Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The "Emergency"

Over the past week, the internat has thrown another curve ball our way. Upon our return from Poland, we asked Orest (our translator) to join us to the internat so we could get a move on with our plans to organize a concert with the girls. However, all the talk amongst the girls seemed to focused on one subject, which they referred to as the "emergency". Apparently one of the elder girls at the internet named Marina (23) who is pregnant. At five months along they noticed her enlarged belly in the field during a day's work while we were gone, and immediately took action. Usually, health workers visit the orphanage monthly to check all girls 12 and up for pregnancy, and if they are pregnant the babies are aborted immediately. The emergency in this situation especially arised because these workers had not come in four consecutive months, allowing the pregnancy to reach 5 months. Health workers were called to the internat immediately upon notification though.

The man who impregnated her originally lived in an orphanage for boys with disabilities far away. The two orphanages sometimes program events together, so the girls are familiar with their boys. When this boy was 25, he "graduated" from his orphanage and was placed in the "old age" home next to the internat that I have referred to before. Here he became a cassanova amongst the girls at our internat, and has apparently impregnated a few in the past as well. Bogden, a grandfather figure amongst the girls, explained this to Orest and also mentioned that he has argued with this man before about staying away from our girls. Unfortunately, this man is bigger and pushes him around, leaving Bogden with little means of stopping him. Marina has now been sent to a different place which is known for being worse to live in. She will have a c-section at 5 months, the future of the baby is unknown, and her tubes will be tied.

The director of the internat will no longer allow us to do excursions with the girls, out of apparent threat of interaction with more men I suppose. In light of this Miri, Jen and I planned a small party with crafts, music and candy for the girls who we planned to do an excursion with on Friday. The whole situation is just really sad. Because of the "emergency", we are still unsure about whether we will be able to invite visitors from outside the orphanage to attend our concert, although we are hoping the Director will be in a better mood later such that we may ask him then.

I have found this information really heavy to deal with, and Jen , Miri and I even debated whether we should keep it out of our blog or not. In the end though, Jen said it right: "The more light we shed on the internat, the more accountable we make them." Before the weekend, when Marina was still at the internat, I was unsure what I could do for her. She became a spectacle amongst everyone, and everyone was talking about her. Jen, Miri and I did not have an especially strong relationship with her, and I didn't want to draw extra attention by trying to comfort her when she hardly knew me...but I also didn't wnat to "leave her to the wolves" so to speak. Now she is gone and I wish I had tried harder to give her someone to lean on. I wonder how she is doing, and in all probability will be left wondering without hearing more about her.

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