Sunday, March 26, 2006

The cris-ortunity of a lifetime

In an early episode of The Simpsons, little Lisa explained to Homer that the Japanese have one word that means both CRISIS and OPPORTUNITY.

Believing that his daughter couldn't possibly know what she was talking about, Homer consdescendingly patted her head, saying, "Yes, Lisa, cris-ortunity."

This week just gone has been a full seven days of cris-ortunities at Blue Dragon. I'm not even sure how to explain... or where to begin...

We're all exhausted now; that much is certain! And lots of good things have either happened, or are in the making. To summarise:

- As my last blog mentioned, the nine cases of runaway boys have all been resolved - and all but one has had a happy ending. This has taken up hundreds of "man (and woman) hours" and a lot of emotional energy, and we are all very happy to see the kids in much better conditions. No more sleeping under bridges!

- We had about four robberies last week - I say "about" because there may be more than I don't yet know of! Two of them were by a young man named Tien, who we caught; and two were by one of our own boys. This boy - I'll call him "Binh" - is a drug addict, and I have written about him before. He's very special to me, and has had the most awful life you can imagine. I would probably try to kill the pain with drugs, too, if I was in his position. But he's never stolen from us before - this was very odd behaviour for him. It turns out he has plummeted to depths he's never been to before, and was desperate for money. Realising what he had down, however, he first tried to hide from us but we wouldn't let him; so he has come clean and wants to join a rehab program. We are in the process of making that happen... I think we need the entire blog world to cross their fingers and toes that this will happen, and succeed.

- We had 13 - yes, 13! - student visitors from United World College in Singapore throughout the week. They spent their days cleaning walls, painting, playing with kids, teaching photography and IT, having parties... It was so much fun for our kids, and I know the students had a ball too. Back to a (slightly) quieter center tomorrow...

- On the fun and games side: Our kids were also treated to Laser World on Monday, thanks to UNIS; and bowling on Friday, thanks to Rachel Wardle and Phil Vargas. Then this evening, we started a new activity with the kids - a Hip Hop dance club! Big thanks to volunteer Jen and the Big Toe dance group.

The coming week already promises to be demanding. If "Binh" really does want to join a rehab program, we'll need to get that happening on Monday or Tuesday. And some of our kids have already told me that they have met some more runaway children, and have invited them to come see us.

Demanding or not, I wouldn't have it any other way...

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