* GUATEMALA * * * * * * * * Dick Rutgers *

An ongoing journal of life as a Missionary in Guatemala. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

My Photo
Location: Chimaltenango, Guatemala

I work in Guatemala with Hope Haven international and Bethel Ministries. Along with my friends Chris and Donna Mooney and their family, we share the love of Jesus in various ways. Although giving out and maintaining wheelchairs is our primary ministry, we are involved in many other things as well. Building houses, feeding the hungry, providing education to handicapped children in orphanages and villages, and hosting a camp for the handicapped are just a small part of the things that God has given us the privilege of getting involved in. For several years now I have been keeping daily journals. Once a week I try to post new journals and pictures. My e-mail is dick@dickrutgers.com Guatemala Cell Phone # 502 5379 9451 USA Phone # 360 312 7720(Relays free to Guatemala)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Journal May 23 - 29

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I keep hearing reports that the economy in the USA is really taking a tumble and I am hearing about people that are having to do without a lot of the necessities of life that they have been accustom to having. Some are having to do away with things like Internet or even cable TV. Others are considering getting rid of their second car or possibly even moving into a less expensive home. I even heard of a family that had to give up their yearly membership to their local health club. Don’t get me wrong because I know that there are a lot of people in the USA that are having to tighten up their belt strings a lot further than that, and my prayers are with them. However compared to the 2 families that we visited today I think that the majority of us are richly blessed and should perhaps be counting our blessings rather than out losses.

The first family that we visited today is one that the team that was here built a house for this week. I guess by most of our standards we would not consider a 12 X 25 tin shed a house but don’t go telling this to this family of 6 who consider this a mansion compared to the corn stalk and black plastic dwelling that they had lived in.

(click on any picture to enlarge)

Today the team only stopped by to give the family some groceries and say a final goodbye. But for mother and the 2 youngest children who were not out trying to see if they could find a little work so that the family could put at least something on the table tonight, it was an occasion to once again thank God and the team of Americans for the mansion that they provided this family with. Mom just could not say enough to express her gratitude. She even had each member of the team write down their names so that she could pray for each one of them every day. No this family does not have cable TV or Internet. Guess it would not do much good with out electricity anyway. As for a second car, as far as I know they don’t even own a bicycle. And who needs a health club membership when there is water to carry and fire wood to gather. Why than did this family seem to be so happy and so grateful for something we would likely only use to house a farm animal in.
Next we stopped off at a home that I try to visit at least once a month. Mom is to sick to work and it seems that even though the oldest of the 4 children has a job, working 3 days a week for $3 per day just does not cover all of the families expenses. Even though the one small room that they rent in a nearly vacant building is only 250 Q ($31 per month) that only leaves the family with $5 per month for food and clothing. I guess that since the second to the oldest child does not go to school she could go out and try to find work but jobs are hard enough to get even when you are not blind. The third to the oldest child is the next in line to be the family breadwinner but she would really like to get a few more years of schooling in before she attempts to enter the work force. It is my wish as well that we can keep this fourth grader and her 6 year old brother in school for at least a few more years. We had prayer with the family and then took up an offering. It just didn’t seem fit to pray for them and then leave with out doing some thing other than saying “God bless you. Stay warm, well fed, and healthy.” My friend James had something to say about that. James 2:15 & 16

Just a few weeks ago I was told that some investments that I had made might not be there for me in my golden years. Come to think of it I guess these are my golden years and I am far from starving and I love what I am doing so how can I do anything less than the 2 families that we visited this morning, and praise God for how richly He has blessed me.

