Golbert, On the Street, Iquitos Peru

by Captain Bill

Golbert, On the Street, Iquitos Peru

How many of you know this little street person? His name is Golbert.

Meet Golbert, On the Street, Iquitos Peru

Golbert is a normal mischievous kid, only tougher than most kids. I watched two teenagers twice his size bully him and he fought them beyond exhaustion. Every time they let go of him he attacked them, punching and kicking. The bullies tried to walk away, he chased them. On the street, he won.

From that fight scene, it is tempting to say Golbert is not a quitter, but that is not completly true…Golbert quit school.

Golbert, On the Street, Iquitos Peru

What are we going to do?

Golbert, On the Street, Iquitos Peru

Bill Grimes, Dawn on the Amazon

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tessa December 28, 2008 at 5:39 am

Hello Bill
Yes its my little cheeky monkey
Brought tears to my eyes, thank you
I want to know how to send you money so he can have a xmas present
Please tell him i havent forgotten him and im going to find a way to help him have a better life, i dont want thim to end up smoking drugs on the boulevard
hes a very intelligent boy and deserves the chance to have a chance in life.
He looked after me when i was going through a rough patch, he was my bodyguard. We went to many restaurants, he would go home, smarten up and we would go out and eat, it started when he kept pinching me when i wouldnt give him money, so one day i had enough and chased him down the road, this started a whole new ballgame!! he used to pinch me, i chased him and called him a cheeky monkey, one day we agreed to fight no longer and be friends,i remember buying him a toothbrush in Belen one day, and then he told me he would share it with hios brothers and sisters, needless to say i bought more.
He touched my heart as a little soldier and survivor, so im going to make a difference to this boy, maybe we could run some programmes where thay can learn skills, lots of people who come to visit could teach something and maybe we can raise money to pay for one people arent around, but they need a chance and im going to help
Thank you
Blessings and health and happiness in the new year
Please tell Golbert i will come this year and i send him huge hugs and love. I will send money for his navidad regalo

2 Bill December 28, 2008 at 11:36 am

Hello Tessa, thank you for the wonderful comment, brought tears to my eyes too. I am sure we could arrange a Western Union or Money Gram transfer toward a Christmas present, and/or a better life. I like your idea about teaching skills.

Golbert was one of the 180 poor children in our neighborhood that we served chocolate drink and cake to on Christmas. He is a nice smart little boy who just needs a few breaks to go his way.

I am completely pissed at him for quitting school. A good friend of mine, Rudy, paid for his school uniform, books, and extra spending money, but the next thing we know he is back on the street. I don’t know what to do. I can’t tie him up and drag him to school. Well, I could…but what is the point if he doesn’t want to.

Anyone have any suggestions or ideas about how to help these little rascals. Kids are only cute for a few years, then nobody wants to help them.

Bill Grimes

3 Tessa December 29, 2008 at 8:08 am

Hi Bill
I hate western union as its expensive to send, maybe a money transfer, i will look into it. I hope you have told him im in touch!
Do you have a postal address please so i can send a card for him and a letter
I will kick his monkey butt when i see him for quitting school, it breaks my heart but i know the family rely on him to survive, i want him to learn reading, writing and to use a computer, what charities teach skills? Are there places they can go to? I think we need to set up a group, maybe the some of the many tourists can put something back into the Amazon and give some time to teach a little with the kids, i had many friends on the boulevard and i had a jungle wedding with Fish, a boulevard boy. I dont see them as different, just survivors and i am one of the survivors too. Im sending Fish a ticket to go home, he wants to come back to iquitos, we broke up, hes in hunacayo, maybe he could help in some way, hes a good man. Im excited you and i are speaking and very happy and terribly sad i am not there, but now i have the contact i wont give up on Golbert.
Thank you Bill so much
Blessings and love
Tessa x

4 Tessa December 30, 2008 at 5:48 am

Hi Bill
I have the office address for the site
I will do Western Union in the next two weeks, i wont send much, its for a xmas present and im posting him something
I have your number and i will call soon
Have a very happy new year
Can you show him my fotos on facebook? tell him i miss him and im coming back to see him next year and he had better be good as im hearing many stories
Thank you

5 Bill December 30, 2008 at 10:05 am

Hi Tessa, I showed Golbert the blog article about him but had not thought to show him your Facebook photos. I will now that you have mentioned it. Yes, he knows you want to help him. We have scolded him about quitting school but might as well have been scolding the river for having a current.

