Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dazed And Confused In Translation

I received a letter from Plan last night saying that my sponsorship with Francisco has had to end, because his family have moved away and since Plan are unable to stay in contact with them my sponsorship must end. Another letter, this time from the field officer said he has moved to live with his dad and sister, who is already sponsored by Plan, and under their policy only one family member can be sponsored. Apologies, and here is another child you can sponsor.

Mixed emotions. The overriding one is guilt, that lately I have been slack with sending him packages. That the last thing he sent me was a beautiful colourful hand-stitched decoration with a dove dedicated to his beautiful godmother, the one who stockpiled lovely tshirts and binoculars and frisbees and never sent them for Christmas. That he's left without ever hearing from me again. I'm also confused, the two letters have different stories, I was never told he had a sister, and I can't help but be a little suspicious at how the program is run. No doubt there is so much lost in translation, that it's a case of Chinese whispers with such a multi-level organisation, but...but.

I started sponsoring Francisco on January 2, 2003, afer having a fight with A and waking up to the fact that I could do some good instead of agonising over such pettiness. I fell in love with his face, his sad eyes, knowing that he loved football.

And now he's gone. H had only asked me on Sunday if I will ever go and visit him, and I had never contemplated it. Forced to think about it then and there, I realised that I'd prefer to be a magical penpal, not flit in and out of his village and memory. He said he never imagined not going.

And now he's gone. And it's a big fat case of you don't know what you've got till it's gone.

Staring back at me, with similarly sad eyes and a stiff grandmother, is another boy, 15. Francisco was 6, now 9. I'm dazed and confused and lost.


Blogger TessaJ said...

Oh honey. I'm so sad to read this. It's odd to develop a bond to someone you've never met, to someone you'll never meet, to someone you only exchange a letter every few months with. But you do. Big hugs for my big-hearted friend.


10:13 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Thanks hon, appreciate it.

10:57 AM  

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