The rest of the day was spent at Hermano Pedro. It was good to see the kids but I was saddened to see that even though Jessica talked with the care givers about not keeping kids like Ervin in bed 18 hours a day, things had gotten worse instead of better. When we arrived at 11 AM we found Ervin locked in his cage like crib. It was evident that he had not been taken out of bed at all today and also evident that they had no intention of getting him out of bed. I said nothing to the care givers when I took him out of bed but by the look on my face they all knew that I was going to say something to somebody this coming Monday. I am also going to try to do something about the way that they are force feeding several of the kids. Even though they were just reprimanded for it last week the nurse that fed Jo Jo, who has severe breathing problems, managed to squeeze a full bottle of milk into him in approximately 30 seconds. The way that he gagged and coughed during and after the feeding indicated that a lot of the milk went directly into his lungs.

Even though they are still not allowing visitors into Hermano Pedro for another week or so, I got special permission to bring a group of 12 medical students along into the orphanage with me today, so that we could repair and replace some children’s wheelchairs. Before going there I reminded the group that even though we were being allowed into the orphanage because I had promised them that we would work on wheelchairs the kids were the mane reason that we were there and that they needed love even more than wheelchairs. Guess what? This outstanding teem of young people managed to give the kids both. Even though they fixed and replaced a number of wheelchairs each and every one of them took the time to love on the kids. Thanks team, it was a pleasure spending the week with you!

Yours in Christ: Dick

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Since I wrote far more yesterday than I usually do on the weekends I will make up for it today by keeping this one short.

I had a good weekend.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Monday, May 25, 2009

This morning I went to Hermano Pedro with the intention of swimming with the kids. Monday is the day that they are suppose to do pool therapy with the kids but it seems that it materializes only about once a month at best. The pool was full of water and the temperature was perfect but I was told that today’s reason for not swimming was because the pool had a leek in it. Like I said it was full of water but perhaps there was a fear that it would suddenly get worse and one of the kids would get sucked away.

Since there was no swimming I decided to go in and see if Ervin was once again locked in his crib. I was happy to see that his crib was empty so I went out into the court yard to see if he was there. Sure enough there he was sitting in his wheelchair leaning up against a post. Well actually he was tied into his wheelchair with a bed sheet and his wheelchair was tied to the post. When I asked why I was told that there was a fear that he would get into the flowers. I guess a few days ago he pulled one out of the ground. Heaven forbid a poor flower should be allowed to suffer like that so the intention were to leave Ervin tied to the post until he was put to bed in a few hours. That may have been the intention but he quickly became my mechanics helper for the morning and he had a ball, and never gave mean ounce of trouble. Ervin and I managed to get several wheelchairs repaired and even gave a new one to Gustavo.

At around noon I headed back to my house and picked up Caser. It was actually Abner’s turn to go some where with me but he and most of the other kids are having exams this week. Caser goes to a different school and does not have exams until next week so his teacher said that it would be all right if he missed one day of school. We are spending the night in Mazatinango and plan on meeting up with Roland Elf in the morning.

Yours in Christ: Dick

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

After a huge breakfast Caser and I headed out to meet up with Roland in a town that is near the village that Catarina, one of our new students lives in. When we reached the town I phone Roland and discovered that he was in a village about a half hour from there. Seems that the parents of the 2 children that were planning on going with us later today to see the doctors at Hermano Pedro, were getting a bet hesitant on weather or not they wanted to go after all. This is an area that was hit hard during the war in the late seventies and early eighties, so there is still a lot of mistrust of foreigners. It was decided that we would postpone seeing Catarina until later today and go with Pedro, one of the local men that Roland has become friends with and talk to the two families. As things turned out Pedro knew a lot of other people that had clubfoot or other problems that he wanted us to see so we ended up making a lot of unscheduled visits along the way.

One aldea where we stopped off and visited a little girl that could not walk was one of the poorest that I have ever been in. Nearly every house there was made from either rusty pieces of tin or black plastic. One bright spot in the aldea was a small lean-to structure that served as a makeshift classroom for 5 or 6 kids. I doubt that they had ever seen any white people before and the they were quite amused that Rolland and I had to duck way down to go through the doorway of the house of the little girl. After visiting a few more families I said that if we were still going to hire a teacher for Catarina and get the two families to Hermano Pedro before 6 PM that we should do that and schedule few days with Pedro in the near future to see all the people whom he knew that were in need of surgery or wheelchairs. Pedro agreed and promised that he would have plenty of people for us to visit the next time that we came. I am quite sure he will live up to his promise.

