Thursday, April 25, 2019

McAllen April #8?

definitely not a good day for driving. Got lost twice.
Actually, found the Target, which felt like home, but couldn't find my way back. Then got lost on the way to the bus station with two refugee families. It's TWO turns. Obviously I made one of them wrong. Had to use the gps.....sad!

Some sort of confab yesterday at the Respite Center. Sister Norma, head of CC RGV, another nun or two, bunch of guys...learned later they were Border Patrol/ICE. Not sure what the conversation was but I can report that there was plenty of chaos for them to observe.

We put out the usual calls for folks needing to go to the bus terminal or airport, and we had the usual last minute folks who apparently didn't hear the calls and let us know 20 minutes before their busses left that they had to get to the terminal. So I made two trips, one in which I managed to get lost. But all ended well.

We had good volunteers so all the clothing rooms were open, the shoes room was open, and there were folks sorting through the mounds of donated stuff--mostly clothing--which was a huge help. ICE/BP again sent us 3 busses at a time.....twice, in the afternoon. We had already gotten one in the morning.  Really long lines waiting to talk to staff....but we had a new hire so hopefully the wait wasn't too long.

We've had more intact families than usual....two parents with 1-2 kids. More than a few pregnant women traveling alone. Fathers with teen daughters--we wonder if this is a safeguard against rape, and mothers with teen sons, similarly. We've seen a young man drag one foot behind him, a boy with just one arm, a girl with Down's. And the faces of the adults....lined with care, aged before their time, exhausted yet moving forward. It is truly inspiring.

Thursday.....it takes a village, right? so when kids come up asking for a toothbrush, shoe laces, or hair ties, I always ask them What are the magic words?  most of them get it. Yesterday a little boy cocked his head and then whispered "abracadabra", ha! Of course I gave him the toothbrush....




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