Sunday, April 21, 2019

April #4 sad stories....

A woman and her son needed to get to Chicago. Her brother-in-law said he'd let them stay at their house but he wouldn't buy her tickets. I checked on prices and it would be about $520....which maybe I could help with but it didn't sound like a welcoming situation, and that's a good chunk of money, so I turned her over to one of the staff. They decided to call La Posada, a longer term place, a lot smaller, but they work to find sponsors and assistance and so on. So the woman was at the desk several times asking when she'd be transferred.

I thought I had photos but can't find them. It's in a rural setting, with trailers and a few larger buildings, garden, play area, classroom space for English classes, and so on. My friend loved the tranquility. I felt like we were miles from anything and it made me nervous--although I live in a rural state, ha ha.

I hope her story ends well.

We have had a volunteer, a Texas native with a cowboy hat...he was tapped to drive the buseta during the day. We have two, and M., one of the long term volunteers, was also driving. Cowboy was waiting for passengers and told me he avoids M because she is one strong willed woman. After he left, M said she was avoiding Cowboy because he turns a 5 minute drive into 20 minutes, drops off refugees without going in to help them, and doesn't speak Spanish so has no idea what they are asking him. I had to laugh. I think yesterday was his last day,.

We had family of 4 come to help and they worked on toiletries bags. We have cloth or similar recycling style bags and we add toiletries and give them out when newcomers arrive. We ran out of bags so the dad decided to use the plastic bags we use for food bags that we give them on their way out. That caused a lot of consternation from Sister Anne....though what else to do, I don't know. But I really really hope there were some at our off-site storage facility and that they have been brought to the center.

It's Easter and I don't know what to expect re staff or volunteers. I know ICE will bring as many detainees as usual. I'm going incognito today, not wearing the volunteer t-shirt, in hopes of getting some things done before anyone realizes I work there, ha ha.

I am sort of also pushing for a get into the rooms so I don't have to keep asking. I have tried being annoying, bribing, and asking outright. We shall see.....

and here's a cultural question:  for some, we take a photocopy of the adult's destination info and then write the names of spouse, kids, etc. We always ask how old the kids are. Quite quite often the adult will answer "she's going to be 12 in August" or something similar...and I pause....say, ok she's 11? and write that down. When I am tired, I think "I don't care how old she is goinng to be! I asked how old she IS!" but it happens enough that I wonder if there's something cultural there. I'll have to ask my informants....

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