As it turned out once we met with Balanc’s parents they were put at ease and wholeheartedly agreed to go with us. Daniel a little boy that I mistakenly referred to as Dario in my April 29 journal had been scheduled to go with us today but his mother had been ill so they could not come along with us. I am still praying that we can get them in to the hospital at a later date because Daniel seems like a prime candidate for clubfoot surgery. Pedro took us to meet another family though. This was the family of Elizabeth, a beautiful 17 year old girl that has 2 clubfeet. Even though she and her family were extremely shy and did not speak any Spanish, once Pedro explained to them why we were there they had there bags packed and were ready to go along with us. Elizebth can walk short distances but knowing that there is even a slight chance that surgery can possibly help, she and her mother decided that even though they were extremely nervous about going with us they were not going to pass up this opportunity of a life time.

Roland and I promised both families that we would be back to pick them up in a few hours but before taking them to Antigua we still had to go to get things set up. We still had to go to Catarina’s village and get her schooling set up. Manwell the man from Catarina’s village was waiting for us. He had already located a lady that thought in a nearby school. This lady proved to be a Godsend. Her interest in working with Catarina was remarkable. I have little doubt that even though Catarina is 20 years old and has never had any schooling Antonia, the new teacher will work hard on getting Catarina mainstreamed into a regular school in a year or two. Catarina was thrilled with the prospect of finally being able to learn to read and write. She was equally as pleased with the wheelchair that we brought for her. Up until now 20 year old Catarina had to get around by dragging herself around with her hands. Antonia, who I am quite certain, will be a real advocate for Catarina, asked us if we could see to it that Catarina got to see a doctor some time in the not to distant future. Catarina has never been to a doctor in her life.

We managed to get the group checked into Cassia Defay in time for supper. Casser was quite shy whenever there was any one in the car besides myself but when he and I stopped off at Piccadilly for supper he thanked me over and over again for taking him along. I thought that the highlight of his trip would have been staying at a motel that had a swimming pool but it sounded like the part that he enjoined the most was that I let him do all of the necessary adjustments on Catarina’s wheelchair. Could it be that this 14 year old is becoming one of those weird people that that find the most joy in serving others? I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 1:04 PM

I am at the mechanic’s shop. My car is once again loosing power so I have decided to have it looked at. Today I decided to go with Elie. He is the honest inexpensive mechanic that I use most of the time. Every now and then I take my car to some one who seems a bit more professional than Elie but I usually end up finding that I the quality of work by one of the so called professionals is not any better and the price is at least 10 times higher. Besides that I do not have to look over Elie’s shoulder all of the time just to make sure that I am not getting ripped off. I have had to go out and help him find a bolt or even a car part that he accidentally dropped into the dirt a time or 2 but I think that Elie believes that a clean shop is an expensive shop. He even unlocked his small office that he seldom uses and after sweeping some of the dirt off from his desk I have set up shop here and have gotten caught up on several days of journaling. I just heard some one say the equivalent of “Oh No!” in Spanish so I guess I will go out and see what it is that got dropped into the dirt this time.

6:01 PM

My car is fixed. Elie worked on it for over 4 hours and had to disassemble he turbo but he finally found the problem. While he was at it he changed the oil, oil filter, Fuel filter, and he and his family had me join them for lunch. Not a bad deal for $50. As far as I know he didn’t loose any parts while putting my car back together either; at least nothing all that important because my car is running great and so far the steering has not gone out like it did the last time he worked on it.

