Thursday, February 18, 2010

Being Useful

Soccer Championships

I returned to CENIT today for a visit and discussion about how I can be most useful in a volunteer capacity. The purpose of the charity is to help the children working on the streets by offering them educational and vocational opportunities, and intervening in families where needed. When I visited last week, I had spoken with the resident nurse, who suggested that I meet with children and identify those in need of psychiatric care. I did not feel comfortable (even though I did say yes) and expressed my interest in working with the parents, who likely have significant issues with alcoholism and depression. I met with the Ecuadorian psychologists today and at first we discussed working with the parents in groups, then this moved to giving more didactic lectures to the parents about alcoholism and depression, and finally, to providing information to the psychologists and social workers, so that they can start therapeutic groups. The concern was that if I started a group, what would happen when I left if no one knew how to continue with it. I stressed the need for Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous/ AlAnon, because there are so few resources for the people of the area, and these are self directed, self governed groups that do not cost money and are thus affordable.

I walked out of CENIT wondering what I had gotten myself into! What have I agreed to do?!?! On the other hand I feel challenged and excited about the project. I spoke with Amparo, and asked for her help in organizing my talks, and making handouts. Yikes! I still feel overwhelmed.

I will be translating for the Canadian orthopedic specialists for the next few weeks, so I have time to get organized and prepare something.

I wonder if I am committing to so much because I miss my work?

The Trole system is remarkable. I was able to get from one end of this very spread out city to the other, and arrive at Maya's school in time to watch her play her soccer game. She is one of three girls on the team, and is benched most of the game. Boys and girls certainly play soccer very differently. Boys are after the ball constantly, while Maya waits for the ball to come directly to her. I found myself in 'soccer mom' form, yelling and encouraging and caring far too much about the outcome of the game (1:0 for Einstein).

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