This past month there have been several surprises (is there ever a month without them though?) Two main ones really impacted me though.At school there is a man named Jorge (we all call him Don Jorge – like Mr. Horhay). He is a general services staff member. He is incredibly well-known around the school because he takes the kids to the nurse when they need to go for medicine, he refills our water jugs when we run out of water in the classroom, he brings the students and the teachers messages from the office, and he does countless other things. He finds missing lunch cards. He accepts student-made cookies even when he doesn’t want them. He smiles the sweetest of smiles. He corrects my Spanish in the kindest manner (or knows that I didn’t really understand what he just said, so he just lets it slide and then he goes to find my assistant and tells her instead). He has an amazing heart and is very loved by everyone at the school. This month he was hit by a drunk motorcyclist going 70 km/hr when he was crossing the street to enter the school at 5:50 in the morning. It was really, really, really bad. The doctors said he would never make it, but they did brain surgery anyway. He was resuscitated three times after surgery. The hospitals here are not anything like the hospitals at home. It is a third world country. For some of them it’s joked that you can go in just to visit and you’ll never come out because you’ll get an infection and die in there. Don Jorge was taken to a relatively decent one. The mood at school all week was very somber and all of the students and staff were praying nonstop. The most heartfelt prayers I’ve ever heard come from my students came that week. Don Jorge miraculously survived surgery, woke up, remembered most things, and was sent home a week later. I went to visit him at his house a few days later to take a meal and a book that my students had made for him called “Los Animales de Don Jorge” (Mr. Jorge’s Animals). He and his family live in a tiny tin house with no windows, a dirt floor, no fridge, a tarp to separate the bedroom from the entry, and we needed to hike up to it because the car couldn’t go up the path. He talked for half an hour about his testimony in this season and at the end of every sentence he would conclude with, “Thanks to God,” or “Praise God.” He said that before this accident he felt unknown to God and insignificant. And yet, when no one thought there was any possibility for survival, the doctors stood amazed that he survived and called it nothing short of a miracle. God deemed him significant and worthy enough for this miracle. He deemed him worthy of all of this love, support, and prayers that his school and church are pouring into him. He feels so grateful, blessed, and alive. We prayed with him and his family before we left, and I shared his story with my students the following day and they, too, were touched by his miracle. It has shaped all of us, formed us into a closer community, and reminded us of God’s goodness and power.
The other thing that influenced me was a wee little orphaned kitten. She was found in the music closet at school sick and beyond the point of hungry. Alex gave me permission to bring her home until she was healthy and a permanent home could be found for her. I named her Ely (I hoped Alex would just grow attached, too…!). Little Ely and the care that she required were so good for me. To see her growing stronger and more adventurous each day was wonderful. I had to give her up only a few days later, but wee Ely gave me purpose and joy in her sweet snuggles and cute mannerisms. It was such a simple thing, but really was a big part of my month.
Other adventures that happened this month:
I ran my first half marathon. We haven’t had city water for 6 days and counting. Uncle Richard came to visit me! I got to go up north to the mountains for the first time. I requested to move from Grade 1 to Grade 5 next year (and was accepted, so I’ve agreed to at least two more years!)