May 28, 2009
On occasion I ask friends who come to Guatemala if they would like to do journal entries for me. Today I asked my (friend) Pat Duff if she would like to do the journal for June 28 and 29 and she gladly accepted. After looking over her first few paragraphs I am not all that sure that my asking her to do this was a good idea. I thought about editing some the places where she talks about my forgetfulness and my driving but I figured that those of you who truly know me will assume that they are exaggerations, and those of you who know Pat will know for a fact that they are not true. Besides that correcting her spelling mistakes took me forever so you can only imagine how long it would take me to edit everything that she wrote and put write down what really happened.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Part One (According to Pat)

Dick called about 8 this morning, to tell me we would be leaving later than expected—he needed to wait for his clothes to dry! Why did this not surprise me? I’m in Guatemala. . .it’s Dick. . .’nuff said.

About 10 he called, saying he and the boys, Abner and Daniel, were leaving Chimaltenango and would meet me at Pollo Campero’s in about 15 minutes. So, I went, caught a tuk-tuk, and beat them there by about 5 minutes. Was feeling pretty self-satisfied at getting a suitcase and a backpack down there by myself—until Dick confessed that he thought he’d driven right past the house where I’m staying! Why am I not surprised? I’m in Guatemala. . .it’s Dick. . .’nuff said! (According to Pat) (Pat originally asked me to meet her in front of the big church in Antigua. Do you have any idea how many big churches there are in Antigua? . . . .'nuff said.)

After stowing my stuff in the back, we were off for the area around Santa Rosa. The two and a half hour drive was beautiful, and quite restful for me. . .of course, I wasn’t driving. This was actually, though, one of the calmest trips I’ve been on with Dick (Older people frighten easily)
—no real narrow misses and I only have a few more grey hair from his passing two to four vehicles at one time. (Pat failled to mention that the vehicles that I passed were going the opposite direction.)
The trip gave us a good chance to catch up, as Abner and Daniel were busy with their MP3 players in the back seat. I not sure they said more than 2 words in the car the entire way. (My boys have been taught not to interrupt a woman when she is talking.) Boy, my kids NEVER traveled like that! We took a fairly leisurely pace, even having time to stop for ice cream in Esquintla.

Arriving in Barbarena we stopped at our hotel, checked in, had lunch, and headed for Chilapa to pick up Erik. He runs a bicycle repair shop near the home of one of the families we were to visit today. Erik has invested much time and effort attempting to help the people in his area, and was instrumental in setting up a wheelchair distribution there a while back. He is a genuinely kind man. He rode with us up to Wilmer’s house. Wilmer is a great little guy who Dick met at this wheelchair distribution. Together Dick and Erik were able to find a teacher to work individually with Wilmer since he experienced too much ridicule when he tried to attend school.

As we got to the house, Wilmer greeted us at the gate, riding a small trike that he seems to prefer to his wheelchair when in the house. We had a short time to visit with him and his sisters and brothers before Mama returned home. She could not wait to show us Wilmer’s school work, which was top-notch. His teacher was coming up with things for him to do that were not only at his beginning reading level, but age-appropriate and even interesting. We then set off to pay Betty, the teacher, who we were told lived only a short distance up the road. Now, you have to realize that time and distance are measured differently in Guatemala than in the States. I’m not quite sure what their unit of measurement is in reality, but, let’s just say that a “short” distance tired me out (especially since it seemed to be all uphill). And I’m not sure if it’s the altitude or the proximity to the equator, (Have you considered Age?) but 10 minutes takes a lot longer down here.

I considered offering the little boy my suspenders
but I knew that Pat was following me with her camera
and my need for suspenders was as great as the little boy's .

