It hurt. Children we host at our home outside Oaxaca, Mexico, on Sundays for art lessons stole two keys from our door locks. We don’t know for sure who took them. Last Sunday at the end of the session the keys were missing. Amy and I were aghast. Everybody denied knowing what happened before one of the keys was found under a tree. Mysteriously.
I had misgivings about allowing any of the youth in our house. It is far too grand. They begged, Amy took them in, and for awhile it was okay. Amy had group baking sessions, (an oven is at our home) the bathroom was available, children went through the front door and out the back to play in the yard. Now that has changed. We will allow only one person at a time to come inside to use the bathroom, and an adult must be nearby.
Basically, there are two groups. A mother, Remedios, comes with her daughter, son, and sons best friend⏤all talented, bright and highly courteous. Another group, all girls, come from the neighbors above us that have many problems. We love them and have had good relationships so far. The theft came as a surprise and blow. Certainly we knew in advance that the children are coming from highly difficult circumstances. Two are almost homeless. Another did not go to school, and then changed her mind and is attending. The homes are impoverished and they see bad things.
Amy and I teach free art classes once a week, on Sunday afternoons. We provide all the materials, arrange projects, serve refreshments, and host at the front patio at our home, which is safe clean and enjoyable. We do all this as service to our neighbors who do not have such opportunities given to them.
Today, Sunday, soon we will begin our session with a talk. Not to shame anyone but to say our feelings have been hurt and respect is necessary to go on. We love everyone and are happy to continue serving. There must be mutual respect. Of course, we know it is one or two kids that acted impulsively without regard . . . this should not cause everyone else to suffer.
(Picture at top: cups made of painted gourds)