January 11, 2010

Sex Ed

We spent 9 hours listening to lectures today. We plan on doing the same thing tomorrow, the next day and every day this week. While we didn't really enjoy the sitting so long part, we are very thankful for the chance to learn a little more about a topic that has us frustrated to no end here on our mission. We're taking a course in Santiago called "Teenstar" that is capacitating us to teach comprehensive, faith-based sex education to teens.

"Sex Ed Teacher" isn't exactly the job title we were looking for when we signed on to come to Chile, but through working with the youth here, it became apparent very early on that the kids needed something more. We learned today that in 2008, 15% of the babies born in Chile were born to teens. And from personal experience, we know that a much higher rate would be found in the neighborhoods where we live and work - poor, underprivileged and poorly educated areas. For example, at the last Confirmation we attended in the parish where we used to work in Santiago, of the 40 teens getting confirmed, 3 were pregnant and at least one already had a baby. Another youth from the group recently found out he has HIV. While we do our best to accompany them and try to guide them on a path to good decision making, it's obvious that we need help.

While we're struggling with teen libidos, Joshua is endeavoring on a new adventure... he spent the whole day with a babysitter for the first time. Anna cut out of class early because she couldn't stand the separation any longer, rushing home to find Joshua contently playing at the babysitter's house and not too anxious to come home. It hurt our feelings that the little guy could actually have a good time without us, but we're happy that he adjusted so well. We'll see how he is after a week.

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