After Dick asked me if I was going to have a heart attack at least twice, we finally arrived at Betty’s home, to find she was not there. After talking with her sister-in-law, it was decided that we would leave Betty’s pay with Wilmer’s mom. We also discovered how Betty had chosen to work more hours than she knew she was being paid for, because Wilmer was willing to work so hard and was excited about this opportunity to learn. I’m sad I didn’t get to meet this dedicated and creative woman. For some reason, the walk back seemed much quicker (downhill?). After we discussed arrangements for Wilmer’s trip to see the doctors at Hermano Pedro, Maria, his mom, asked if there was any way his younger brother Walter could possibly see a doctor also. Dick and I had been discussing how to approach this topic, since Walter appears to have a number of medical problems that need attention. Once again, God came through for us, and Mom herself asked for this help. It’s great to offer to help people, but it’s also easy to come across as “know-it-all” American’s that it’s better when the request comes from the person themself. When this was settled, Maria had one last request before we went—she knew of a little girl in her area who could not walk and didn’t have a wheelchair. Would we have time to measure her for one? Well, if you know Dick, you know the answer was an immediate “yes.”

Maria went with us to show the way, knowing full well she would have to walk home the distance it took us about 15 minutes to drive. I am continually humbled by the willingness of people who have so little to do so much to help others. How she and her young daughter would cover the distance home, I couldn’t imagine. Then there was Erik, who left his shop with no notice in the middle of the day to go with us. Here I’d been complaining about the walk to Betty’s house. Forgive me, Lord, for my addiction to my own comfort. Our activities had taken us quite a bit longer than planned, and I was a bit disappointed that I would not get to meet Byron until tomorrow. Byron was the deaf child I’d brought down a communication system for. Little did I know what God had in mind.

Thursday, May 28, 2003

Part Two (According to Pat) (I read over this section and it seems to be a bit more truthful. I think that the 2 hours nap that Pat had between part one and two may have helped her memory.)Tonight I’ve learned the meaning of the pure joy brought by the surprises our God has in store for us. The drive back to our hotel took us directly past Byron’s house, but we’d decided that it was too late to stop. Dick had promised Abner and Daniel that they could swim this evening, and he was not about to break his word. As Dick was pointing out Byron’s home to me, who should just happen to be playing in front of the house in the approaching darkness? You guessed it, Byron. Of course, now there was no way we could NOT stop. Of all the kids Dick writes about, this one is unique. He and Dick have a special “heart bond” that you can see on both their faces when they are together. So together they would be. We’d planned on stopping only for a few minutes to say hi. Byron’s family graciously invited us in, and Byron immediately rushed to show Dick his schoolwork. Grandma explained that though Byron could not attend the school his brother does, they found a teacher at another school willing to work with him. For the second time in one day, I was amazed at the dedication and skill of another Guatemalan teacher. This little one who could not hear was learning to read and write and count. How the teacher was teaching him this, I don’t know. I do know Byron is one bright little boy, who manages to communicate quite well with his family through a type of sign language they’ve developed. It seems he would be able to do anything he put his mind to. We’d told Grandma about the cards I’d brought to try to help Byron communicate more easily. She was very willing to have us try this, and we told her we’d be back the next day. As the conversation went on to Byron’s up-coming appointment at Hermano Pedro, Dick looked at me sheepishly (According to Pat) and asked what I thought of asking Grandma if Byron could come to spend the night with all of us at the hotel. (Actually I had Pat's welfare in mind I know that if we took Byron to the hotel with us Pat would be able to break away from working with Byron and go to here room for a nap every half hours or so.)
Since I wanted to be sure this was communicated in exactly the best way, I asked Abner to translate for us. Grandma immediately agreed and the next few minutes were spent frantically looking for appropriate clothes for him to wear, and having him wash up. It was heart-warming to see Grandma and Byron’s aunts scurrying around to get him ready. He is truly loved and cared for by this family. And the depth of their concern for him made their willingness to entrust him to us for the evening all the more touching.
As we walked to the car, I don’t know who was happier, Dick or Byron. I guess it really doesn’t matter. This was my first experience of pure joy tonight, watching them cross the road hand in hand.

