Saturday, October 19, 2013

Candlelit Showers and a Rat Race

It’s been a while since I last updated you all and I thought I should let you know that I’m finally home and at the Finca!  Things are wonderful here and I’m beyond grateful to all who have been praying and supporting me to help me get here.  

Just to update you all on life at the Farm, I am the new Kinder teacher (pray for me even more please!) School doesn’t start again until February, but in the mean time I will be helping with Winter School for the little guys (like Summer Camp) and Escuelito (Summer School) for the kids who need a little extra help to pass into the next grade.  I will also be in charge of Girl Scouts and the Women’s Faith Group for the villages surrounding us.  It is so wonderful to be back and reunited with so many friends and I’m just so happy to finally be here and begin to work.

                After a week of shadowing the Kinder classroom, I am growing more and more used to the idea.  If you asked me that two weeks ago I would have said HELL NO can I teach and calm down kids who are still beyond reason and haven’t yet learned to control their bodies.  After a week of shadowing and assisting the current teachers, however, I have to admit I’m falling in love with them.  The other day one of our little guys came to school with a hurt arm.  After the teacher tried to gently hold his arm to guide him back to his seat, he dropped to the ground and started bawling.  I went over to comfort him and see what was wrong and saw that his arm was bent and looked broken.  The poor little guy told us his dad was in the hospital because “he was really really old” and that he was staying with his cousin who was another kid in the class.  The nurse had told his family to get it X-rayed earlier in the week but they hadn’t for whatever reason.   

                 We’ve just recently been told by local patients who have come to our clinic looking for help only a doctor can give that the three local hospitals in our area are on strike.  The last strike that happened lasted for months and with the upcoming November elections, who knows how long this one will last.   All I know is that this means my little friend’s arm won’t be able to get set and he’ll have to live without a cast or anything to protect it at six years old.  No child should have to live with a broken arm and let it heal bent like that.  It could affect him for the rest of his life and definitely hurt him when he starts growing more.  He’s such a tough little guy with the sweetest little angel eyes.  The trouble is, that’s common here and it’s something I’m going to have to learn to deal with.  We can offer assistance and let them know if it’s about money, our missionary community can pull some funds together for them to go, but in the end it’s not our choice and we can’t force any one to take action or for the government to get their country’s needs in order.  That’s a tough realization to come to especially when it’s affecting a little guy that I really care about.  

                On a different note, another thing I’m getting used to is candlelit showers.  The power doesn’t go out nearly as often or for as long as it did the summer I spent here two years ago, but it does still go out almost daily at some point.  Last night we were lucky and had two power outages just in time for dinner.  While it is inconveniently hot, there’s something to be said about spending time with friends on a Friday night without any distractions of phones or internet.  Candles can make a world of difference in clearing the mind and helping you relax.  It also helps stir creativity…

You see, we’ve had a long-running problem with rats.  Maybe it’s because we have the most food out of everyone on the Farm and maybe it’s just because we aren’t as experienced with rat-proofing our things, but it’s been a while since the house had a rat killing so we decided we were in need of a competition to get the ball rolling again. This is a real Rat Race and it will be going on for 10 days.  Teams have been made and money has been put down.  So that’s how we spent our Friday night: making home-made innovative traps in the glow of a foggy full moon and candles.  And, why, you ask, have we not tried actual rat traps?  That would be because, my dear friends, the most intelligent ones remain and they don’t fall for those tricks.  Also, we have some cat allergies in the house so we can’t use those clever animals either.  This morning was like Christmas and we were all excited to see what we caught.  My team was duped by the clever ratones, but the others did manage to catch two little guys and a rat queen.  While this may sound ridiculous to you all, I can’t emphasize enough that this is not a battle.  This is a war.  Our house is infested and every night is a fight to keep our food safe.  We will be continuing on for the next 10 days.  Any and all advice is welcome.