Saturday, March 24, 2012

The time has come....

Well, here I am. Its the Saturday before I move back home to good ol'Kearney, Mo, at the cutest coffee shop in Bridgeport... writing one of my last blogs (well, until my next adventure......) This week is my last week at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation! I will be driving back home on Friday. Such a bitter sweet feeling. To say this experience has changed my life.... is an understatement. There are so many things that I have learned and that I have realized. Situations I never imagined being in and feelings felt that I never thought possible.

RECAP of the past 7 months (list form):
  • Cubs game
  • Solider field  (NIU game)
  • Circle training in Dayton, OH
  • Teaching a girl how to read -- (somewhat successful, somewhat not)
  • Tutoring a boy for his GED (ummm kind of a success, but he is back in jail now)
  • Tutoring a boy in his community college classes (success)
  • Meeting with a boy to "prepare," him for GED courses
  • Trip to Selina, OH and Dayton with some of the boys to see the art show titled, "Kin Killing Kin." Such a moving and wonderful experience-- Seeing men from the hood, turn into little boys on a farm.
  • Authentic delicious Mexican food-- best Taco's I have ever had and Tamales I have ever had in my life
  • Explain why I am here... "You haven't received anything from society yet, you are young. Why are you volunteering? Most volunteer's do it to give back, but if you haven't received, how do you give if you haven't received yet?"--anonymous boy
  • corrupt education
  • segregation
  • discrimination
  • corrupt police
  • Halloween regulation
  • Swap O'Rama-- craziest flea markets I have ever been to
  • Death-- RIP David
  • Gang violence-- (Everyday)
  • Shootings.... especially with the weather getting warmer
  • learning gang lines so I can drive boys down the "safe," streets.
  • Christmas
  • Starvation
  • Trader Joe's donations once a week
  • Desperation
  • fluffy scrambled eggs-- I have been dubbed the best scrambled eggs maker
  • Teaching the boys how to play ping-pong theeeen getting killed playing them after
  • Getting money taken out of my purse
  • Having one of the best Birthdays I have had in a LONG time
  • Going to the Cook County Juvenile Delinquent center-- once a week
  • Learning how to play spades like a pro... from kids in Juvi
  • Drugs
  • Getting lost in Chicago... at least once a week
  • Learning the public transportation system (man I will miss it SOO much!)
  • Love
  • Going to a women's prison to meet and visit with a woman who was given life without parole as a Juvenile.
  • Following (the above's) case, meeting with her legal team as the work towards clemency. (Her hearing is at the beginning of April!!!)
  • Understanding (the above's) story
  • Shattered hope's and dreams
  • Making hope's and dreams
  • A trip to get someone a new license where I was the minority (by far)
  • becoming a mother for the afternoon, taking two boys to get there Senior picture outfits
  • Being declared a "God-Sister," and a stylist/manager for an upcoming rap artist
  • Stories, stories and more stories.
There are so many stories in this neighborhood. So many circumstances and lessons. I feel like I could sit and talk about Chicago for hours. To wrap it up into a quick sentence or two, or to even try to explain my time here is hard. You can tell, but you can not cause a feeling. Or at least the feelings I have about being here. So, I will  just stick with... It has been an amazing time and experience :)

So, whats next eh? That is a great question... Who wants to buy me a house in Kansas City so that I can open it as a home/temporary living situation for boys who live in Chicago? With this house, PBMR can send me two or three boys at a time. They can get out of the Chicago neighborhood and actually make something of themselves (new rant). Even if you want to get out of the neighborhood here you have about a 5% success rate. If you are gang related, you cannot take the public transportation to a job. There is to much risk of being jumped and owning a car is obviously not possible (legally). Get a job close to home? Can't, if they have any kind of a record, good luck. Go to school? Nah, the community college's are basically an equivalent to my high school experience. And at this point in our country, an associates is basically the same as a high school diploma. What do these boys want? A place where they can get out, away from this world a world that makes it nearly impossible to make it. Or simply to walk down a street, any street without the threat of a drive by. If they can get out, go somewhere else and become successful in a safer environment, they could actually be successful. Then once it gets started it could grow. The one who live there first move out to their own home/apartment, become mentors for the new ones coming in and and and.... see, it could work. So.... like I said, who wants to buy a house in Kansas City with a couple of bedrooms? And a little bit of funding to get it started.  I can find them jobs! I can make it work! It could work...... hey I can still dream right?

Reality: Currently the job search is ON. Case manager positions here and there. A couple of interviews set up. So, time shall tell. In the meantime, I will be moving back in with some fabulous roommates, my parents :)

But, I'm 23... only 23 and I have so much life to live and so many dreams to live out. I feel like I am just at the beginning.... So, stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment