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Journey into Disaster
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6.09. Ma’am Solano’s phone calls
What’s up in the Philippines? The social worker Ma’am Solano is on the phone with a TV man and an NGO. Money makes the world goes round.
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Ma’am Solano is finally back from this stressful trip to the Health Center. Excursions like this she does not like. Alone in the office, she is sitting at the desk and plugging the cell phone on the charger. As soon as the battery has recovered somewhat, she will first call Sir Steiner from the TV station. The interview was short, but she kept her promise to make it happen. She stares spellbound at the battery indicator and thinks: No, I hate trips like this today. Especially with street boys, those glue-sniffing kids. They are capable of anything and like to use such trips to run away. It’s good that the officer was there. They don’t dare to escape. We bring the ungrateful brats off the streets and then we just only have stress with them. It is time for my boss, Sir Sala, to find a place for the three figures in a closed facility. The best thing to do is far away from here. Maybe somewhere in the mountains. So that normal conditions can finally reign in our children’s home. The city no longer has to worry about begging rugby boys. But they keep growing, they are like weeds!
Finally, the seconds have passed, and she can switch on her phone, and immediately dials Steiner’s number. There is a crack in the loudspeaker and she talks without Steiner being able to say a word: “Oh, Sir Steiner, this is Ma’am Solano from the BSWD. Are you satisfied with the new interview?”
Steiner obviously takes a pull on a cigarette and blows out: “The interview was a little short, but it is okay. Under these circumstances we have to be happy to get the boys in front of the camera at all. We will cut the interview behind the report at the press conference.” Steiner suddenly laughs out loud: “Well, this NGO created a pretty good atmosphere there and once again embarrassed the police!”
She is not sure which information to go into first and states: “But you are again exclusive with the child-interview and the police responded professionally.”
Steiner does not go into the NGO: “Oh, Ma’am Solano, you are developing into a media professional, but where you are right, you are right!”
Ma’am is unsure whether there is sarcasm in Steiner’s voice: “But you are exclusive again with the interview!”
“Yes, ma’am, exclusively, thanks to you! When do you visit me? It’s already quite late today. I have a better idea. I’ll leave an envelope for you at the reception counter. You can pick it up at any time. I don’t think we have anything else to discuss, and you can certainly imagine that we are suffocating at work.”
Ma’am is facilitated. She loves Sir Steiner, because of its ability to read her thoughts: “Thank you, sir, then I do not want to steal your precious time anymore. If we have a similar story, I’ll call you immediately. Ah, Sir Steiner, we still have two brothers from a family tragedy in the same age as the five out of the village. Mother beaten by her husband. He is now in prison, the mother still in the hospital. Interest, sir?”
Steiner blows out the cigarette smoke: “No, thank you! This is too commonplace and not a real sensation. We currently have the German case. There is still a lot to be gained before our audiences lose interest.”
“Okay, Sir Steiner! Then I say thank you very much and see you next time.”
Without any further reaction from Steiner, the conversation is over.
Ma’am Solano looks at the display: “I heard correctly, there was a call. An unknown number.”
Her phone rings: “Ma’am Solano? Do I call Ma’am Solano from BSWD? My name is Mc Bride from the private organization Prowoch. We greeted each other briefly at the press conference today. Unfortunately, you then disappeared very quickly. Ma’am Tolisan, the policewoman, was so nice and gave me your number. I think that’s okay?”
She stutters: “Yes, well, Mr. Bride, what can I do for you?”
“Ma’am Solano, you certainly know that our organization provides an aid package for abused children and their families.” Mc Bride lowers his voice: “Of course, the program also includes donations to the youth home of the BSWD.”
“And for what is it?”
“Amounts without a certain purpose, ma’am. Clothing for children, funding for daily food, things for school and study, but also equipment for your youth home. For example, mattresses, or whatever you need!”
Ma’am Solano begins to sweat: “Yes, but how can we get the money, Sir Bride?”
“Mc Bride, Ma’am, my name is Mc Bride. We’ll talk about the when and how later. I’m on my way back to General de Santos. Halfway is Sendong City and I’ll visit the district where the boys come from. I want to look around there. But for that I need the name of the Barangay — the district. Otherwise, I’ll search for myself!” He laughs loudly at his last sentence, making it ring uncomfortably in ma’am’s ear.
Ma’am stammers: “Sendong City, Barangay Laog, very close by the sea.”
“Thank you, Ma’am, we’ll hear each other.” Immediately, the call is over.
Ma’am Solano looks at her phone in disbelief and says: “Well, that would be very nice!” She saves the new number under the shortcut “NGO” in the phone book.
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