Thursday, April 12, 2007

We're really making a difference. Check out Zach.

Monday. The big kids were up by 6:30. Activity in the home normally starts around 5 or 5:30. Basically sun up to sun down. The concrete floors and tall ceilings make for a very echoy home. It's so funny. Every morning it's the same thing. The noise...singing, talking, washing floors, chickens start making noise. Eventually it gets really loud. I finally decide i just need to get outta bed. Then it never fails, as soon as i get up all the main work is done and the things are quiet. I laugh at my timing every day. I took the boys to the other home today. Based on sign language and bad kinyarwanda I decided that they are want to bring all the kids to our home tomorrow. Sounds good to me. The kids greeted me warmly. I can't believe that I am leaving in 3 days. I just got got here. 1.5 weeks is just not enough time. But it's what I have so I must be present to it. This trip feels very different than the last one as i am living much more amongst the people. I experience a bit more of the every day work and challenges as Chantal and Mbanda have been literally swamped. It's all good with me. I also see different things this time. Last time I saw overwhelming poverty. This time i am beginning to to the emerging middle class. It's also been better having staff that understand that i am talking a different language and take the time to try to figure it out. last time is was truly foriegn in every way. Even the simpliest sign language was not the universal lands to the side of the head...i am tired...not a clue. This time we figured about 70 percent of it out. The rest we simply just laughed and gave up. Josephine and Sarah have a small comprehension of the language which helps. I just LOVE these two boy in home number 2. While i was disappointed originally to not be in the home with all the kids that i knew i just knew i simply needed to take in the blessings and they surely did flow. Today I brought out 2 of the hats that the Kittleson's donated. I let them each pick one. It was like gold to them. They were so excited i can't even describe it. When issach put his on his head, i realized that it was really small for him and Lionel's was too big...but what the heck, they thought they were perfect so who am i to mess with perfection???? Chantal and Mbanda dropped by to make a plan for the photos I need to take for the website. i think it will all work out despite time being limited. This afternoon I had an amazing experience. I asked Sarah to take me to the local market to look around and take photos. Last year i went with Sieba but only saw the produce section. I couldn't believe how many stalls there were. IThink amazing race and then some Max.) We wandered for 2 hours and entertained the people. I will try to upload some photos to show you what i mean. I took a ton of photos and greeted about 50 people. Getting a photo required me doing a little begging and attempts at the language until they finally gave in. Guys playing chinese checkers with bottle caps on a cardboard box top, old old shoes being re-worked, tools, fabrice, western clothes that you would find a goodwill. A sensory overload for sure. They are hardly any 'moozoomgo' (white person) shout outs on this trip. It's either that they have seen more or i am already a legend! I guess it's number 1. Issach is soooooooooooooo smart. He has grasped so much of the english language in just a week. I can only imagine how he would do in the states. Chantal told me he came to the home with bruises all over his body and filthy. He had been bounced from home to home where he would beg for food or a place to sleep. A woman had asked if he could come to the 1st home with his 7 year old sister. The home was full so he had to wait. He was 1st on the list for the 2nd home. When he arrived there was no sister. She's been missing. No one knows what has happened as she often disappears when begging on the streets. Imagine you are 7 and that is your world. Today Issach looks like a well dressed, clean, smart boy that you would find at the finest school. And in fact,that is where he is. That my friends is the beauty of what we are trying to do with these homes and it's working. Say a prayer for his sister that she is safe and we can find her. Lionel is sooooooooooo funny. One of the best things I brought was an etch a sketch with ruler lines for letters. We use is to do letter, numbers and draw. Issach can draw anything i do identically. Lionel is younger and struggles a bit. He tries really hard. If it's not identical to what i have written or drawn it shakes his head no no's not right. then i do something easier and he is full of joy. he loves to laugh. he loves to be tickled. they are both amazing wonderful with the babies. we have 1 month old providence, 1 year old doras and 9 month old arriene. They pick them up, they play with them, they are so responsible it boggles my mind. I can now see how the 6 year old orphans actually take care of their younger siblings. they just do. it's not perfect, but it's full of instictual love. Our nights are entertaining in the dark or by the light of the keroscene lamp or our hand crank lights I brought. The crank lights have simply become routine. They pick them up and turn the handle a few times to see a game piece or find a bottle bo the baby. it works great. Sieba came by for a visit. Her grandma lives behind us (we built the 2nd home in her front yard) and is very sick so Sieba has been caring for her. I have truly fallen in love with these people and these kids. I see the good that everything we are doing is having on them and i know the time and dollars are well spent.

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