After a quick supper in the hotel’s great restaurant, it was decided that it was still not too late to swim. So off to the pool we went. Byron didn’t seem too accustomed to swimming, and was playing by himself in the children’s pool while the big guys swam in the “deep” one. Since I really don’t swim, I went over to sit with him. He was so excited he couldn’t contain himself, and made every effort to show me every trick he could think of. His delight was contagious. This was my second dose of pure joy for the night. After a bit, Byron’s confidence grew and he was willing to go with Dick into the deep water. More and more he relaxed in Dick’s protective grasp. More and more he became willing to try new things, until he was totally comfortable taking a running leap off the side of the pool to be caught up by Dick before he would go underwater.

Watching his total abandonment and trust in Dick was the third time I felt pure joy this night. Oh, that I would trust my heavenly Father half as much as this little one trusted Dick. In a few minutes, Byron got cold, and he and Dick went up to change and watch TV. Since the night was still and the water warm, I decided to stay down and watch Abner and Daniel play their own brand of “water soccer.” Abner had worked so hard today translating for us when I felt unsure of myself. It was refreshing to watch him and Daniel just being kids. Their pleasure in their game renewed my heart. I enjoyed the time getting to know them a little bit more. Their acceptance of me touched me. My final gift of pure joy for the evening was floating at the side of the pool, hearing their laughter and thanking God for the day. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Friday, May 29, 2009 (According to Pat)

As I was slowly waking at about 6:30 (more like 9:30) this morning, I was jarred to immediate alertness by a LOUD banging on my door. I jumped up, threw on my skirt, and leapt to the door ready to strangle Dick who I’d assumed was just being obnoxious. Throwing open the door ready to pounce, I was greeted by Byron’s smiling face, motioning for me to come with them to breakfast. I hurriedly dressed and we walked down the extremely steep hill to the restaurant. I swear, everything in Guatemala is on at least a 60° angle! (15° at best)

Being much younger, Byron (and Dick) ran ahead of us (me). As we entered the restaurant, Dick and I saw this little guy who could not speak had already gotten the attendant to turn on the computer for him! What independence. He had watched a little boy playing on it the night before. We helped him find some free games on the internet, but he wanted little if any help figuring out how to play them. He made it extremely clear that he could do this himself! It appeared that Byron must have had some opportunity in the past to use a computer. After checking out a number of games, he did condescend to taking turns with a motorcycle game with Dick. We let him play until his breakfast arrived. Then it took the full willpower (stubbornness?) of two grown people to convince one little boy that he really did want to eat more than he wanted to play the computer. (Turning off the monitor helped, too.) Thankfully, we averted a tantrum this time. Once again at breakfast, Byron showed his independence. I’d forgotten to order him something to drink, but that was no problem. He just took the cup Dick was not using, poured himself a cup of coffee, and added two heaping teaspoons of sugar to it! Tasting it, he made a sour face, and added a third for good measure. And when the waitress returned to see if we wanted anything else, he very ably communicated to her that he would like a glass of orange juice just like Dick’s! What a kid! Earlier this morning, Dick told me, Byron had figured out how to use the self-timer on Dick’s camera and had a great time taking pictures of himself with it. He has quite the aptitude at using electronics, it seems. He learned my camera instantly, and occupied himself by taking pictures of everyone in the restaurant this morning! After a quick swim, it was time to get to work at using his communication cards. I’d worried for weeks about how to communicate their use to a child who didn’t hear. This was all new to me. Silly me, Byron took to using them like a duck to water. He especially liked the photos I’d included of his family and Dick. With no instruction, he immediately made it clear that his favorite activity of those on the cards was kicking a ball. We practiced some with using the cards to request different types of candy and colors of crayons. It was clear, however, that he didn’t need practice, just the opportunity to use the cards in the real world. He ran off excitedly to show his new cards to Dick. With our work done, we headed back to the pool. The sun was shining warmly and it was a truly glorious day to be in the water. Dick, Byron and I tried to play a game of “keep away” against Abner and Daniel. With my inability to swim, and the water up to my chin, and the need for Dick to hold on to Byron to keep him from going under, Dick got quite the workout. And he now knows why I was usually the last one chosen (deservedly) for team sports in school! How the time flew so quickly, I don’t know, but all too soon it was time to check out. Dick and I talked about how this trip was nothing like we had expected—it was so much better than we thought it would be. Thank you, God, for this gift of recreation. I hadn’t realized how much I need to relax, have fun, and just laugh. Thank you, Dick and Byron, and Abner, and Daniel, for giving me so many opportunities to do just that! I couldn’t have picked four better men to travel with, even if the testosterone level in the car was a bit high at times.

