Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter - from a Guyana Guest

Hello out there...

I realized that I hadn't had any additions to this blog, but I am not in Guyana so had to recruit a guest.   Sylvia Wilvert another Canadian who is spending three years in Georgetown with the Scarborough Fathers.   She does most of her good works with St. Ann's Girls Home and Mercy Wings Vocational High School.   
She wrote me a note that I wanted to share...

"Good night everyone,
I'm still not used to using good night as a hello greeting, but coming or going, that is the greeting here in the evening in Guyana.
I got to Mercy Wings school early, by 8 a.m. Sister Denise were on the road "hunting down" wayward students. Most of the ones who have been missing in action for the past few weeks are older teen boys. So off we went in the Mercy Wings Toyota pick up truck, Sister driving the 5 speed and me, acting as the navigator. Off we go to regions of the city I had no idea existed. The roads were not too bad, but there are few numbers on the houses, and we would often need to stop and ask people walking what street we were on and the house number locations, I can't imagine how the mail gets through.
Our first stop was to visit with " C  ", a 18 year old who was lying on his bed when we arrived. His grandmother, (very elderly), hobbled down the stairs to wake him up. The reason he has not been attending classes? The doctor told him he needed to rest his aching muscles as he plays cricket, and the legs are giving him grief. His grandmother assured us that she would ensure he attends classes as soon as the cricket tournament ends next week.
The next visit was with " N "  and his cousin " K ". Off we went through winding streets and back roads. We were in a row housing area where big letters of the alphabet were painted on the sides of a wall of a house indicating the section we were in. At this point Sister asked me if I had ever been in Harlem, and proclaimed this was the equivalent of that ghetto. She recommended that we put our purses on the floor of the truck, and keep our eyes wide open.
I knocked on a door to find a young woman with a baby in her arms, and the boys father at home. The living room, was host to four large artificial flower arrangements, to the point I was not able to see the boys sitting on the couch across from me. These parents were very concerned that the boys had not been in classes for the past few weeks and the father asked if he could bring them in for the afternoon. Yes, he would be willing to meet with the principal. Another successful mission accomplished.
We then went off to see 17 year old " C " who was finally home from the hospital after a four week stay. She is one of my favorite, and was needing a second blood transfusion, as she has Sickle Cell disease. The doctor had left instructions for medication to be put in her IV line, but alas, the nurses made a mistake and injected it directly into her leg. The result is she has a very swollen leg, can't walk and of course is getting more oral medication for this mishap.
She is just so excited to be able to be out of the hospital were she shared a bed with another girl. In fact all the women share beds, as that is how overcrowded it currently is in the woman's ward of the public hospital. She never complained over the times I would visit with her, only that she couldn't wait to go home. I can't imagine what it would take to get well under these conditions. She cried to come back to school. This is the irony, as we travel about looking for the boys hiding out from us. They seem to be unaware of the impact on their lives, if they don't graduate. Then Chelsea, who is all to aware of what life is all about at her young age, begging to be able to come finish the program with the rest of her classmates.
Sister Denise, stopped at one of the roadside "snackette' s " for cold drinks, then we head back to the school for an afternoon of spending one on one time with those that have a multitude of problems way beyond what children should need to bear.
These outings hopefully will be fruitful in the next few months, and that is all that we can hope to accomplish as the "counseling" team at Mercy Wings School.

May each of you have a blessed, peaceful Easter Sylvia."

Please remember the people of Guyana in your prayers... 

I'll get to your wallets in the next blog... I have a Great Fundraising idea...

Take Care,