest. When I was waiting to talk to the officials another man who is a nurse came up to greet me. I have known him for a few years and he works with children with aids. He came and started talking and saying he was sorry for the three girls. I asked him how did he know about my girls and apparently he is a relative of the two women who took the children. He started telling me about the situation since these girls were young. It made me review how I felt about them. They have had the worst life you can think of. Even right now the sister who helped with the abduction of the children, is in the physc ward at the local hospital, in shock over something else that has recently happened. Even though I was sick at heart at the horror those two women have lived I was even more concerned about the three girls. Please continue to pray that the Lord will convict the mother's heart and bring her children back to a safe place, so they won't have a story like their mom.
I got home after I finished tons of other errands in town. I still had to finish lunch, but I had time. When I got out of the car, the girls told me that the water storage tank by the kitchen had blown over and we had no water. I checked and the water tank had not been hooked up for quite sometime. I went to the tanks on the hill that were hooked up. They were stone dry. So I went back down the hill, drained the line, took the pressure valve off and drained the air. Then I tried to start it and nothing. We have been having brown outs here. I decided if the electricity was that low we could use the generator. It wouldn't crank. So I decided to wait until the electricity would get stronger. I was praying it would be soon because the girls and I are feeding up the animals and they would need water. During lunch I remembered years ago Brett telling me about a button on the bottom of the electrical box. I went out there and prayed that I would not get electricuted, because since that time the well pump had been re-worked by many different people. I pushed the button and the pump clicked on. I was so thankful to God for jogging my memory
The new guys have literally transformed the farm. We have had several employees for years, and they had just gotten disanimated about working. I know that happens, in the States, but here if you need to tap into your savings account which is your employer. If you get fired it is like in the US your employer needs to pay you until you get a new job. Here you pay a flat fee for the years they have worked for you. I am thankful the people who were working with us for these past 4 years. I pray that they are blessed beyond measure. But the new guys had chopped so much wood from felled trees from over the years. Our truck was running over with firewood, and our girls loaded it all. I asked them if they were tired, and they said, " Yes, but it was easier than rocks. "
Because we were all tired, I wasn't going anywhere the next day, except to get Anastacia moved to her house. Before I could leave the Public Defense folks called. I just knew they had an answer about Milady Jennifer and Darlin. They did not have any news. They did have another case. It was a girl who had just turned 15 on` the 8th of January. Instead of celebrating her 15th birthday party with friends and family she had just gotten her baby back from another woman. The 15 year old had come to La Esperanza at 12 years old from a troubled home life in the mountains far away. She told me that she would spend the night in the grass just so she could escape what was going on in their family. Her mother told her it would be better if she left and found work.
She got a job as a housekeeper for the next two years she was working as a maid. She was taken advantage of by a married policeman. She had the baby at 14 years old last September. Her new employer said she could stay. When the baby was born the employer took over. The young mother wasn't allowed to do anything with the baby. Right before Christmas the young woman was asked to leave and she wasn't allowed to take the baby. Her next employer told her to check with the legal authorities. She did and a month later, yesterday she finally got her baby back.
Now she knows nothing of how to care for a baby. She didn't know how to change a diaper, or burp the baby, make a bottle of formula, or how to feed her child or how to hold her. I heard some noise in her room and I went in to check on them and she had given the infant a piece of a plastic bag to play with. When I got in the room the baby had the bag in her mouth. I was a little freaked out, but patiently explained to her the dangers of playing with plastic bags. The baby was crying all the time,so she was giving it a bottle all the time. I finally told her she couldn't give the baby the bottle until every 3 hours. The baby is resting at last. It was a long night. Please be praying for this little girl raising a little girl. Pray for me that I have the patient to walk her through this time in her life.
Thanks to all of you who continue to pray for us, and help support the work here. Thank all of you who have written so many notes of encouragement. They really do mean a lot. Blessings, the Truck Driving, Baby Instructing , Rock Toting, Honduran MOM

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