Thursday, 24 June 2010

March

Dear All.

Once again weeks seem to have flown by and we are approaching another holiday.
The boys are all looking forward to Easter and a time to relax a little bit. Depending on which school they go they the boys will get between 2 weeks and a month off. Some of them will go for extra tuitions in that time, others will go and visit families and some will stay here and work on the farm and relax. I hope lots of them go home for visiting. Christine is going to Scotland for two weeks with Rachel so the less that stay here the easier it will be for me!
The boys who are working at home are doing well. There are two volunteers here from Canada at the moment which is a big help to me. They are taking the little ones for 2 hours every day instead of the 1 hour I was doing and they are listening to the older boys read. I have been trying to work out a way to listen to the boys read since I got here but when there are 7 of them needing help with school work you cant just sit back with one of them. The boys reading and comprehension has improved a lot since they started, as has their confidence. Some of them have even begun to volunteer to read at prayers in front of everyone else.
The grade 7s still have a teacher who comes every morning. After Easter we hope to put them back into school. Some of them have found it hard to take school seriously since they are learning at home but most of them have managed some form of self discipline to get their homework done in the afternoon and study a bit in the evenings.

The boys who have been smoking Dagga seem to have done really well with coming off it. We took 2 of the boys for testing last week so are waiting on their results. Apparently it stays in your system for up to 1 month so we will probably do a few spot checks in the next few months to see how they are doing.

In the last few weeks we have also become involved in a situation with one of the brothers of a couple of the people that stay with us. He became a double orphan around the age of 14 and started using Dagga and drinking a lot. (Home brew which is very strong.) Over the past few months he has deteriorated dramatically resulting in being admitted to Chinama, a mental institution, about a month ago. Levy (said Levee) is convinced he is major pop star and that he performs at concerts world wide. He also has been found wondering around at night with just his boxers and one shoe on and generally doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone except himself. He stayed at Chinama for a week the first time then one day I went to visit with Lucky (his brother) and found he had been discharged and sent home. The agreement had been that he was coming to stay with us so we went to find him. Eventually he turned up at his Grans place and agreed to come home with us. He stayed one night then made his excuses and refused to come back. Last weekend he was admitted to Chinama again. On Tuesday I went to visit him. He has lost a lot of weight (he wasn't very big anyway) and really seemed to be unwell, despite all of that when I went on Saturday he had been discharged again! We found him at his Grans again, he had been drinking and probably smoking. The nurses at Chinama kept saying we are doing 'shared caring' but surely if that's the case they should get in touch with someone where he is staying to advise them on what to do. Anyway at the moment it is a tough situation. Until Levy sees he needs help there is not much we can do. Hopefully he will realise before it is too late and any damage is irreversible. Chinama is a very bleak place. It is basically a concrete exercise pad in the middle with dorm rooms around the edge. There is nothing for them to do except wonder aimlessly around and the nurses and staff don't even know who most of the people there are. There is very little 'care' for any of them. If I find it difficult I cant imagine what it must be like to see your brother or cousin in that kind of place! Please pray for Lucky, Memo and Lingson. (brother, sister and cousin) and also that we will have wisdom with dealing with the situation. I think it is just a matter of time before he is admitted again.


I hope you are all well and have a good easter.

Abigail

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