I wrapped up my final week at the Casa Girasoles Kusi with a team from the States. Things were quite similar to the previous weeks (and the previous emails I have sent about Kusi). Because of this, I’m going to take this time to write about one boy in particular from the Kusi home.
Kremly, is a 9 year old boy that lives in the Kusi home with the house parents, Rosa and Angel, and 26 other abandoned boys. Like the other boys in the home, Kremly has had a different past, and a not so easy childhood. He arrived at the Casa Girasoles Kusi about 9 months ago and has a beautiful little smile and the mischievous and clever personality of a little boy.
But, unlike the other 26 boys in Kusi, Kremly is completely deaf and unable to communicate vocally with the rest of his Kusi family.
For Kremly, Spanish is not his native language – he speaks in signs. His real family did not have the financial means to send him to an appropriate school in the nearby city of Yungay (not that such a school exists), and because of his special circumstances, he was sent to live in Kusi.
In Kusi, Kremly still doesn’t attend school because there is no way to communicate with him and to teach material he needs to know. Despite this, he is quite in fact a clever and intelligent boy. The house parents, Rosa & Angel have come up with some signs with him that stand for things he needs to do and know. For example, there is sign for washing up, time to eat, playing soccer, mother, father, and let’s go, in addition to many others, that the people of Kusi use to communicate with him.
The first few days I was in Kusi, Kremly was quite distant, did not want his photo taken, and did not really spend much time with the foreign team members there to visit. By the time I left, almost one month later, he was just as personable as the other boys, always wanted to have his photo taken, loved taking photos with my little digital camera, and even a few nights, fell asleep in my lap while at a bonfire or while the group was dancing and singing songs. The last week I was there, he was allowed to go up to the Lake Llanganuco with me and the team, only if he stayed with me at all times (Rosa made me promise that I would take care of her sweet little boy and not let him out of my sight).
Some might think that to have a little boy that you can’t communicate with would be a chore and frustrating – which at some times it was. But, most of the time, we managed to get by and despite our language (and sign barriers), Kremly became my little buddy in Kusi – to the point where he was always with me.
As for Kremly’s future, Rosa and Angel are trying to get him into a school for deaf children in Lima where he will be able to learn proper sign language and be able to communicate. Unfortunately, the school doesn’t accept students that are older than 4 because they are more difficult to work with, and in addition to that, the school (where Kremly would have to live as a boarding student) costs 700 soles per month (about $250). This might not seem like a lot of money for a child’s future in our terms, but when you have 26 boys to take care of and a limited amount of money, this is quite a bit to spend. Hopefully something will work out for this adorable little boy.
I’ve included a photo and video of Kremly. We were experimenting and demonstrating the differences between photo and video.
As for the rest of my time in Peru…. I’m back in my home-base Lima just for one night before heading up north to the coastal city of Trujillo where I will finish my last two weeks with Scripture Union working in the schools teaching values.