Our first week here in ES has been great! It does feel a little different being here this time of year. Everywhere is decorated for Christmas, Christmas music is playing on the radio, Christmas trees are up everywhere, but yet it is 85 degrees! Feels so weird. :)
Malarie and I have been decorating the mission house for Christmas... slowly but surely we have gotten the 15 foot Christmas tree up! That thing is massive.
|Yes- we had to stand on the second story to reach the top!|
I can't quite get in the Christmas mood while it is so warm. Just doesn't feel right. :) But I'm sure when I get home, Christmas will feel right again!
Our time at the centers has gone great! We have LOVED being with the kids. Malarie is really fitting right in loving on all the kids. We have spent quite a bit of time at CIPI. Especially in the special needs area and the teen mom area! That is just where our hearts our leading us. And I think those places are where we are supposed to invest our time.
|Machado loves listening to music on my phone and Fernando loves wearing my sunglasses... and me... I just love them in my lap! :)|
Daysi, who is a Tia at CIPI in the special needs area, asked me back in September to bring them pajamas for the kids. While I was home I collected quite a few pair. I got to give them to Daysi on Thursday. She was so excited. :) She went on and on about how much she appreciated our time and dedication to the special need children. She said most people get things for the other areas and forget her kids.
She even made me a beautiful card and on the inside put the names of all the children in the special needs area and thanked me for my love, help, and dedication. I don't feel like I need a "thank you" because that is just where the Lord has blessed me with a gift to love those children. It doesn't feel like work or a hassle. I LOVE to take care of those kids. :) But her thoughtfulness meant a lot to me.
We took a few of the kids for a walk but got sidetracked at the swings! They loved the swings. We stayed there for over 30 minutes and they were so content. Marvin isn't quite big enough to swing so he just chilled with Mal in the sun. :)
One of the baby's in the teen mom area also was turning one on Thursday! We had hoped to get a cake but didn't get to. But we did take him a new outfit, a small pinata, and a couple of toys. When we saw his mom and told her Happy Birthday to her son... she smiled so big and said "i thought you would forget". I think it meant a lot to her that we remembered.
|The birthday boy and his mama. :)|
We spent a while in there with the girls and their babies. Just hanging out and spending time with them. We talked and cut up and swapped babies around. I think they enjoy the company. :)
|Baby Josue. :) His mom is so sweet and I loved visiting with her.|
|This baby is just TINY.|
Yesterday, we FINALLY went to San Martin!!!! I had waited all week to get there. I was so anxious to take Christian his wheelchair!
We went straight to the director with the chair and she was so thrilled to get it for him. They all said we were like Santa Claus bringing Christian an early Christmas present! :)
After we talked with them we went to Christian's "house" and helped the tia feed those boys. I got to feed Christian. He ate like a champ! He smiled and acknowledged me. I am pretty sure he recognized me. :)
|He wouldn't look at the camera! :)|
The rest of the day we just spent time with the kids. :) Malarie took it all in and loved on those "kids" like she had all her life. San Martin can be intimidating since these are adults who just act like kids. They are bigger than we are. But she did GREAT. :)
|Malarie and Lorena :) Lorena stayed and danced with us for a LONG time :)|
The kids LOVE music. We sat in with Keke and Mario and listened to Justin Beiber and Michael Jackson for a LONG time. They would never get tired of it. :)
Mario was so sweet to Keke the whole time. He would put the music up to Keke's ear so he could hear it. :) Mario danced and played his little plastic flute to the music. We were all just cracking up. :) I love that place. There is no other place I have EVER been to where I can have so much fun but be so heartbroken at the same time.
They had taken Christian's wheelchair to the physical therapy area so they could check it out... I asked if we could put Christian in it long enough to get a picture. He fit in the chair perfectly! I am hoping that next week when we go he will be in it full time!
Before we left San Martin, we got out the jewelry that we brought for the tias... we recruited the help of some of the boys at San Martin. They were soooo excited to help us by pointing out which houses had tias working in them. We would hand them a bag of jewelry and they would run up to the tia with a big grin and say a loud, "Feliz Navidad" and hand over the jewelry. They were so proud. :) They loved being able to give them something, even if it wasn't really "from" them! I enjoyed watching them. :) And the tias really enjoyed their new jewelry! :)
Today there was a HUGE soccer game on television. The director of CISNA asked if a couple of boys could come to the house and watch the game. These two boys have no family and no visitors, ever. Many of the kids can go home during this time of year but these boys won't. They have no one. So they got to come and eat pizza, cookies, chips, drink coke, and watch Barcelona beat Real Madrid! :) I think they enjoyed it. Along with those boys, Lilly, Steve, Gio, Dayna, David, and Kurt's kids hung out with us. It was good to see some good friends! We had a good down day here at the mission house!
The evenings have been kinda slow since there are no teams here. But we have kept ourselves busy with that dang Christmas tree and of course our blogs and skype. :) I am so grateful Malarie got to join me on this trip!
Ready for church tomorrow and some more kid-loving starting Monday! :)
Thanks for your prayers and support! :)