Tuesday, August 7, 2007

After 17 Years, He Can Finally Relax

He likes to act tough, but more often, he finally is just his caring self

For someone living at an orphanage, Yader has had a lot of families. First he lived with his mom and nine brothers and sisters in the poor part of Managua (that narrows it down to almost all of Managua). At 12, he and a brother joined a family of other teenage guys living on the street (yeah, that would be a gang).

When he was almost killed by a blow to the back of the head with a baseball bat by another gang, he was taken to the hospital by two friends and from there became part of a family at an orphanage in Managua. And last but not least, at 15 that orphanage asked if NPH could take him in and now he’s a part of our family.

I first met Yader early one morning when he mistook my room for the one Sister Phyllis was staying in and knocked looking for her. He looked a little stunned to see me open the door instead of her. They had just gotten back from Italy where he had had a final surgery to repair the damage that had been done to his skull almost four years earlier.

Accustomed to independence and the toughness required to live on the streets of Central America, he had trouble adjusting to life at NPH with different rules and expectations, where if you didn’t get along with someone, you couldn’t just intimidate them or leave.

By the time I got to know him, however, he had received enough love that he could give it back readily. His face shows his thoughts and emotions clearly (one look I have become very familiar with is the confused ‘what in the world is the gringa with bad Spanish trying to say now?’ face).

He has a lot of catching up to do educationally since he is now 17, but has only been going to school for three years. Fortunately, he’s finally with the secure family that is committed to preparing him the best they can.


lance said...

Fantastic photo with the cue stick. The lighting and the setting really work with the story.

Pretty good for a point & shooter on $1,600 per year salary :-)

Nic said...

Ok Lance, you forced it out of me! Lot's of the photos I love, I didn't take. It's with my camera, but I let it float with all the boys that love playing with it. They love modeling for each other. The other thing is my newfound love of photo software, just a warning, you're about to see a lot of pictures that have been played with :)

Nic said...

And that's some dedication to work that site backwards too :)