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To Infinity and Beyond!

It’s as if my feelings can flip on a dime. Last week La Carpio was on the news as the target for the major operativo that crawled through our streets in the early morning hours. This week, our La Carpio kids are on the news for their awesome progress in the Talento Digital program at the Omar Dengo Foundation.

This morning Jags and I went to a big press release they had at the Omar Dengo Foundation. Jags, our three students, and I attended along with mediators from other San Jose neighborhoods. Greyvin was chosen out of all of the students to showcase his project on a huge flat panel screen so everyone could see. He made changes to it as everyone watched, too. Unfortunately, the news cameras had already got their B-roll and walked out. However, Greyvin and his project were front and center.

I can’t help but feel a little pride and satisfaction for seeing him there wowing people with his project, for his interest, curiosity, and reckless inquisitiveness into anything relating to computers and programming. It’s very exhilerating to feel like I played some small part in that. The project he created was called “Carrera para plata,” and I felt even more proud when I recognized the plot from an idea he had three years ago,when we first started programming Scratch projects. The game consists of a race where the kid has to win a car race to get money to pay for medicine for his gramma. If he looses the race, Greyvin put a horrible scene of the gramma dying in bed and mom screaming. If he wins, Gramma gets better and everything is good. Very clever. 3D perspective game. Looked awesome on the big screen. Like I said… wow, I can’t get over how far he’s come. And what a feeling of satisfaction and reward it was for me to see him where he’s at. Do other people get days like this in missions work? How often do we see our disciples get outside recognition for what they do? So affirming. And yes, I think he feels it too. He had tons of questions for me about his project last week.

Our kids are wanted, but for different things. Greyvin is “wanted” by the technician installing the school network in Finca La Caja school, by neighbors and family wanting computer help, by local ministries assembling new computers for the training centers, by Omar Dengo for his awesome project. Our kids get La Carpio get onto the news, too… but for good things, like Nacho’s mug on the article about digital talent.

Small notes for today:

  • tonight I wash my hands before going to bed. Daniella and Britani showed me scars where rats had bit them at night. Daniella tells me to wash your hands and any food off your body because when the rat smells it they nibble on it. Dear God that’s not cool.
  • Axel tells me the mona will come after me at 2AM because of the cross necklace I wear. She will take off my head right above the necklace.
  • Conversation with Junior on the bus. He likes living in La Carpio. La Cuarta, where we live, scares him, though. I recall when Massiel and Juri compared La Carpio to other areas on our way to church. They are impressed by the parks. But they like living in La Carpio. They prefer it and don’t want to leave. “Because you can play with cars” (by this they mean jump on the backs of vehicles for a free ride). Because you can shoot off fireworks in the street. You can do what you want. Odd reasons, I feel. However, there is something to the fact that people outside the ghetto don’t experience “true” freedom. They are trapped in certain ways of living and whatnot. They’re very restricted in how they live, through all sorts of formal (and informal) limitations. Don’t know how good or bad that is, but I doubt they realize it and it’s not often talked about.
  • Riding the bus makes life really difficult. It makes carrying stuff risky. One can only carry a few items at a time. It’s very time-consuming. Finding a new place can take several hours. It’s hard to deviate from your route. You can fit less into your schedule and it requires a major detour, and long amounts of time. Getting a ride or driving is SO much easier.

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