Thursday, February 24, 2011

Breaking in...

It all started on the 13th of February....

One by one... groups by groups the kids filed into 'Ciudad de los niños'. I had the fortunate job of directing the groups to the dining hall where they were greeted by the tutors and pre-tutors (for the older houses). When they are down with signing the contract and paying fees they are brought to their houses. This day starts off the beginning to a very mysterious year.

Mysterious in the sense that we all do not know what to expect. For me, it is going to be quit different because I will be working in only one house for the whole year. Having been here already for 18 months, I am now comfortable enough to take a chance at sharing my opinions. I have seen a lot and have been through a lot in the past 18 months. From not being able to have a conversation with people, to making mistakes on norms, to giving unconditional love, to being a voice of conscience to the older boys.

For 6 months, I was treated as an outsider and ignored because I didn´t speak good spanish. It is just easier for someone to speak to someone who knows the language and to ask for help form them even if they are losing out on a great resource. For a whole year, I was treated as a local. A lot more people treated me like I was from Perú. Like I was one of them.

It is times like these that you learned to live again, it is times like these you learned to give and give again (Foo Fighters) For 18 months, I have given a good amount of myself to CDLN.... majority of it being the love that God gave me. Without Gods presence, I wouldn´t have been able to see that this year I need to be in Perú. This year there is quit a few new kids and it is hard for them to get accustomed to life here in CDLN. That left us as volunteers with questions of why? Why is it hard for them? For me that left me with the question of what can I leave here at CDLN that will be of great help for present and future kids.

I will leave you all with saying this: I have an idea!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Building Something New

Brick by brick... inch by inch...Brain storm... reflections... and MORE! Nothing beats the first steps to building a home.

Everyone is building their home right now... being it is their family home, future home, community home, or even their retirement home. We are all in constant planning, deciding, acting, erasing, learning, failing, and succeeding. But, what happens when you don't feel included in this building because what you want doesn't sound/ look good at all for the other(s)? What if you are so different that you don't belong and are stuck with it anyways? What can one do to not lose who they are in this need to build a perfect home?

PERFECT...I've learned to accept and despise this lovely word. It can be so positive and yet so negative and destructive at the same time.
DIFFERENT... A good friend gave me an alternative for this word (DISTINCT). Yet different seems to be understood and accepted more.

Two words that have made me and broke me in the past 20 years of my life. Usually not at the same time. Presently, these words are more making me than breaking me. I know, that nothing can be truly perfect and not all different is weird/strange. But, that is exactly what I am... I am not truly perfect( yet I am) and I am different (in that little weird way).

This year I want the kids to know that they are something, that they can be something great. It was interesting to go through graduation with this past years boys. I wish I could have done more pep-talks with them. Or even help them with looking up organizations/ programs that they could be involved in.

Then, I was reminded of a dream. A dream of one of the brothers, back in the US, that I met in my first year of service. The dream to provide more volunteer opportunities. Why not provide international volunteer opportunities here in PERU? I might be thinking to big, but it's an idea.

What I have learned this past year is that we are using money in the wrong way... We are not educating each other very well... we want big things and lots of money (Sorry--US citizens), but for what?...I want the boys here to experience more than they could have ever dreamed.

It's nice to have that expensive bag, that new ride, that huge house, but being in large spaces can feel quit lonely too. I have come to appreciate a packed small house. The kids come back on the 13th of February.

That small space is not going to be empty no more.