Yesterday, the public bus system went on strike. It was a fiasco. Roads were blocked by the many buses that stopped traffic by driving through town in a huge pack. Thus, there were very few buses left to take people anywhere.
So today the city of Cali gravelled and begged its passenger’s forgiveness by providing free service all day. It was a fiasco. There were SOOOOO many people trying to get on the bus in the afternoon. The capacity of a large bus is supposedly some 160 people. I am pretty sure we had that many in the front half. Abby and I were literally smushed between people to such a degrees we couldn’t support ourselves. Thus, when the bus stopped abruptly I smushed Abby…. and Abby (also tall, probably like 5’10″) smushed the 4 foot something little old lady in front of her. And then we both started giggling and we couldn’t really get off her. When the whole thing was over, Abby meekly said “perdon” and gently patted her on the top of the head. I have never laughed harder.
Here’s a picture of the gentle blonde (curly-headed) giants on the packed bus… the people beside us look miniature, but I assure you, they are normal sized Colombians.
Yesterday, Magnolia (being Magnolia) helped me get things organized to go and see my little buddy (I’m gonna call her G from here on out) in the hospital. With a little fanangaling and telling the guard at the door I was a student he hesitantly let me in what appeared to me as the back door entrance to the place. I traveled up to the 5th floor with the caregiver who was on duty to stay with G during the day. Level 5 is the pediatric infection area. My friend G has had huge and profoundly deep pressure ulcers in her left leg that lead to a very serious case of osteomyelitis.
I got to her room (a tiny 8 by 8 room with a child sized hospital bed a plastic chair and a TV) and there she was… sitting on her bed. She is not allowed to leave this room by the way because she is still on “isolation.” She looked at me with complete and utter shock in her eyes. It took about 10 minutes for the shock to wear off, or maybe it was the UNO that made her feel comfortable. But soon, she was back to her old self: laughing, cheating at UNO, laughing again. We had a photo session with my camera (she LOVES taking pictures) painted our fingernails and played some mean UNO.
But there was a sadness despite the fun we were having. The stress of so much hospitalization on top of the challenges of her disability and obviously all the emotions that come with being neglected by your family, feeling like no one “wants you”… all these things have obviously taken a toll on her mentally. She has always been a child that loves adult attention, but a little of her light has gone out.
There are so many questions about what will happen when she is finally discharged from the hospital. Chiquetines is not equipped to handle teenagers so now that she is 13, she will have to go somewhere else. But where? And will these people address all the needs that she has? Not just the physical needs of having Spina Bifida, her foot ulcers, etc. but also address her mental rehabilitation.
So here I present the RALLY… this little girl, my sweet friend G, needs to be adopted. She needs to be rescued from this cycle. I know this is a huge and difficult task because of her many challenges. But this girl wants to be loved more than anything!! And in the meantime, we need to get a sponsorship going. We need to make sure she gets to a place that will treat her as a whole person and help her develop skills that will allow her to be an independent adult. We need to rally, we need to fight. She needs someone to fight for her.
And just so you can see how stinking adorable she is… here are some of the best shots from our photo shoot:
It was a pretty serious photo shoot.