Capital Region Border Watch – Team Brownsville, La Escuelita

Capital Region Border Watch made their way to Texas this week to give aid and a voice to the crisis that is happening at the border. Florence Abrams has been giving updates from the effort.

When the program was over, we headed to the cart area and saw a long line of children waiting at the “library” tent. We found out that the children bring homework that they’ve done during the week to be checked there.  If they’ve done a good job, they get one or more rewards such as a game, an activity book, a toy car, etc.  That children would do homework in such challenging circumstances for simple rewards was really impressive to me; and there seemed to be numerous proud looking parents standing with or near their children,  The last program to dismiss was the one held for teenagers.  I was really happy to find out that some teenagers are choosing to participate.

As we began wheeling the wagons back down the dry dirt path (Think about people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses constantly surrounded by dust.), I saw that a makeshift barbershop had been set up under a tree.  One man was getting a haircut and another man was getting a shave ..A little bit further a vendor with a rather dilapidated cart was selling treats, but he didn’t have any customers.

When we got to the port-a-potties at the end of the tents, we saw that the sanitation workers had hooked an open trailer. which contained wood pallets and pieces of discarded lumber to the back of their truck.  Some men from the camp were breaking down the wood and hauling it away for use as firewood. We were witnessing an act of decent human kindness right in front of us. Soon we were at the concrete steps, and again. men from the encampment helped carry or actually carried the carts down the steps for us.  

At the border entry point, there was a long line of people waiting to enter the United States.  All of us with American passports were allowed to cross with little problem (except that my picture was taken both times I crossed, with no explanation provided about why that was being done).  Those without American citizenship clearly had a much longer wait.  On seeing our carts and apparently aware of what we had just been doing, one woman in the long line said *God bless you.* to one of the volunteers.  Would I have been so kind if I had been relegated to that line?   The truthful answer is that I’m not sure I would.

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