I'm packing my bags and giving gleeful shouts that this rusty, infected, murky stuff that comes out of my pipes for about five minutes a day will be the farthest thing from my mind until Sunday...
...because we're going away for the weekend! To a pousada, where they'll have running water that you can even brush your teeth with and that hopefully won't make my skin feel like it's crawling with pollutants...
My landlady is getting nervous. I think she senses my irritation and great, unleashed desire to move. It's all I can do to hold my tongue and not say anything. I need this place as storage for all my stuff while I'm gone!
This weekend will include:
no funk parties
time with God (on the beach)
worship in Portuguese
devotions in Portuguese
dreams in Portuguese...
And this is all good, because next week will most probably be trying. I have an appointment on Wednesday to interview for the school I'm interested in attending. I've got to make a decision soon! While that is a little nerve-wracking, it's not the trying part.
This is. We found out on Monday that three of our friends from the streets were arrested for assault. It's a murky story, but in any case, they WERE assaulting this someone, whether it was for money or his cellphone or just to be plain mean. We're going to try to visit them in the next week or two. I have never been inside a Brazilian prison. I hoped to never have to go, and not just because of the humiliation women must go through, a strip search and squat over a mirror (according to other ladies that have gone to visit husbands or friends). Brazilian prisons are notoriously awful. The boys were beaten up pretty severely before they were taken away; I can't imagine what they're going to look like. We'll have to bring them food, because, well, if we don't, who will? And probably toiletries. I'm most upset with B- for his part in this. Just the other week, he'd gone to church with Rich. He was dreaming big. He was fulfilling his probation without incident. He's the sort of kid who helps old ladies down stairs and watches out for the blind in the middle of a crowd, because if he doesn't help them, who will? He learned some sign language to communicate with the deaf boy that hangs around with the street kids. And yet. And yet. He'd gang up on a guy with Thug Number One and Thug Number Two because the man appeared gay. It's beyond me.
I expect disappointment in the work that I do. I know all the statistics, I know what I'm up against, and I do it because I love Jesus and I know he loves these kids. Knowing that was enough to give me love for them...and now it's deeply ingrained. But just when I let the barriers down, when I get to know a different group of kids, when I start investing in someone and caring about their future...something happens like this. Disappointment doesn't even begin to express what I feel, what I'm sure some of the other street workers are feeling right now.
There are obvious spiritual parallels; I'm sure God has this on a daily basis with me, this high-expectations-shattered-in-a-moment experience. But it cuts deeply when it's in the flesh. Thankfully, these wounds are only deep enough to push me forward, to say "I love you enough to keep wanting your best," and go into that prison (if they'll let me), to give a hug to a seriously screwed up young man and put a little food in his stomach and let him know that we're disappointed but unfazedly NOT GOING ANYWHERE. He's stuck with us!
Even so. It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks. This HAD to happen just when I'm in my last few weeks before heading back to the States, didn't it?