Saturday, March 3, 2012
I have no regrets
I've been avoiding writing this blog for a little while now. Sitting on my flight back to the US seems as good a time as any.
Some of you have been following the story of Peter Lojore, a street boy that I took to the hospital just before Christmas. When I first met Peter I knew that I had to do something for him. He was really in bad shape and no one else around cared enough to do anything. As the weeks went by I began to spend more time with Peter. I looked forward to my visits with Peter in town.
During those times I thought about more ways to help him. Peter seemed like he really wanted to get off of the streets. So a few weeks ago I began talking with my friend Daniel Juma who runs a children's home. Juma often takes in street boys and does very well with them.
Because Peter is a bit older we decided that it would be best to get Peter his own place just around the corner from Juma. We found a place that was in the right in our price range and got it set up. I needed a sponsor from back in the States to sponsor Peter monthly, at least until his leg was healed and he could begin to work again. I posted something on Facebook and within a day I had a sponsor for Peter. I got a hold of a bed for Peter and a few essential items and we moved him into his new home. It was such a joy to see Peter in a home and off of the streets.
About 3 days later my phone rang; it was Juma with some disappointing news. Peter ran away. After 3 days of living in a home, sleeping in a bed and eating food he had had enough and ran off. Peter took the sugar that he was bought and sold it to pay for transport back to town. I went to see him the next morning and he had so many excuses for running away. He began to tell me that Juma was conning me and ripping me off. Here's where I got really upset with Peter. I've known Juma for years now and he is one of the most honorable men I've ever met. I gave Juma some money to pick things up and without me asking, he always presented me a receipt. There is no way he was conning me. Not Daniel Juma.
Peter's now been back on the streets for a couple of weeks. His leg is getting worse all the time. Juma found a doctor that wanted to treat his wounds free of charge. Peter has a very deep cut on his ankle (on the same leg that is broken). This doctor said that if it isn't treated properly, Peter will lose his leg. It's evident that it's already infected. My piki driver friends in town tell me that Peter can no longer walk across the street and he has to be pushed on a bicycle.
I haven't seen Peter in town now for a few days. I worry about what may have happened to him. To be honest, part of me wonders if he's still alive now. As disappointing of an ending as this is to this story, I have no regrets at all. Not a single one. From the moment I first met Peter I knew that I had to do something. I couldn't just leave him there. had I ignored him I am convinced that he would have died that day. I do not regret at all getting him into a home. That too was the right thing to do based on the circumstances. Maybe I was fooled by his attitude. Maybe I still use don't have a clear enough grasp on how tight a grip the street life culture can have on these guys. No matter what, helping his was still the right thing to do. No, scratch that. It was the human thing to do. And i'd do it over again without a second thought.