Thursday, July 28, 2016

When it rains, it pours

Things have been pretty calm for us personally, minus some serious hot flashes on my part, since we came back from our vacation. Not so much so for the group of Nigerians we are trying to help.

As I wrote last time, Paul lost his wallet when he was biking home one night. He was distraught because some people came and shut down the restaurant for some technical violations. He didn't know what was going on so he thought he was losing his job after only one month. Meanwhile, he has never been paid, but that is common in Italy for workers. It takes months to get paid sometimes. Now it seems that he is back at work. Anyway, for us it meant begging another appointment with the lawyer because now lost stay permits can't be replaced through the police station. They require that a whole new application gets filled out, and sometimes that is too difficult for mere mortals. For us it also meant accompanying Paul to the police station to report the wallet missing and to the tax office to get him a new codice fiscale for tax reasons and to the bank to get him a new bank card. Paul is now the proud owner of a brand new fanny pack!

Then I had the idea that since we are running out of time before Tina has her baby, we should just repair their current place of residence. Come to find out that they want me to negotiate with their landlord. While it is true that they were without running water for one month, they had not paid their rent for four months before that. Five months if you count this month. Despite, all of the money that I have given them. I don't know if they use it for food now that they can't beg without having problems from the police. Just today a friend of Job's had his pockets emptied and received a fine for public begging. Luckily, it was not him. I could not take anymore today. Just as business hours were ending, I found out from Tina, who I called, that Cool had his wallet and permesso stolen. It is too late for me to advise the lawyer or for him to get to the post office to request the new application. Tomorrow we will be late to the appointment and we will have to hope and pray on the lawyer's mercy. We are bringing her homemade bread.

I put out a plea on FB for people to help us clean and paint Job and Tina's house.

Corny internet stock photo alert! Not, I repeat, not us!

They want us to convince the landlord to put Tina's name on the housing contract so that she can be eligible for health care and a doctor for her baby. I have photos that prove the landlord is negligent, but I hope to woo him with the free manual labor. You get more flies with honey, but I hate flies. I could go to the police with the photos of the current conditions if it weren't for the fact that we need to avoid eviction at the moment, not just for our group members, but for the others in the house, as well.

Emmanuel called me because he misses his son in Nigeria and he needed a pep talk.

Jennifer called me, not because Cool lost his document, but because she got her and baby Wisdom's stay permits for the next two years. She called for congratulations. Which was weird timing, but we will take good news where we can get it at this point, I suppose.

In unNigerian related news, T is loving Harvard's summer program, but they are working her to the point where she hardly sleeps and has to schedule meals on her phone calendar. 

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