Lunch at Campero’s was a bit challenging for our little guy. He’d seen the card I had with the Campero’s logo sitting on my bed, and he jumped right on it. It was clear that that was where he wanted to go for lunch. How do you say “no” to a little boy who finally was able to ask for what he wanted? So Campero’s it was! Walking in, Byron was excited to see some animal hats that should have come with the kids’ meal in a display case.
Yes, I said “should have come” because when our food came we discovered that the store was out of the hats and was substituting a little pokey-mon type stuffed character. Byron was obviously disappointed, and gave the toy to Dick. He ate his meal well, even if he and Dick did not display the best table manners, and was ready for dessert. Disappointment #2—this Campero’s didn’t have ice cream, even though there was a large sign advertising ice cream cones! This was VERY difficult to communicate to Byron, and after his earlier disappointment about the hats was almost too much for him to handle. We tried ordering him chocolate pie, offered him flan, but he would have none of it. It was ice cream or nothing! I stepped away from the table for a few minutes, and returned asking Dick if he wanted me to go to the “tienda” across the street to buy Byron a cone. With a scathing look, he informed me that that would NOT be happening as Byron had been pouting with his head on the table since I’d left. Knowing better than to argue with Dick (and being the submissive woman that I am) (Those who know Pat know the truth) we left without Byron having dessert. He continued to pout all the way to the car and until we pulled away from the curb. Then Dick remembered that he’d “promised” Byron that he could help “drive.” Motioning for him to sit on his lap, Dick helped Byron steer the car around the block. Byron actually did a pretty good job of doing most of it himself. I could not refrain, however, from asking Dick to explain to me the logic of refusing to give a child ice cream because he was pouting, and then allowing him to DRIVE A CAR while he was still pouting! Dick mumbled something about keeping promises, (I didn't mumble I think that pat was having problems with her hearing aid.) and I’m still waiting for a reasonable answer. (Seemed reasonable to me) This seemed to appease Byron, however.

We headed back home with Byron, all of us dreading the need to say good-bye. As soon as we got there, Byron showed his cards to Grandma, and demonstrated how to use them. I really wanted to meet the teacher who was willing to put so much effort into helping Byron, so asked where she lived.
Since it was only a few doors away, one of his aunts went to get her, and Julicia (the teacher) was with us in a few minutes. This beautiful young woman then explained to us all she was doing to help Byron learn. What was so amazing was that she didn’t seem to think she was doing anything unusual, let alone remarkable. Hopefully she now knows how much of a blessing she is to this little one, because we sure tried to tell her! I asked if they had a computer at her school, and she got a shocked look on her face, explaining that they did not even have electricity! Grandma also said that Byron had never used a computer. Dick and I were stunned. Evidently he had learned what he knew about computers from watching the little boy the night before in the restaurant. I’d give anything to know what his real ability level is, because he has to be a lot smarter than I am! Something tells me that this guy is going to “make it,” and probably do something really remarkable. He sure seems to have the ability to do so. Am still trying to figure out whether or not Byron is handicapped, despite his inability to hear. Seems to me he functions better than a lot of us who have full use of all of our senses!

Pat Duff

Thanks Pat: We had a great time as well and we are proud of ourselves for letting you pick on us so unmercifully with out retaliating. It was a great trip and we were glad that you were part of it.

Yours in Christ: Dick


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home