Saturday, July 28, 2012

Acampamento 2012 (part II)

I always find it fascinating to watch the boys interact with others outside the home. The children at the camp were from diverse backgrounds, but the boys remained so very independent of them (which shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering their previous lives on the street, where it is often a case of survival of the fittest). Not even the young brothers R and V remained together: in public as in private, any affection between them is rarely shown (even if - one can only hope - it is felt).

M continues with his little dialogues (or, rather, monologues) with a cheerful disregard of whether someone is listening or not. A quality I sometimes wish I shared.

V responds to a mild provocation with a not-so-mild left hook and finds himself on the receiving-end of a discipline by the coordinator of the camp. I like it when others do such a good job of disciplining. He even did the Brazilian equivalent of a praise sandwich, which went a little like this:
“So, V, what have you liked about the camp so far?”

 [ V responds, looking at the floor]

“Look up at me please, V. I understand there was a little confusion today and you responded to a provocation with a punch. Here at camp, we don’t tolerate violence of any nature, so how about we make a pact? I promise that you’re going to have the best week of your life, if you promise not to retaliate when provoked.” 

[ handshake ]
It’s a shame that V didn’t heed the warning. Two days later he had another meltdown and had to be secured again. Amid the customary writhing/punching/kicking, he bit me so hard that one of his milk teeth fell out.

Needless to say, that one won’t be going under the pillow.

An exhausting week, but very enjoyable due to the planning and brilliant execution. Driving home, looking into the rear-view mirror at the four boys slumped against each other, asleep, and then catching a glimpse of my own reddened eyes in the mirror, I was reminded of that scene in Vacation.

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