So I let out a big sigh, put on my headscarf and sunglasses and get on with it. The journey there was good; lovely even. The first bus that went by had room and was headed to the station. Thumbs up. I knew where I was when I got off at the station, found the bus I needed with no problems (thank you old man with a distinctive voice). Two thumbs up. Got off right where I needed to and only had to knock on the door 3 times to be let in. Was feeling better by this time already.
I go in and greet the couple of staff that were there. And soon realize that the situation is a much different one than it had been on Wednesday. Three adults there and…one kid. Family visiting day of course. Most of the boys do have family in the city. But there is a reason that all of these boys were on the streets–so they visit with the families and stay there during some holidays but it is not good or safe for any of them to stay with their families at this point. Maybe because of prostitution, no money for school or food. Stuff like that.
So the one boy that was there was “OJ”; the youngest and smallest of all the boys. He is super cute, pretty quiet, entertains himself really well, and is always covered in dust. I realize that little boys are always dirty and that this is the desert–dust is what it does. But even compared to the other boys he always looks like he has rolled around in the dirt. His mom is a prostitute and before they have let him go home to visit, but he came back and said some things that indicated he had seen too much. So he stays now on these days. It is sad really.
So I spent a few hours sitting with him and lining up Jenga pieces like dominos then pushing the line of them over. With the exception of a few words here and there from each of us this was done mostly in silence.
Of course, of course, I am happy I schlepped down the road to the bus and went today. I knew I would be. Like doing my taxes, push-ups, changing out of my pj’s in the morning, sometimes even blogging or showering (don’t judge me), or a zillion other things on any given day that you don’t feel like doing but you know you should, and that part of you wants to do it so you do it and all is peachy.
It was worth the 3 hours of transit and bus station time. Yeah, there was only one boy there today and it was not quite what C had in mind when she’d scheduled me to go. I’m not saying I rocked anyones world today; but I did at least occupy a little boy for and afternoon who’s friends all went to see their families and he couldn’t. Who would have just played alone all afternoon. We sat on the floor with ants, ticks, and mice skittering around. He smiled once, maybe twice. We accidentally knocked each others creations down several times. I had fun. I hope he did.
I love Mother Theresa’s words, that there are no great things–only small things done with great love. I can’t speak Arabic yet and I can’t even remember all the boys names because they are all way different than any names I am familiar with. But what I can do in these learning steps along the way I can do with great love. Yeah, I am sure the grumpy pants will make their way back soon enough. These things happen. But I will keep on trucking whether they are here or not. They don’t make the rules here!