Sunday, May 29, 2011

Something like a phenomenon

We returned this week for R’s brother. A promise I had made, even though there is always a risk that sibling feelings are not always reciprocated: one will not inevitably follow the other’s path and leave the street. Sometimes, it appears, blood is not thicker than water. But in this instance (by God’s inexplicable grace), this was not the case.

In spite of my endless failings, Renilson and I have become a rather effective team. After a lacuna of almost six months, we are once again confronted by new groups of young children (often more girls than boys) on the streets. By way of example, our new brothers (R + W) have never met our older ones (G + M) - sorry about the initials - because they arrived on the street, the same transit terminal only fifteen minutes from the house, only a month ago. Enough time for smokes, weed and glue, but not the harder stuff.

W is unusually quiet for his age, with serious eyes that often get locked in a frozen gaze. A smile (captured above) and high-pitched giggle when tickled on the ribs are precious rarities. Whatever happened to this brave young man? We have some clues already from R (with whom he left home). All that to come. For now, reuniting him with his younger brother at the house was like a Kodak Moment™, and one that I will hold onto when I contemplate the value of my service, my contribution.

And so, once again, the complex dynamic of the rescue house alters, as pecking orders change and new friendships (such as they can be called) are forged in an often troubled and volatile context.

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