So I went to the Baptist orphanage on Saturday. It was good. It obviously made me think about a lot of things and be thankful for my life and family. But it also made me realize that I need to do more for other people. When I went back home, my father’s girlfriend told me how nice she thought it was that I had gone there and all… But the truth is that the two or three hours I spent there might have barely made any difference in those kids’ lives. So I want to figure out and organize a plan to go there and help them out – and I mean really help them out, not just visit once in a while – regularly.
While we were there, a woman came to the orphanage saying she wanted to see her kid. She’s an illegal immigrant from Angola who came here with a tourist visa and got pregnant from a Brazilian man. Now she wants to have a permanent visa, but she got kicked out from the shelter she was living in and lost custody of her baby – without which she cannot obtain her permanent visa.
The orphanage did not let her take the baby, of course, and that was when she got completely hysterical and started yelling and beating the women from the orphanage who were there. They had to ask three or four of the guys who had come with us to immobilize the woman – and they all got scratched and spit on. One of the women from the orphanage got hit on the face. The police took a while to get there, but eventually they did arrive and take her away. My sister in law and I helped hide her baby inside the kitchen while she was still in there, in case she escaped from the boys and decided to take him away. He didn’t cry, not even once. Such a nice little kid. All of them seemed to be good kids – although some of them obviously had behavioral issues.
Before I got there I knew that what I was about to see there would be completely different from what I am used to see on a day-to-day basis. But I guess you can never entirely predict or imagine something if you haven’t witnessed yet. There was this one kid, probably between eight and ten years old, who was playing soccer with a friend of mine, very friendly and all, and then my friend askes him:
– So hey, I hear you’re an ace, huh?
And the word for ace in Portuguese is craque, whose pronounciation sound very much like the one of the word crack.
So suddenly the boy goes all serious:
– No. I aint no cack. I aint smoke no crack.
My friend must have been like: oh shit.
– No, I meant if you’re a really good soccer player.
– I’d rather you ask if I’m the world’s best soccer player.
– Well, then, are you the best player in the world?
– Yes, I am.
I guess that made me realize that we really do live in two different worlds.
And for some reason this discrepancy makes me want to be a part of that other reality. I just gotta figure out a way.