A wire transfer costs $48 no matter how much is sent, $30 for your bank, $18 for my bank. That makes a wire transfer practical for large amounts of money but Western Union or Money Gram is more practical for smaller amounts.

Happy New Year,
Bill Grimes

6 Molly Mednikow January 3, 2009 at 1:20 am

Moneygram is the least expensive, and if you go to a moneygram location, it is only $10.

A few years back I went to a school with a boy AND his mother. He had been forced to leave the school. His Mom said it had to do with official documents for the boy that she did not have, or something with the lack of the father’s signature. The administrators at the school were not pleased. But they had a determined Gringa in their office willing to pay any expenses for the boy. I bought the uniform, shoes, books, backpack, etc. Plus each student is supposed to donate to the supply closet (toilet paper, loose leaf paper, pencils, etc.) I was really suckered. His Mom told me she needed 400 soles (at the time about $140) to buy the supplies. Then she told me of a chance to sell these vitamin products in a multi-level marketing company. She presented herself well and seemed ambitious and I felt like a greedy rich gringa (which I’m not!) and gave her $75 for her venture.

But I believe in lending a hand, not giving handouts. We arranged that her son would volunteer for Amazon CARES (charity) as a dog walker on weekends. I would pay his transportation and also give him 2 healthy meals when he came. He came one day for a few hours and was very lazy. Within a week I learned he had never shown up at school even once!

His mother arrived at the Amazon Cares veterinary clinic a few days later. Dolled up in new clothes, shoes, horrible perfume and too much make-up and new gold earrings. She actually YELLED at me saying there was no way her son could do his schoolwork AND work for Amazon CARES and he would only return if I paid him a salary. She even wanted a job for herself!

I was so shocked and it was a lesson well learned. I fear most kids are forced to turn there money over to their parents, or it is actually stolen from them by siblings or friends!

If anybody can help this guy, Bill Grimes is the one, but it is an uphill battle, as Bill knows.

Good Luck!
P.S. at first I though this was a friendly and hard-working boy that shined the shoes of one of our volunteer veterinarians. The picture is at http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1165/548668824_09b14d8ecb.jpg

Sadly, many families are so poor the kids must work instead of study.

7 Bill January 3, 2009 at 6:18 am

Hi Molly, thanks for sharing the story of your experience trying to help. I have had similar experiences and most of us have. I have more questions than answers. I want to toss this out to our community. How do we help a few select deserving poor children that have potential, without just throwing away our capital? There are hundreds of NGO’s, and thousands of missionaries with a mandate to do this kind of work. NGO’s where are you? What are you doing to help? Leave a comment here. Let us know you. Maybe we can work together. Maybe we can help.

Bill Grimes

8 Tessa January 6, 2009 at 6:51 am

Hi Bill!
I sent two postcards from Uk and some sweets for him to your office. I will look into moneygram as western union is way too much for me to do this. Or i am seeing Dave over here this month and i will give him money to take back. Im on a chemo type treatment at ther moment, Interferon, and im not working so i have to watch my pennies, but i still will be able to get him the present, i know he wants a model car, so maybe i will try to get dave to take stuff back:)
Hi Molly, yes i know what people are like and i know they way we are percieved as gringas and this is the problem with helping, i try to explain i have to work for what i spend and soemtimes i dont work because of health stuff and im not a bank, i have a heart and i want to help but its also about my effort and love not all about finances. They have a warped view of us as thats the way they have been treated by many tourists and i can understand their view.
I am returning to try to set up something, i want to be able to get them to learn basic skills, reading, writing, and computer skills so a place is needed and paper, pens, books and pcs to use.
I cant wait to see Golbert. The warmth of the jungle people when you really know themk is incredible and i miss it
Blessings and love

9 Tessa January 15, 2009 at 5:57 am

Hi Bill
Did he get the cards and sweets?
My chemo didnt work so i can travel earlier than planned, will be over by the summer
Tess x

10 Bill January 16, 2009 at 10:01 am

Hi Tessa, I hope every thing is fine with you. I don’t know about the card and sweets?

11 Tessa January 20, 2009 at 9:26 am

Hi bIll
I sent them to your postal address, fingers crossed they arrive
T x

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