Tuesday I was ill. Very ill. Sickness hit my stomach hard, and even after all the food was gone it was still trying to reject the water I was drinking. So I basically spent a lot of the day sleeping. Now it's 5am and I'm finding it really hard to sleep. The noise outside is now at daytime levels - very noisy!
On Monday night the next-door neighbour C* came over. She is 10-years old. Des told me that she has been abused, physically and sexually by people who are supposed to care for her. It is a really sad story. I asked Des about social services but apparently the abusers lie and cover it up. Even within a family not in extreme poverty there is sadness and brokenness. Oh, it breaks my heart.
Wednesday during the day I was feeling a bit better, so Kuya Mhel came and picked me up on his scooter to take me to Payatas. The scooter was fun, if not quite dangerous. Mhel is a good driver, but the roads here are dangerous in general. We had to travel through the different parts of Payatas so I got to see parts of Payatas A & B that I've never seen before. There were so many people hanging around on the streets, so many people trapped in the circle of poverty, each with their own story. We visited Lhen and her baby (toddler) Nicole, and Licel and Efren with their baby Josh (9mnths). Both very very cute. And growing up in Payatas. Many children growing up in Paytatas, with the shadow of the mountain that both gives hope and destroys lives.
Mhel also took me to see his son Nicolas, so big now. 3 years old and top of his nursery class. Mhel's house is now smaller than ever, as they have put a divide down the middle to make a seperate space for their extended family. It is now no bigger than about 10ft2.
When I got back I was so tired I fell asleep. I woke about midnight as Des and Paul came to sleep in my bed again as JR had been called to an emergency meeting! I don't know what's going on with his business, but I'm guessing if he is being called to an emergency meeting at 11.30pm something's not right. Des started telling me about when JR was earning good money and they were living in a nice condo that was in the good part of town. But they did not save as much as they should so when JR lost his job they had to move.
I didn't know it, but the room I am staying in is not normally part of their 'house', but only the kitchen and small living room. Des wants to move into this room when I leave as it is bigger and has an inside toilet. It would also mean that no-one would have to sleep in the kitchen! I asked Des about the dump, and she said that her father worked there when she was 9 she joined him on the dump, along with 6 of her family. She has many scars and marks on her hands and feet but when I ask her about them she says she can't remember how she got them. Now only 2 of Des' siblings live at home: her two younger sisters, Niclin and Levie, although they stay here a lot to look after Paul when Des and JR are at work.