|8:31 PM 4/8/2017
Tonight I went to the plaza.
Ibraim wasn't very interested in talking to me. Fatima
and Nada were sitting next to each other but alone, using
their cell phones.
I approached them to see if they would want to talk to me
but they didn't show that they did so I sat alone for
awhile. I decided I would just write.
Then two of the younger girls came over. They wanted use
my laptop so I let them. They tried to connect to the
internet but there was no wifi signal. I tried to
interest them in Paint but they already knew it and
Then I got them to agree to write their names and ages in
notepad. Maysa wrote hers and wrote anos 6. I asked what
month and she was going to write "cumpli
octubre" but then Khitan came over and just took the
computer away and started trying to close the notepad
without saving it. She didn't know how to do it so she
erased everything that Maysa had written and then closed
it. Tears almost come to my eyes now to remeber this.
I was depressed all day today. I went for a walk in the
morning. Slowly. Looking at all the shops around the
nearby blocks. Then I found the Club Espana where I took
It was a pretty ok place to sit for a while.
But there were a lot of big posters advertising yoga and
I went back to the hotel and slept till about 6:30pm or
so. Eventually my energy came back enough to go back to
the plaza. I wasn't ready to handle anymore sad news till
It is such a sad situation all the way around. Tonight
again I saw that the only ones with pure smiles from just
being alive are the youngest children.
I made a little progress I guess when I asked Ibraim how
he was feeling and he asked me. I said I was about 5 from
zero to ten. I said "Y vos?" and you?
He said 4.
I sensed he didn't want to tell me why 4 so I didn't ask
him. Then he walked away. Later Noor, 19, came out of a
tent and I smiled and asked her how she was. She said
bien. Fine. I said "De 0 a 10"? From 0 to ten?
She didn't know how to answer and said "No se"
I don't know. And walked over to her two sisters, Fatima
At some point one of the girls wanted to try to ride my
bicycle so I put the seat down and let her try.
Khatim kept telling her not to touch it, and she was
going to break it. But she saw that it was ok with me to
try so she did. She fell down a few times and laughed and
I smiled each time.
Omar also came by for a while. He played the jumping game
that shows up when there is no connection. He got a high
score. Then later Mansoor came up and tried but kept
getting a much lower score.
I'm remembering now that Ibraim asked someone, I think it
was Mansoor, how much he trusted me from zero to ten.
Mansoor smiled and said zero but then they talked some
more and Khatim told me he didn't understand the
question. I knew it wasn't zero so I wasn't worried.
Ayer Ibraim told me he trusted me 5. Then he asked his
father and the father said something in Arabic and the
mother smiled and held up all her fingers so it was a 10.
I smiled said "Es porque el es mas sabio" That
is because he is wiser.
Then I asked Ibraim how much he trusted the uni student
next to me. He said 5 also. I asked the student how he
felt about that and he said he felt fine since they just
met a few days ago.
I laughed and said "Well, 5 and 5 make 10."
Now I am in some kind of theatre. I found pretty much
what I was looking for after going past a lot of places
that had big flat screens with some soccer game on them.
It helped stop me from feeling depressed to remember to
keep focussing on what I needed. And it didn't take long
before I found this place, a place I had never seen
I wanted a place I could bring my bike inside, and sit
and write, with internet, where I wouldn't have to buy
anything, and that is just what this place is.
I met a friendly person working behind the counter named
Sabrina. She helped me connect to a wifi signal and
didn't make me buy anything.
When I came in I spoke only English and an older women
said "I can help translate for you" so she did.
9:25 PM 4/8/2017
Just talked to a nice, intelligent guy who works here who
speaks English well.
He said the public knows almost nothing about what is
going on with the Syrian families.
Our conversation motivates me more to tell the story, as
I have seen it.
I remember the story of they guy in South Africa... from
the movie Cry Freedom. I relate to him now. This is a
story the world needs to know about.
The guy I talked to suggested I talk to Mohica, and I
just might try to do that.
Tonight I asked Ibraim if he has talked to Pepe since the
first day. He said yeah, once Pepe came to their house
when they lived in Montevideo, but not since then.
I told the guy I spoke to that it makes more sense to
talk about needs than rights and I gave him some kind of
example and he immediately agreed with me. Kind of like
Stephen Alexander did in New Zealand.
So I will say the time has come to start talking about
human needs, including emotional and psychological needs.
It makes sense that if you don't get what you need, you
will get sick and or die. So if your psychological needs
are not met, it is understandable that you will become
When Khitan and Maysa were fighting over the computer,
Khitan kept talking to her in the way she learned here in
Uruguay - with a lot of commands like "Let go of it.
Go way. Take your hands off."
I have seen this in a lot of countries - older or more
aggressive children dominating the others.
After I saw Khitan slap Maysa I was almost going to ask
her if her mother hits her, but then we were interrupted
or she got up and left.
Like so many 14 year olds she has a lot of unchanneled
energy. I really wonder what a healthy life and a healthy
community would be like for someone like her. I quickly
remember though a couple of things which definitely
contribute to her wildness - single mother, and mother
who hits her and shouts at her.
As far as I know the children are not allowed to leave
the plaza. I asked Ibraim if they had seen the rambla and
he said no, only he had because he saw it when he was
They are about three blocks from the rambla -the
I asked Ibraim tonight what he thought about the idea of
him and I going to Secretaria of Human Rights together to
talk to them. He said something like "I will never
go back to that office."
Then I said something to check to see if I understood him
right and he said "If they want to talk to me they
can come here."
I asked who he trust the most there and he said no one. I
said who was the worst there and he said they are all the