Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 10:43:14 -0700
From: ef <>
Subject: getting stuff together

called them last night... the lawyer was there in the afternoon, picked up all the documents from everyone... which is good on two counts: 1. that he took it on and took on all the families as one, 2. that i finally got the families convinced that that is the best way, that that is the only strength they have.

the lawyer is coming back there again this afternoon to talk to them. the hearing is on wednesday, i probably mentioned this a buncha times by now, huh.

i will call them on thursday, from hungary. of course they won't know that... i want my arrival to be a surprise for the children. they so need some good surprises. and i will arrive with not only the clothing i have collected here, but i will arrive with toys! i am going shopping for toys in budapest... and fuck, i will wrap them in nice x-mas paper and bows and everything!

when i called i asked for iren, but got her husband jozsi instead. he said iren was taken to the hospital again, her heart. jozsi was working in hungary and just arrived back. i explained to him that probably the best we can hope for is an extention of the eviction order. he says he understands.

gawd... i'm kinda panicking. i can imagine how they feel. poor iren, she was convinced they couldn't do this. i am so grateful that we at least managed to get them a lawyer.

but i am still trying to figure out what to do when the worst arrives... as it will. the best i have been able to come up with is the little house for gyula bacsi... where mihaly's family could also live. and of course, that doesn't help everyone. that leaves three families with nowhere to go. well, maybe i can figure something out once i get there.

i need to essentially inspire them to act together... no more mihaly and melinda guarding me to them jealously. it is understandable that they would, they are the worst off... har, degrees of dire poverty, how obscene... but if gyula bacsi is to be in charge, then everyone must agree that that is the best way. he, after all, is the patriarch. that's what i am thinking... a bit of organization... they must organize themselves. but i am not going to change my interactions as far as the children are concerned... tho that is the hardest of all, to keep that up... it is so very depressing... i am always afraid that if i give the children something mihaly will take it from them and sell it. he has done that before. so i have to keep pressing for education, somehow. but short of me moving there and opening a school... which is impossible, i cannot think of what to do. fuck. well, maybe i'll think of something... once i get there.

so i have to keep in mind... always... that poverty is an ugly teacher, and that things happen to people, ugly ways of thinking... from desperation,from no-hope, from wounded dignity. i have to keep that in mind. i think of jy's stories at those times. they are good compassion lessons... ironically, huh.

me, i was lucky. we too were poor, i suppose, working class poor. and we too had tragedies. but we had pride. and a belief in education. and i have a good brain and i had a strong father with a soft heart. and that allows me to consciously attempt to refute the legacy of fear and hatred (oh so understandable) i inherited from my mother.

oke, enough sentimental crap :-). onward with what needs to be done.