I’m back from a way too long blogging hiatus. I mean, I made a commitment to weekly blogging and I want to stick to it!! There are many things that I’ll be blogging about in the next few weeks. This was an incredible trip filled with the children that I love and a rockin team. (12 people! By far the biggest…) But first I want to follow up on Wilmer. Via pictures. Lots of them.
Día numero 1
This is the look that I received most of the first day that we were working in Proniño. (And the entire time I was following the police truck.) Man, this child has an intimidating glare.
He wouldn’t speak to me, but he would let me work near him. I took what I could get.
I myself haven’t recently detoxed from a crack addiction, but I’m pretty sure I’d want to be curled up on my bed, not lifting someone up into a tree. Their strength never ceases to amaze me.
The only time that he spoke to me was a) to tell me that he wanted to leave and b) to tell me that when he could sleep, he dreamt of drugs. I told him that I had had a dream in which I found him wounded on the street, took him home to take care of him, then wanted to throw up when I woke up and realized that this wasn’t happening, that I wasn’t doing anything to help him. He said that I say I care so much about him, but that I’m only here for a few weeks, then I go back to States and enjoy my life while he continues to suffer. Ouch.
Día numero 2
In this picture we were talking about how he’s still angry and all I could see was the back of his head. So thankful to Lauren for catching the little smile on his face that he was efficiently hiding. We also talked about how his body felt. He said that the only time he felt good was when he was busy. Working, drawing, whatever. When he was busy he wasn’t thinking about drugs.
Día numero 3
I was barely at Proniño on this day. But here he is, working so hard once again. I started feeling so hopeful. If he really wanted to run away, why was he working so hard to distract himself from thinking about the drugs?
Right before we left for the day he called me over to him. He wanted to know when I was leaving the country. Then he initiated this picture. (Which explains the way overzealous smile on my face…)
Día numero 4
This, by far, was the best day. Every morning, I gave him a letter. After about an hour, he would come find me and ask me to read it to him, swearing that he can’t read. (Completely untrue.) I would read it. He would say ‘ok’ and go back to work. On day number 4 he sat for minute when I finished reading and then said, “I’m going to run away.” I said, “I know”. But then he said, “Just kidding. I’m going to stay.” I felt downright giddy.
“And are you still angry with me?”
“Do you think you’ll be able to trust me again?”
Then he took his letter and went back to work.
Día numero 9
Then my last day rolled around and the panic set in. I had been telling myself for months that if he just had one more chance in Proniño, then I would be able to accept whatever happens. If he’s in Proniño and runs away, then I’d be done. And the reality is that I wouldn’t be allowed to bring him back again. (He’s getting too old and has had too many chances.) But watching him draw, listening to him ask a million questions because he’s constantly thirsting for more information and hearing his infectious giggle with the other boys has only proven to me that if he runs away again, it will always hurt. Always.
I was watching him draw this picture in my journal and I asked him if he thinks he’ll be here when I return in October. “Maybe”. An honest answer. No false promises. But I lost it. I wept the whole time I was saying my goodbyes and as I walked out of Nueva Vida I let myself fully cry….only to remember that I hadn’t said goodbye to the cooks yet. I went into the kitchen a hiccuping and bleary eyed mess to find Martha and Sandra staring at me with wide eyes. I explained that I’m just so scared that he is going to return to the street. Martha assured me that she is going to request for him to help them in the kitchen, which means that he’ll be busy and loved on by the ‘madres’ (mothers) as the kids call them. I’m encouraged knowing that they’re going to be pulling for him. And I’ve had five different employees thank me for bringing him in. Wilmer is a child that everyone so badly wants to see overcome and succeed.
Early in the trip, someone asked me if I’m ever afraid when I’m in Honduras. I honestly answered no. Fearing that someone who is out to harm me is hiding around each corner won’t prevent or cause harm. This is so clear to me. Likewise, agonizing over whether or not Wilmer will run away also has no affect on whether or not he will. And yet I can’t turn off this worry. Ay, yay, yay.
(Continue reading about Wilmer here.)