Tuesday, July 16, 2013

IBESR Meeting, Part II

The BRESMA orphanage synchronized splashing team
Okay – maybe the stress wasn’t quite over. I had a splitting headache that woke me in the night, even more effectively than the rooster usually does. But I got some work done during the wee hours, so it’s not all bad.

Today I go back to IBESR to meet Mr. Pierre Diem, Technical Assistant to the Director of IBESR, and Christine Figaro, Technology Assistant to IBESR. As do many highly efficient go-getters, Mr. Diem talks very, very fast. I can’t understand a word the man is saying, even though I can understand everyone else in his office. So embarrassing! In frustration, he reveals that he speaks absolutely excellent English! Why is it that everyone down here likes to make me speak bad Kreyol when they can speak good English? I suspect that my accent and errors are quite amusing.

Anyway, I present our project in English. IBESR even has a wall projector, so it’s easy and goes reasonably well. I answer Ms. Figaro’s questions in Kreyol because she seems more comfortable with it and I sort of have to when we start talking tecchy stuff.

I am instructed to deliver a one page brief about the project, which I will do quickly. I’m feeling pretty optimistic. These two are young and capable and well placed to make things happen, and they understand the great need for the project. Fingers crossed that one year from now, when a mother comes to BRESMA seeking to place her children for adoption because she cannot feed them, we can send her home with a list of help available in her area and her own children to raise. All professionals in ethical adoption should devote time and energy to family preservation, until every child we serve is one who has no viable option to stay at home.

This meeting was much less stressful, but I still need a little fun. I ask Franck to take me to BRESMA.

Boys' turn to swim!
Wislande has all of the older kids on the back patio with the baby pool. It’s so hot I think I’m actually melting like the wicked witch of the west. We pull in, I climb out, and total pandemonium breaks out. At home, I’m just mom, but here, I’m a rock star! It makes me laugh. And the pool makes me jealous. Sure wish I’d brought my suit.

The kids are delighted and the older nannies are scandalized when I take off my sandals and climb right in. Wislande accepts it. That lady knows a good time when she sees one. The water is cold and I’m having my legs washed while wet little bodies embrace me from all sides. Life is good! It’s a sunny day! Hooray! What exactly was I stressed out about?

When I visit the baby room I am welcomed by several toddlers who couldn’t stand the sight of me last time. I guess they were just about to accept me as a friend, and I’ve come back soon enough that they remember. There is some delicious giggling going on in here when we play the ‘run up and get tickled and run away again’ game.

Possible future softball star
Our baby who is missing her hands shrieks at the sight of me, which thrills me to no end. Initially we thought that Sylvia was blind and deaf as well as having limb differences. We now know she can hear and see, and even recognize that I’m not someone she knows. Very good news! So much more hope for a baby girl who is meeting most of her developmental milestones.

Upstairs in the toddler room I am anointed by many small, sticky hands. Half a dozen children at once tell me to look at them right now, take a photo, show me the photo, and he took my toy. Everyone has something to say and nobody’s afraid of me today. That’s handy for assessing development. We have a lot of chatterboxes up here.
I take a few photos, examine a boo-boo or two, and let them know I’ll be back again tomorrow. This is where I belong. I sleep at the guesthouse, but BRESMA will always be home away from home for me.

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