Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fruit Snack Bribe

LONG STORY…Could’ve been shorter, but I want to remember the details.

Last night, I and two other Americans not on my team, were asked to watch a house full of sixteen boys. The crazy 16 are divided up into three rooms. Two rooms have 3 bunks. The third room has 2. Each bed is inhabited by a very young, highly energetic BOY!

I was asked specifically to go to the house sort of like this:

Mimi – I want you in this house, because these boys are wild. You speak Spanish & you are a familiar face. They might listen to you better…I mean, seriously, they walk all over the Gringos. The past two times we’ve done this the people gave up before their shift was over. Please will you take the house?

To be honest, I’ve spent times with these boys on an individual basis. I’ve tried to keep my distance when they are together because like they said…the boys are wild. It’s a bit intimidating!! Not joking.

I prepared myself mentally and thought of all the possible things we could do to keep them entertained in case it wasn’t bed time yet….and then thought – how the HECK am I going to get them in bed?

Luckily they were in their pj’s and it was bed time when I got there. The two Gringo’s who were also assigned to watch the kiddos were there and started process of getting them settled down…sort of. I mean they were trying!  Let me just say – THEY WEREN’T LYIN’! When they said they’ll walk all over the Gringos. THESE BOYS WERE IN “We’re BOSS HEAVEN”!

I thought I’d go into the wildest room first…but I wasn’t any help. AT ALL! LIKE NONE. Me…walking in…was like…like adding fuel to a flame. I made it an Aggie Bonfire! When I came in one of the boys started making really, REALLY loud farting sounds. Another boy was talking so loudly to the boy who was sitting on the bunk next to him and then belly laughing...And finally – this kid. OMG. This one kid jumps out of bed crawls towards me and starts barking like a dog! He even got close enough to my ankle and pretended he was biting my leg.

Of course, I thought – WHAT WAS I THINKING SAYING YES!!

I had to step out. I went to a quieter room (comparatively speaking) and the only thing I could think of to do was to say – “We’re going to play the quiet game. I want to see who can be the quietest while I sing to you guys. Whoever is the quietest will get a little pack of fruit snacks.”

I started to humming my favorite lullabye – Baby Mine.

These boys ate it up. They fell asleep and I was amazed it actually WORKED! But I was also thinking in the back of my head that this little trick was definitely not going to work for the room middle room.

I go to the back room and you hear the Gringos begging, “Por Favor Duerme.” The boys were on all fours in their beds and just smiling…Just having a good ol’ time!

When I go in I say the same thing except no humming this time. They just did it. The fruit snacks sold them quick!

I went back to the middle room and told them the same thing. One of them said – “You mean, that little pack of fruit snacks will be just for me? I don’t have to share? Like are when exactly are you giving this to us? Are you sure?”

They were a bit more skeptical. It took some serious hummin’ to get these boys settled down. Even after I left I could hear some rustling…giggles…steps back and forth to the restroom, even though they had just finished going.

After lunch, this afternoon, I went over and I had them count out with me in English sixteen little pouches of fruit snacks.

When we finished counting is when I heard a million things at one time:







A flood of hugs from every direction were coming at me. It took everything in me to keep from bursting out in tears of joy. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to keep this sacred promise and to gain some trust from these boys. It’s a big deal. It’s a HUGE deal.
These boys were just craving some TLC and I was there to give it to them. I'm speechless.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Books for Orphans, Part 2

To date, I have received $80.

I went ahead and placed an order on AMAZON and this is what I can't wait to get in the mail:


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Books for Orphans!

It's finally summer time and I have the chance to really focus on my 34 day trip to Guatemala.  I leave June 16 and return to the States on July 19. I know this is really short notice, but I'm trying to help Casa Bernabe start a library. I'm going to start now...take what I collect on my trip...and continue collecting books for the next time I go.

If you go to any school in America - you will find children's books. If you go to any household in America - you will more than likely find children's books. (I would like to say all households in America have children's books! Believe me I would!) I go down to Casa Bernabe and the only books I see the kids have is either their Bible or the workbook from school.

There is more reading to be had!!

I would love to collect the Spanish versions of our popular children's books.

For example - Who hasn't read Eric Carle's The Hungry Caterpillar? I'll bet you $20 bucks these kids haven't! Did you know that there's a Spanish version? YES! There is! It's called La oruga muy hambrienta! I want to get that book in these kids hands!!

Or how about a copy of Max Lucado's You are Special for kids who are really struggling with their status as a family of one. This book comes in Spanish, too - Tu eres especial.

AND O.M.G. - Even my 4th graders love when I read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in an exaggerated story voice. They'll even ask if they can read it to practice their reading voice during their free time. Yes, it comes in Spanish, too!

Don't forget chapter books. Even those come in Spanish....Because of Winn-Dixie and Charlotte's Web!

There's all sorts of things to learn from Children's Literature. So I'm asking for you to help me share my love of literature with these kids.

Here's how you can help:

  1. Purchase Spanish Books and send them to me...(or I can meet you somewhere if you're in Houston)
    (Amazon, B&N, Target has a small selection of Spanish books)
  2. Purchase Amazon Gift Cards and send them my way. I'll post the list of books I purchased.
  3. Contribute to my mission trip via www.houstonsfirst.org/missions
Send me an email if you need my address: mimi.marquez@gmail.com

Thanks so much for your contribution!