Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The one in which Jenna becomes a suburban homemaker...

I made lunch for fifteen people today, in between sorting clothes and ordering people around, shooing cats out of the kitchen, ordering the kids to behave, keeping an eye on the heart attack victim and trying desperately to think of some way to hygenically store eighteen toothbrushes.

Welcome to clean-up at Projeto Vidinha.

I have no idea how many trash bags went out to the curb today. When I left, they were talking about calling one of the city's dump trucks to come make a special run. I pray you never have to see this kind of mess. I'm still kicking myself for not wearing gloves all day. I'm beginning to think of myself as a clean freak, but I think it's just relative to what we've been working with.

To give you an idea:

Socks without pairs: more than five POUNDS, mostly unwashed and some with the amazing ability to stand upright while attacking me with their armies of fleas

Clothing to give away: Almost done. Somewhere in the vicinity of 5 big blue garbage bags. 30 pounds? Probably more.

Weirdest thing found: It's a tie between the acupuncture needles stored with old Christmas cards or the pile of old rice (cooked, I think) hidden under some shoes and hairbrushes in the unused upstairs bathroom.

Nastiest thing found: The cats don't have a litter box. And there is a trap for "gordura," fat, in the kitchen that someone needs to clean out. Not me.

We've got two more days to go...I hope they're much more uneventful! One of the volunteers at the project (a good friend of mine) had three episodes of heart attack precursors on Monday. She could use your prayers. So could her 13 year old super rebellious daughter, who freaked out and tried to throw herself into oncoming traffic and whom I had to physically restrain in the street as she kicked at pedestrians and let forth a torrent of gorgeously filthy words. It took us an hour to convince her mother to go to the hospital. In a taxi. Where she waited over an hour to be attended. (Don't ask about the ambulance situation. It's complicated, it's privatized, and as far as I can tell, you'd never want to actually take one. Besides, how woud you know who to call in an emergency???) I'm trying to keep her from working this week, but it's difficult because this woman doesn't know the meaning of "rest." Arghhh!!!

I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a house mom. I'm not sure I want any more kids!

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