Tuesday, August 10, 2010

METH Posters.

Besides glorious nature in Montana we saw a lot of posters against METH. In case you don't know, crystal METH is a cheap alternative to heroin that could be cooked derived from cough syrups and other over the counter medications containing amphetamines. As we found out later on, it has been a great problem in small towns out west and the movement against using METH was started by one girl from a Montana high school a few years ago. And now there are hundreds of posters, hand painted by high schoolers all over the state of Montana and some parts of Idaho, reminding everybody of dangers of substance abuse, screaming with the messages against using METH.

The second night on our way to the farm in Montana we spent on a free camp ground in Townsend, by the Canyon Ferry Lake. And there we came very close to meet somebody whose lives had been touched by METH.

Our neighbor to the left was a guy, an orthopedic surgeon from Germany, who had been living in Norway for the last ten years. He flew in to Anchorage, Alaska on July 4th, and has been traveling on his bicycles going down to Denver, Colorado. He had nothing to do with METH, but I just felt like mentioning him here!

But our neighbors to the right were two girls, Madison and Ashley, ages 12 and 10, who were staying on the campground with their grandmother, a Lakota native. The girls brought their 6 weeks old puppy, named Wolf, for us to play with, we got to talk and I learned that they had been moving around quite a bit. They were so eager to have someone listen to them and I was more than happy to be that person. It was so obvious they were longing for some kind of normalcy in their young but already full of negative events lives.

Apparently, the girls come from a broken home where the father has been in jail for a number of years, and their mother has been a METH addict almost all of her adult life. Madison and Ashley have another 10 siblings from different fathers and with a lot of regret they have shared with me that they hadn't seen their mother this year yet. They've been to numerous foster homes since they were little and have had troubles in schools constantly.

Madison, the older sister, seemed to want to share her all her life with me. She kept on talking, and I kept on listening. I was asking questions and she was ready to converse. When I asked her what her hobbies were, she said she had none. She had never tried dancing, or playing an instrument, or being on a team. She said she liked to draw, and her favorite things to draw were guns. Now, that made my already overwhelmed heart ache even more.

I asked her if she had ever tried to paint with water colors, or maybe pastels, and she said she had never had an opportunity to do that. She said she loved to read, though. I just hope that she gets to be exposed to the right literature, as she so needs that, not the printed garbage that is full of nonsense.

She said she had become a Christian last month and got baptized. That was the only good news that came out of her mouth , and I could see that her eyes were shining and she was happy to announce this news. So among all these dark clouds around the girls, there is a light of hope. I wish them to hang on to it and carry on, and meet kind people that would direct them onto the right path.

We left very early the next morning and Madison and Ashley were still sleeping. I didn't want to wake them up, but decided to write them a "good buy note". I left it on Madison's bike so that she sees it right away. There was also a book that we left behind for them, "20 Lessons On How To Draw" that we took with us for those rainy days on the road. I think they need it more than we do. And I so hope Madison will like to draw flowers and landscapes, instead of guns.


Unknown said...

Oh, Julia, this post really touched me. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Julia and Mirek said...

It is great to hear that you, Janice, liked this post!!! I was hoping to touch somebody's heart with it! :)

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